UN applauds the agreement on REDD+ reached in Cancun

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This new UNFCCC decision on REDD+, part of a comprehensive set of decisions to move forward on addressing climate change, represents a positive step forward in conserving and sustainably managing the world's forests to combat climate change, according to the UN-REDD Programme.

The UN-REDD Programme, a collaborative initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), commends the great effort and political will shown at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 16th Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP16) in Cancun, Mexico, which has resulted in an agreement on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+).

Tropical forests store more than half of all carbon found in terrestrial vegetation worldwide and contain at least two thirds of the world's terrestrial biodiversity, making REDD+ a critical component in the global fight against climate change.

The COP16 agreement on REDD+ is expected to revitalize and increase funding flows to support REDD+ readiness and invigorate donor pledges for REDD+ that now amount to close to US$5 billion for early actions until 2012.

"REDD+ means that farmers and rural people in developing countries can now be compensated for the climate services they provide for us all, helping us to avoid dangerous climate change. We will need investments in sustainable agriculture both to reduce pressure on forest land and, primarily, to secure food for everyone. FAO and the UN-REDD Programme partnership will make every effort in supporting countries to meet these critical objectives," said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf.

"The agreement on REDD+ reached by developing and developed countries is a promising outcome of the Cancun negotiations", said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator. "It recognizes the critical role of forests in the global effort to tackle climate change, as well as the centrality of good governance and the role of women, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities in the success of REDD+. UNDP stands ready, through our partnership in the UN-REDD Programme, and in collaboration with the World Bank, to help developing countries strengthen their capacity to take full advantage of the opportunity that REDD+ provides for a transformation to green and sustainable economies," said Ms. Clark.

"A decision on forests in Cancun is most welcome and provides an important building block towards a successful, comprehensive global climate agreement in South Africa in 2011," said Achim Steiner, UN Under Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director. "REDD+ could mark a decisive new chapter in humanity's sustainable management of its nature-based resources while opening up Green Economy opportunities across a suite of challenges and opportunities including jobs and livelihoods for local and Indigenous Peoples," said Mr. Steiner.

The UN-REDD Programme, launched in September 2008, is a rapidly growing initiative, delivering technical expertise and financial support to an increasing number of developing countries that have committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their forestry and land use sectors. The Programme stands ready to strengthen its support to country-led REDD+ actions, with the ultimate goal of achieving climate change mitigation and improving livelihoods and biodiversity conservation.

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