ICFRE hosts consultation workshop on REDD+
The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) director general Suresh Gairola said that Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus (REDD+) programmes, if implemented properly have a great potential for improving the livelihood of forest dwelling communities while at the same time also contributing towards climate change mitigation through protection and conservation of forests.
He was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day stakeholders consultation workshop organised by ICFRE and in collaboration with ICIMOD, Kathmandu, for preparation of State REDD+ Action Plan for Uttarakhand. Gairola also highlighted the salient features of the Draft National REDD+ Strategy prepared by ICFRE.
REDD programme coordinator from ICIMOD, Bhaskar Singh Karky informed the gathering about the process of preparing State REDD+ Action Plan. Uttarakhand conservator of forests and coordinator of state climate change cell, Parag Madhukar Dhakate spoke about the State Action Plan for Climate Change. He said that local communities and Van Panchayats have been traditionally conserving forests. They can be financially benefited with REDD+ programmes in terms of payment for environmental services.
Earlier, while welcoming the gathering, the deputy director general (Research) of ICFRE, SD Sharma described the importance of REDD+ programmes for climate change mitigation. The additional director general (Climate Change) of ICFRE, VRS Rawat gave an overview of REDD+ Himalaya Project and scope of REDD+ for India’s forests. Participants discussed various elements that could be incorporated in the State REDD+ Action Plan for Uttarakhand. About 40 participants from Forest Department, other linear departments, universities, civil society, community members are participating in the workshop. Forest Research Institute director Savita was also among those present on the occasion.
According to the workshop organisers, globally large scale deforestation has been one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emission besides emissions from fossil fuel burning. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries and role of conservation collectively known as REDD+ under UN Climate Negotiations intends to give financial incentives to the developing countries for reducing deforestation and forest degradation, promoting forest conservation and sustainable management of forests.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change also reiterated its support to promote REDD+ in developing countries for climate change mitigation.
REDD+ implementation requires a lot of preparedness at domestic level. Countries willing to seek financial incentives for REDD+ need to develop a National REDD+ Strategy or Action Plan. The ICFRE has prepared National REDD+ Strategy for India. The strategy requires that state should also prepare a State REDD+ Action Plan.
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