The agenda item on “Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries and approaches to stimulate action” was first introduced into the COP agenda at its eleventh session in Montreal (December 2005).
Parties to the UNFCCC process recognized the contribution of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation in developing countries to climate change and the need to take action to reduce such emissions. After a two-year process, the COP adopted a decision on “Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries: approaches to stimulate action” (Decision 2/CP13). The decision also provides a set of indicative guidance for the implementation and evaluation of demonstration activities. Parties are also encouraged to apply the IPCC Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry for estimating and reporting of emissions and removals.
In 2008 and 2009, policy approaches and positive incentives relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries have been considered under the process of the Bali Action Plan (Decision 1/CP13).
Negotiations from Cancun to Bonn:
In Cancun, an agreement has been reached to encourage developing country Parties to contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector by undertaking the following activities, as deemed appropriate by each Party and in accordance with their respective capabilities and national circumstances:
a) Reducing emissions from deforestation;
b) Reducing emissions from forest degradation;
c) Conservation of forest carbon stocks;
d) Sustainable management of forests;
e) Enhancement of forest carbon stocks;
The Cancun outcomes requests developing country Parties aiming to undertake the activities referred to in (a) to (e) above, in the context of the provision of adequate and predictable support, including financial resources and technical and technological support to developing country Parties, in accordance with national circumstances and respective capabilities, to develop the following elements:
a) A national strategy or action plan;
b) A national forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level or, if appropriate, as an interim measure, subnational forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels, in accordance with national circumstances, and with provisions contained in decision 4/CP.15, and with any further elaboration of those provisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties;
c) A robust and transparent national forest monitoring system for the monitoring and reporting of the activities referred to in paragraph above, with, if appropriate, subnational monitoring and reporting as an interim measure, in accordance with national circumstances, and with the provisions contained in decision 4/CP.15, and with any further elaboration of those provisions agreed by the Conference of the Parties;
d) A system for providing information on how the safeguards to this decision are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of the activities, while respecting sovereignty;
The Cancun outcomes also requests developing country Parties, when developing and implementing their national strategies or action plans, to address, inter alia, the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, land tenure issues, forest governance issues, gender considerations, ensuring the full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, inter alia indigenous peoples and local communities;
The Cancun climate change conferences therefore decided that the activities undertaken by Parties should be implemented in phases, beginning with the development of national strategies or action plans, policies and measures, and capacity-building, followed by the implementation of national policies and measures and national strategies or action plans that could involve further capacity-building, technology development and transfer and results-based demonstration activities, and evolving into results-based actions that should be fully measured, reported and verified;