09.01.2013 0

How the United Nations Plans to Combat Deforestation

Climate change effects every country on the planet and, as such, every person on the planet. As a result, the United Nations put into place a plan of action, with the REDD programme designed to combat climate change by reducing the damaging effects of deforestation. REDD – the collective policies of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation – also known as UN-REDD, was put into place in order to reduce the damage done to the planet via the destruction of trees in developing countries.

The Science

The carbon stored within trees is converted to carbon dioxide during the deforestation process, which is then released into the atmosphere. These artificially forced greenhouse gases contribute heavily to climate change, with an estimated 12% of the world’s human-produced greenhouse gases attributed to tropical deforestation. After the consumption of fossil fuels, deforestation accounts for the second largest anthropogenic source of the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide. The situation has called for major intervention from the United Nations to attempt to stem the flow.

Expanding the REDD Programme

Expanding the REDD programme to incorporate benefits beyond preventing deforestation is now known as REDD+, with the cultural and bio-ecological benefits to developing countries a major part of the programme. Concentrating on the conservational aspects of the REDD+ programme has allowed developing countries to put greater emphasis on the sustainable aspects of forest management.

While UN-REDD currently lists 46 countries as partners, 16 of these countries have received direct support to their national programmes, to the tune of $67 million. The $67 million has been put towards expanding the work performed under the REDD+ blanket. These countries are:

  • Bolivia
  • Cambodia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Indonesia
  • Nigeria
  • Panama
  • Papau New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • The Philippines
  • Republic of Congo
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia

Critics point towards REDD’s focus towards reducing emissions in smaller countries as an unfair and slanted viewpoint, when the UN’s major superpowers continue to freely pollute the environment. Its supporters point out that any effort to address the deforestation problem is ultimately advantageous and a major step in the right direction to addressing the problem of climate change.

Bringing together world experts in the field of climate change allows REDD to implement a globally accepted method of guidelines for the best ways to reduce the flow of carbon emissions, while analysing the most effective ways to assemble MRV – the measurement, reporting and verification of these hazardous gases.

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