Partners seek support for full REDD+ implementation

MANILA-- Proponents of a Philippine-German project are calling for laws and policies for nationwide implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) strategy in the country.

REDD+ will help address climate change and promote sustainable development nationwide, noted Director Nonito Tamayo of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Forest Management Bureau (DENR-FMB) which partnered with Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on the National REDD+ System Philippines project that Germany's environment ministry funded.

"The Philippines is ready for REDD+," he said Friday (April 7) at the closing event held at Shangrila Hotel in Mandaluyong City for the project which will end on April 30 this year.

He said the project prepared the country for REDD+ so government can already fully implement this strategy nationwide.

According to experts, deforestation and forest degradation are the second leading cause of global warming as these account for some 17 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activities.

Such makes forest depletion and loss a major concern in the campaign against climate change, they said.

Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change developed REDD+ to help address such concern.

"REDD+ isn't just about emission reduction," noted Tamayo.

He said the 'plus' in REDD+ indicates inclusion of conservation, sustainable management of forest and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

Such measures can enable logging-dependent communities to have alternative sustainable livelihood so forests can be saved and continue sequestering GHG emissions, he also said.

Implementing REDD+ will help achieve such goal, he noted.

The Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources assured using the project's outputs as inputs in development initiatives this agency is promoting nationwide.

"We support the push for national implementation of REDD+," DENR Sec. Gina Lopez also said in a message the agency's Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Service Director Edwin Domingo read at the event.

Tamayo said the project's achievements highlight importance of REDD+ for enhancing Philippine climate change and sustainable development efforts.

Such achievements in the project's three sites -- Davao Oriental, Eastern Samar and Albay provinces -- include preventing emission of some 467,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) which is among climate change-driving GHGs, he noted.

"Such achievement exceeded the project's target 100,000 tons only and indicates how much REDD+ can help reduce CO2 emissions nationwide if we fully implement this strategy," he said.

National REDD+ System Philippines principal advisor Dr. Klaus Schitt agrees.

REDD+ can help the country meet its 70 percent GHG emission reduction commitment under the Paris climate change agreement, he noted.

"A large part of efforts for that is in the forestry sector," he said at the event.

The project's proponents believe REDD+ can help the Philippines meet 40 percent of its GHG reduction commitment under the Paris Agreement.

Source: Philippines News Agency