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Forest clearing in developing countries is an enormous contributor to global warming, accounting for about 15% of annual greenhouse gas emissions. The Bali Action Plan seeks ways to reward countries for reducing these emissions – an agenda known as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). Effective implementation of REDD is an intense topic of discussion in the negotiations leading up to Copenhagen. Many observers envision financial flows in the billions of dollars per year, and substantial pilot efforts are already being sponsored by UN-REDD, the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), and the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative.
On Wednesday, November 18, 2009, Center for Global Development hosted a special session on Financing Forest Conservation to Combat Global Warming: Keys to Success at Copenhagen. Speakers included Manish Bapna, Managing Director, World Resources Institute; Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development; Kenneth Chomitz, Senior Advisor, Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank; Crystal Davis, World Resources Institute; Nigel Purvis, Founder and President, Climate Advisers; David Wheeler, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development; Dan Hammer, Center for Global Development
and Robin Kraft, Center for Global Development. Lawrence MacDonald,Vice President for Communications & Policy Outreach, Center for Global Development, moderated the session.
The panelists discussed and illustrated three keys to a successful international agreement on forest conservation:
• Sustainable payment mechanisms and robust supporting institutions;
• Evidence-based evaluation of forest program impacts, illustrated by a global analysis of the impact of strictly protected areas, multiple use conservation areas, and indigenous areas on deforestation;
• Transparent public monitoring of results; the rapidly-advancing potential for public oversight will be demonstrated using a new web-based system, FORMA (Forest Monitoring for Action).