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.