UN Deforestation Scheme Highlighted After Failure of REDD+ Agreement in Indonesia

The collapse of a $1 billion deal to tackle deforestation in Indonesia has highlighted the failure of the UN-backed global initiative. According to critics, the agreement proved ineffective and trampled on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Forest monitoring organization Global Forest Watch has previously said that protecting trees is key to meeting ambitious climate goals. The loss of tropical forests accounts for about eight percent of annual carbon dioxide emissions.

One of the main tools in this deforestation effort is the UN-supported REDD+ mechanism. The mechanism is a framework in which public and private funds are paid to developing countries to curb emissions by reducing deforestation.

Hundreds of projects have sprung up around the world under the initiative in this decade. The main donors include developed countries such as Norway, Germany and the UK.

REDD+ projects themselves range from national-level schemes backed by foreign governments to smaller ones, which can also involve the private sector, generating “carbon credits” to sell to companies seeking to offset emissions.

However, the initiative was marred by controversy. According to environmentalists, projects in several places, including Cambodia, Peru and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, did not involve local communities and did not deliver the promised benefits, leading in some cases to conflict.

Last month, Indonesia, home to the world’s third-largest tropical forest, withdrew from a $1 billion REDD+ deal with Norway, having received only a fraction of the money. (ka/rs)

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