Major OECS effort underway to reduce deforestation

Major OECS effort underway to reduce deforestation

Press Release:-SAINT  LUCIA  –  Saint  Lucia  is  well  on  its  way  to  implementing  a  National  Strategy  for  Reducing  Emissions   from  Deforestation  and  Forest  Degradation  (REDD+).

This  major  development  was  the  result  of  two  days  of  consultations  held  here  last  week.

Agencies  and   experts  who  attended  the  two  day  consultations  represented  the  Forestry  Department,  the  OECS,   Department  of  Sustainable  Development,  Physical  Planning,  a  soil  carbon  specialist,  project  manager  for   the  Iyanola  Project,  Caribbean  Youth  Environmental  Network,  Invest  St.  Lucia,    Fauna  and  Flora   International  (FFI),  the  Physical  Planning  Department  and  the  Japan  Climate  Change  Alliance.

The  workshop  was  facilitated  by  Climate  Change  Expert  Mr.  Eduardo  Reyes   of  Panama,  who  was   contracted  by  the  OECS  Commission,    with  funding  from  the  EU  ,  to  provide  technical  assistance  for  the   establishment  of  a  REDD+    National  Strategy.

The  workshop  provided  the  attendees  with  a  brief  synopsis  of  climate  change  and  its  impacts.

It  also   explained  REDD+  as  an  initiative  developed  to  mitigate  climate  change  by  reducing  deforestation,  forest   degradation,   conservation  of  existing  forests,  and  the  enhancement  of  carbon  stocks   through   reforestation  and  afforestation.

Deforestation  and  Forest  Degradation  account  for  nearly  20%  of  global   greenhouse  gas  emissions,  and  it  has  become  increasingly  clear  that  in  order  to  lessen  the  impacts  of   climate  change  to  tolerable  limits  the  global  average  temperatures  must  not  be  increased  to  more  than   1.5  degrees  Celsius.

This  will  be  practically  impossible  to  achieve  without  reducing  emissions  from  the   forest  sector,  in  addition  to  other  mitigation  actions.

Mr.  Reyes  informed  the  workshops  that  REDD+  is  an  initiative  with  a  three  phased  approach.  “The  first   phase  would  allow  a  country  to  decide  on  actions  within  REDD+  that  it  may  choose  to  carry  out  without   having  to  report  formally  on  these  actions.

The  second  phase  builds  on  the  first  and  usually  includes   projects  that  enhances  the  existing  carbon  stocks  within  the  country.  In  the  third  phase  the  country   applies  to  access  the  payment  mechanism  under  the  REDD+  initiative.

This  payment  mechanism  allows   countries  to  sell  carbon  credits  through  bi-­‐lateral  agreements  or  receive  payments  for  carbon  credits   through  the  green  climate  fund”,  informed  Reyes

Mr.  Reyes  cautioned  that  while  St.  Lucia  was  indeed  on  the  right  path  to  REDD+,  there  was  still  a  lot  of   work  to  be  done.

He  continued  to  explain  that  data  requirements  such  as  GIS  data,  a  forest  definition,   and  a  more  comprehensive  and  transparent  Green  House  Gas  (GHG)  Inventory.

He  also  explained  that   assessments  of  the  Land  Use,  Land  Use  Change  and  Forestry  (LULUCF)  sector  was  necessary  to  get  the   country  ready  for  the  third  phase  of  the  project.

This  REDD+  initiative  is  part  of  ILAND  Resilience  –  The  OECS  Commission’s  Climate  Change  Adaptation   and  Sustainable  Land  Management  Project  funded  by  the  EU.

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