By Simon Lhoest
We are now at the end of the second day of COP21. Here is a brief summary!
First of all, I assisted to a side event about standards collaboration for climate neutrality and resilience. Several speakers from the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) explained the interest of this largest developer of voluntary international standards. Their main role in this context is to identify needs and gaps for climate change standards and guidance. Other institutions were also presented: GHG Management Institute, which has an expertise in MRV (Measurement, Reporting and Verification), pedagogy and online training, American Carbon Registry – EOS Climate, and Gold Standard for climate security and sustainable development for all (notably around energy, water and land use issues).
Then, a really interesting conference has been proposed on the interactions between forests, climate and people, explaining the European Union’s (EU) support to combat deforestation in the REDD+ framework. This initiative has the objective to define how to limit ideally EU deforestation and forest degradation footprint outside of Europe. In this view, two main categories of actions are needed. First, a reduction of deforestation rates has to be implemented. Then, forest landscapes restoration is crucial to help local communities being more resilient, especially in Africa. For example, there is a high pressure of illegal logging in the East of DRC and a governmental inability to regulate it. According to Sir David King, representing United Kingdom, the forested nations have to take the leadership in the implementation of REDD+ process and other countries can support them. To date, some countries are ready to implement REDD+ and financial support has already been accorded. Some examples have already showed that it is possible to fruitfully imply civil society in the process. A new partnership has already been created between Norway, United Kingdom, Germany and Colombia. The example of application of REDD+ in Colombia could be considered as a model for other countries. The Colombian system is based on five pillars. The first is to improve forest governance with adequate information and coordination. Then a sustainable sector development planning preventing deforestation is needed. Thirdly, agri-environmental activities have to be developed and managed in collaboration between common instruments. Next, a participative procedure can allow a self governance of indigenous groups to maintain forest cover. Lastly, the running system has to be concretely defined and the implementation shows that it is possible in Colombia! At the global scale, the deforestation rates are lower today than at the beginning of the first meetings. Frequent satellite images are available from the European Space Agency to implement the Global Forest Observation Initiative and are fundamental data for MRV process.