Posts Tagged ‘REDD+’

TEEB on TED

Friday, December 30th, 2011

On TED, Pavan Sukhdev – who lead the TEEB initiative – explains why we need to “value nature” in order to manage it sustainably.

He ends his talk on the suggestion to focus efforts on “green” and “blue” carbon as part of climate change mitigation. Green and blue carbon is the carbon stored in terrestrial and marine ecosystems respectively.

Pavan Sukhdev tells us that he strongly supports the REDD+ mechanisms, whereby emitting countries fund projects in forested countries that avoid deforestation and/or forest degradation. There is a lot of potential there for synergies between carbon sequestration goals and the continued provision of other ecosystem services (and biodiversity).

Concerning blue carbon, it is interesting to note how he explains that we, collectively, have made the ethical choice to lose coral reefs through unmitigated climate change. It was probably an implicit choice, but it is quite revealing that Pavan Sukhdev and TEEB recognize that there are critical thresholds of biodiversity and ecosystem service loss. Those thresholds can be ecological (to avoid extinction or complete loss) or social but they certainly define the boundaries of our future life support system. Good debates to be had there…

Not totally unexpected…

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

REDD mechanisms, recently established in Cancún, laid the carpet for escalating claims of “avoided emissions”. A first major shot was fired by the director general of the UN convention to combat desertification (UNCCD), Luc Gnacadja.

He claims that slowing desertification and land degradation decreases the emission of carbon dioxide stored in the top-soil. A recent article in the Guardian (a UK newspaper) has him saying that people must be paid via global carbon markets for preserving the soil.

people must be paid via global carbon markets for preserving the soil

This claim should come as no surprise given the payments budgeted for reduced rates of deforestation in the tropics. There will certainly be other claimants soon : oceans, grasslands, wetlands…

REDD has also generated concern about its effects on biodiversity, which has led the world bank to set up a wildlife premium for wildlife friendly policies aimed at reducing deforestation.

Unfortunately, this premium only applies to emblematic species such as large mammals that require large forest areas. These species are often protected.

Does the bank’s market-based instrument mean that governments will be rewarded financially for not destroying a protected species’ habitat? Leaves you wondering doesn’t it?