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Pacific Islands Review Climate Protection Through Forest Conservation

Lami, Fiji – Achievements and challenges over the past five years with addressing climate protection through conserving forests in the Pacific region are being reviewed in Fiji this week.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) are hosting a workshop to evaluate a major project called Climate Protection through Forest Conservation, ahead of the launch of a new phase.

Taking place in Lami from 19 to 21 May, the workshop brings together 35 participants who will also consider the status in the Pacific of the United Nations mechanism, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD), and of REDD+ which covers sustainable management of forests and enhancing forest carbon stocks.

The workshop was officially opened by the GIZ Regional Director for Philippines and the Pacific, Dr Andreas Kalk.

The Climate Protection through Forest Conservation project has supported the implementation of REDD+ in the Pacific since 2010. A follow-up REDD+ project will run until 2018.

Deforestation and forest degradation account for nearly 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Although Pacific Island countries and territories contribute marginally to these emissions, the larger, forested Pacific nations can significantly reduce their national emissions through improvements in forest management practices.

According to the team leader of the SPC/GIZ REDD+ project, Karl P. Kirsch-Jung, the workshop will enable officers from Fiji, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu to exchange information and lessons learned on their national REDD+ programmes and discuss related national and regional forestry and climate challenges.

“The project has supported the formulation of a Pacific Islands Regional Policy Framework for REDD+ and the development of the REDD readiness strategies of the more forested countries, namely Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu,” Mr Kirsch-Jung said.

“The workshop will examine progress at pilot sites and also cover the perspectives for REDD+ at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of the year,” he said.

In conjunction with other partners, SPC and GIZ have been supporting forest monitoring and carbon stock assessments, forest carbon accounting and other aspects, such as property rights.

The regional REDD project is funded by the German Federal Environment Ministry under the International Climate Initiative and is jointly implemented by GIZ and SPC. This mechanism is part of Germany’s contribution to support Pacific countries’ participation in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) arena. 

Source: Secretariat of The Pacific Community   

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