Environment Ministry releases India’s National REDD+ Strategy

Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released National Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) strategy for India. It aims at achieve climate change mitigation by incentivizing forest conservation. This strategy will soon be communicated to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

National REDD+ Strategy

It has been prepared by Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (ICFRE), Dehradun. It is one of tools to further supplement India’s commitment to 2015 Paris agreement. It will support empowerment of youth cadres as community foresters to lead charge at local level. Under it, Green Skill Development programme will be launched for imparting forestry-related specialised skills among the youth.

Significance: National REDD+ strategy will help India to fulfill its nationally determined contribution (NDC)   commitments and will also contribute to livelihood of forest dependent population. It will help to enhance efforts for forest conservation and enhance productivity of forest eco-systems. It takes into consideration important role played by tribals, other forest dwelling people and society as whole in reiterating India’s commitment to Paris Agreement.

Background

Paris Agreement on Climate Change recognises role of forests in climate change mitigation and calls upon participating nations to take action to implement and support REDD+. India its NDC to this agreement has committed to capture 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) through additional efforts in forestry sector. India’s first biennial update report to UNFCCC has revealed that forests in India capture about 12% of India’s total GHG emissions. Thus, forestry sector in India is making positive cost effective contribution for climate change mitigation.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)

REDD is set of steps designed to use market and financial incentives in order to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from deforestation and forest degradation. It is collaborative programme of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Its original objective is to reduce greenhouse gases but it is claimed that it can deliver co-benefits such as biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation.

REDD+ initiative goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. It aims at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. It gives emphasis to activities that will help in sustainable livelihood of local communities and also in conservation of biodiversity.

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