Officials said the national policy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) along with the strategies will lead to REDD+ readiness in the country and enable India to gain from international REDD+ mechanism for its pro conservation policies and efforts in future.
At the same time, the policy, being formulated to tackle climate change, will also create financial incentives to local communities which are in the forefront of conservation of forests, they said.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is a global endeavour to use carbon sequestration potential of the forests to manage climate change within accepted limits of tolerance.
The key objectives of the draft policy include creation of REDD+ architecture at National and Sub-National levels to support REDD+ actions and development of an appropriate REDD+ strategy and implementation frameworks at a nested level to represent the diversity of forests in the country.
It envisages management of the forests for a bouquet of ecosystem services, safeguarding the rights and interests of local communities including improvement of their livelihood and also seeks to encourage and incentivise local communities for their role in conservation by transferring the financial benefits accrued on account of REDD+ to them based on their performance.
The REDD+ strategy is proposed for operationalising the implementation of REDD+ policy.
It is expected to support the transformation in the forestry sector and other sectors that impact forests and needs to align with broader national development strategies.
The strategy is to work for developing institutional framework and providing clear role and responsibilities for various players and stakeholders.
India unveiled the national policy months after the governments adopted “the Warsaw Framework for REDD+”.
In the UN Climate Change conference held in Warsaw last year, governments agreed on a set of decisions on ways to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
It had viewed that global deforestation accounts for some 20 per cent of the world’s CO2 emissions.
The set of decisions adopted in Warsaw bolsters forest preservation and sustainable use of forests with direct benefits for people who live in and around forests.
The package provides a foundation for the transparency and integrity of actions and clarifies the coordination of support.
It establishes the means for results-based payments if developing countries can demonstrate the protection of forests. For this purpose, the package is backed by initial pledges of USD 280 million.
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