As forests are lost or degraded, they can become sources of harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) instead of fulfilling their important role as carbon sinks. Deforestation and forest degradation are the second largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions after the burning of fossil fuels.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has developed a framework, known as REDD+, for providing incentives to developing countries to reduce GHG emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and conserve and enhance forest carbon stocks by improving forest management. The UNFCCC recognizes REDD+ programmes at the national or subnational level and countries can use those programs to meet some of their global emissions reductions commitments.
Jurisdictional REDD+ programmes work on sizeable, sub-national landscapes, like a province or state. They focus on building capacities to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, addressing and respecting safeguards, and engaging a wide range of stakeholders – for example Indigenous Peoples and local communities, businesses, and local and national governments – whose incidence at the landscape level is key to success in REDD+. Jurisdictional REDD+ programs can be a good way for countries to pilot REDD+ approaches before scaling them up to the national level, especially when key capacities need to be built up in preparation.
Expanding jurisdictional REDD+ could help counter threats in deforestation fronts while addressing issues related to poverty alleviation, land and community rights, sustainable development, and equitable resource governance.