Press release

IISD and ASB-ICRAF help developing countries negotiate maximum benefits from REDD-plus

December 3, 2010

CANCUN—December 4, 2010—The International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Alternatives to Slash and Burn Partnership at the World Agroforestry Centre (ASB-ICRAF) have launched the second phase of their project—Building REDD Capacity for Developing Country Negotiators and Land Managers—to help developing countries get the most from complex negotiations at the climate change talks.

REDD-plus is about reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and other related issues in a way that benefits developing countries. These benefits include conserving biodiversity and improving the livelihoods of communities.

REDD-plus negotiations are a highly technical and rapidly evolving subject and many developing countries require support to understand their options and to develop strategies to effectively negotiate an appropriate REDD-plus decision under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"The goal is to ensure negotiations account for broader sustainable development benefits for developing countries, while retaining the integrity of greenhouse gas emission reductions," said IISD associate Deborah Murphy.

The project is focused on assisting UN-REDD Program pilot countries. It aims to help these developing countries improve their capacity for policy analysis. The project will contribute to regional coordination, undertake policy research, raise awareness of on-going REDD-plus activities, and build the foundations for collaboration between southern actors and institutions.

Project activities in 2010–2011 include one REDD Development Dividend Task Force meeting, two regional workshops, the development of two policy papers and a web platform to support South-South information sharing on REDD-plus.

The first phase of the project ran from 2009–2010 and included a forum attended by Xavier Mugumya, coordinator for climate change at the National Forestry Authority in Uganda.

"The forum inspired optimism and gave participating countries a sense that REDD-plus could effectively deal with climate change, despite the limitations to reach concrete agreements at COP15 (Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen)," Mugumya said.

"IISD helped us to understand the background to REDD-plus and how it relates to the whole scheme of climate change talks. ASB-ICRAF showed us that it is possible to have ground-based evidence that informs the REDD-plus negotiations and also supports the implementation of REDD-plus actions on the ground."

The project will be delivered by IISD and ASB-ICRAF, with generous support from the government of Norway.

For more information, please contact IISD media and communication officer Nona Pelletier, +1 204 958-7740 (cell: +1 204 962-1303; or IISD project officer Jessica Boyle, 1 613 222-8550; or ASB-ICRAF Programme Associate Florence Bernard,

ASB-ICRAF is a global partnership of research institutes, non-governmental organizations, universities, community organizations, farmers' groups, and other local, national, and international organizations, working at the nexus of two important problems: tropical deforestation and human poverty.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.