Friday, May 18, 2012


The thirty-sixth session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) is well underway Bonn, Germany. While still productive, this ever-evolving drafting of the text is starting to feel more like an unraveling than a compiling. As if the entire process were a scrambled mass of threads, Earth sized, that needs to be disentangled. The more you pull on some strings the tighter they knot. The SBSTA was established in 1995 to provide the COP advice on scientific, technological and methodological issues. It is a key nexus for REDD as it is charged with the improvement of guidelines and reporting mechanisms for emission inventories. In the end, any effective climate policy from the COP must rest squarely on a foundation of hard data. Exactly how much carbon dioxide from exactly how many trees. The Tropical Forest Group is still following closely the particulars of the inclusion of forest reference levels in the text. In Durban, developing country parties were requested to submit REDD reference levels. COP 17 also agreed to establish a process for assessing the proposed reference levels and asked for SBSTA 36 to develop guidance on said assessment. We are still waiting to see if the delegates can extricate the language to address this assessment guidance in a way that will allow countries to move forward. All that is needed is a sentence or two drawn out of the snarled negotiations in a cohesive thread. 

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