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Climate Action 2010-2011

SPECIAL FEATURE | Esri

SPECIAL FEATURE | Esri Climate change is a geographic problem, and we believe solving it takes a geographic system A GIS-based framework for climate science gives us hope. With it we can gain a scientific understanding of earth’s complex systems at a truly global scale and make thoughtful, informed design decisions that ultimately allow humans and nature to coexist more harmoniously. Read about the many ways GIS is already being used for climate change research on our website and see how Esri works with organisations worldwide to create GIS applications that meet the climate change challenge. Visit www.esri.com/climatechange to receive your free e-book. Available e-book titles below: Climate change is a geographic problem GIS for climate change The geographic approach to climate change A GIS-based framework for climate science helps us make thoughtful, informed design decisions that allow humans and nature to coexist more harmoniously. Case studies in the use of GIS for climate change Eleven case studies illustrate how GIS is helping us to gain a better understanding of the impact of climate change on natural and human systems. “GIS provides Guyana with the tools it needs to scientifically measure and analyse our natural resources effectively. With GIS, we can support responsible resource management decisions that benefit generations to follow.” Bharrat Jagdeo President of Guyana Copyright © 2010 Esri. All rights reserved. Esri, The Esri globe logo, and www.esri.com are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners. “GIS can help us become visionary rather than reactionary.” Chad Kopplin Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality “Monetary flow through the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism to forest communities is slowed by the problems of unclear land ownership. A key factor in the success of REDD is the application of GIS to collate, map, and report forest carbon emission information to investors and international regulatory agencies.” Dr. James Baker The William J. Clinton Foundation, in ‘The Economist’ In 1969, Jack Dangermond founded Esri with a vision that computer-based mapping and analysis could make significant contributions in the areas of geographic planning and environmental science. The recipient of 10 honorary doctorate degrees, he has served on advisory committees for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Science Foundation. Website: www.esri.com/climate | 130 | www.climateactionprogramme.org

Redd, Sustainable Forest Management and Agriculture Slash and burn agriculture in the Amazon. Izabella Teixeira Minister of Environment for Brazil © Creative commons/flickr/Threa to Democracy Brazilian policy to address climate change: relevant role to REDD+ Forests are globally important carbon sinks and play a critical role in mitigating climate change. The international mechanism for protecting the world’s forests, Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (Redd+), is one of the main contributions that forest-rich nations such as Brazil can make to reduce global warming. REDD+ has been seen as an easy and effective way to combat climate change. However, the challenge of reducing the rate of deforestation for many developing countries is as big as the challenge to change the energy matrix for developed countries. In order to achieve the emissions reductions which REDD+ demands, many different actions have to be taken. It is not a ‘non action’ as cynics have suggested. Deforestation and forest degradation are results of common practices which involve many economic sectors and a sizeable part of the local population. REDD+ actions depend on many factors, are difficult to implement, all associated costs are difficult to account for, but they have the potential to bring many benefits, not only to the planet but to forest-dwelling communities too. The wide-ranging role of forests make them fundamental to our very survival – something that is well known but not yet reflected fully in current actions to protect and conserve forest cover. Biodiversity, hydrological regulation, the livelihoods of forest communities, supply of timber and non-timber products and the conservation of carbon stocks are just some of the multiple benefits or environmental services that are provided but not accounted for. In this regard, the REDD+ mechanism, in negotiation under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), offers the tropical forests an opportunity to have at least part of this value acknowledged. The broad scope of REDD+, encompassing not only reduction of emissions from deforestation and degradation, but also conservation and increase of forest carbon stocks and sustainable forest management, brings many challenges to the table. It requires that developing countries address not only the direct causes of deforestation and forest degradation, but also drivers such as land tenure issues and poor forest and agriculture governance. The need to ensure the environmental integrity of the mechanism means that issues such as leakage, permanence and additionality have to be addressed. In this regard, Brazil believes that it is crucial to work to national reference levels and invest in a robust, transparent and up-to-date monitoring system. The national reference level approach has many advantages because it simplifies accountability, prevents national leakage and avoids perverse incentives. A successful REDD+ strategy has to take into account all stakeholders’ interests. It is essential that we build mechanisms and institutions capable of dealing fully with the preferences and interests of all stakeholders, in order to guarantee the long-term sustainability of all achievements realised by the implementation of the REDD+ strategy. A successful REDD+ strategy is also related to the adequate assessment of the drivers of deforestation in www.climateactionprogramme.org | 131 |