Monday, May 17, 2010

REDD Governors Gather in Aceh

The Governors Climate Forest Taskforce is an informal collaboration among some of the most advanced state and provinces in the world working together to make REDD happen. The governments represented on the GCF include Aceh, Papua, East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan (Indonesia), Acre, Amapa, Amazonas, Matto Grosso and Para (Brazil), California, Illinois, Wisconsin (USA), Campeche (Mexico) and Cross River State (Nigeria).

The GCF occupies a key role between project-based REDD and what is hoped in most quarters to be national accounting. In many developing countries, states and provinces provide many of the basic services for people and have a significant role in managing lands and forests.

The GCF meeting in Aceh Indonesia comes at an interesting time in many respects:
1) The UNFCCC in Copenhagen unanimously endorsed a decision requesting developing countries to build national, and where appropriate sub-national, forest monitoring systems.

2) The UNFCCC LCA chair has just announced a new comprehensive text, what may be the UNFCCC's last chance to be relevant in the long term.

3) US federal legislation has been introduced that would support some sub-national REDD programs.

4) The role of the VCS (and the voluntary market at large) have many REDD projects and proponents scratching their heads about what to do. Almost everyone thinks the VCS is the right way to go, even though not a single VCS REDD project has qualified for any part of the VCS REDD requirements.

GCF members and stakeholders have started to gather under the mountains of the Ulu Masen forests (pictured above), with prayer calls about and a gaggle of good people working at the nexus between federal and project REDD carbon accounting. Tomorrow formal talks begin on three working groups: one on project based accounting, another on nesting and state systems, and a third of needs and funding of/for GCF members. Stay tuned here for updates.

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