Forestry Department spearheads REDD+ programme
The Forestry Department of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation is spearheading the Government’s national programme to become REDD+ ready.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) in developing countries was created by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
It is a climate change mitigation programme that incentivises developing countries to reduce or remove forest carbon emissions by awarding them carbon credits.
“The UNFCCC and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) have results-based payment programmes and carbon markets that you can sell your credits to for the country to be rewarded. It is a very conservative value for the price of carbon, but it is right now US$5 per tonne of carbon that is removed from the atmosphere,” said Senior Research Officer in the Forestry Department, Brahim Diop, in an interview with JIS News.
Participating countries are given a cap on allowable emissions, and unused allowances can be traded to the monetary benefit of the selling country.
To qualify for REDD+ incentive payments, Jamaica must prove that it has reduced its national greenhouse gas emissions through any of the following activities: reducing emissions from deforestation, reducing emissions from forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
For REDD+ to be measurable and effective, Mr. Diop said certain national elements must be put in place.
“These include a national strategy or action plan; the establishment of a national forest (emissions) reference level, which is your basis for accounting for the results of REDD+ activities; a national forest monitoring system through which you are able to monitor your activities to see if they are having a positive or negative impact on the landscape; and establishment of systems to ensure that REDD+ activities safeguard the welfare of those living in and around forested areas,” Mr. Diop noted.
Jamaica has received funding assistance for its REDD+ activities from the UNFCCC’s Green Climate Fund.
By the final stages of the REDD+ programme, Jamaica will be able to accurately report on local forest carbon emissions and earn from the successful implementation of emission-reduction initiatives.
Forty per cent of the island (approximately 460,000 hectares) is covered in forests and a quarter of this amount is managed by the Forestry Department. The remaining is privately owned.