The land use based climate mitigation approach of ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation’ (REDD) along with conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks collectively known as REDD plus is now widely recognised as one of the climate change mitigation approaches.
The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) in collaboration with International Centre for Integrated Mountain development (ICIMOD) of Nepal jointly implemented trans-boundary REDD-plus Himalayas project which mainly focused on capacity building, technology sharing and knowledge dissemination on REDD-plus. A project dissemination workshop on REDD plus Himalaya was organised at ICFRE on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion ICFRE deputy director general (Research) SD Sharma said that although the project focus was in Mizoram, the project outcome also helped ICFRE to develop national REDD plus strategy which was released by the Government of India.
Scientist in charge, biodiversity and climate change, RS Rawat gave a detailed account of project activities conducted during the project period. Among the main activities were preparation of State REDD action plan for the states of Mizoram and Uttarakhand, study on the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and strategies to address the drivers.
Rawat also highlighted capacity building programmes and various income generation activities initiated for the local communities.
ICFRE consultant VRS Rawat gave a presentation on National REDD plus strategy recently released by the Ministry of the Environment, Forests and Climate Change. The strategy will be addressing drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and also developing a road map for enhancement of forest carbon stocks and achieving sustainable management of forests through REDD plus actions.
The strategy will support empowerment of youth cadre as community foresters to lead the charge at the local level. Green skill development programme for imparting forestry related specialised skill will also be implemented.
He pointed out that REDD plus attracts highest attention in developing country like India where local communities, forest dwelling tribal communities have high dependency on forests for their livelihoods.
ICFRE scientist Sanjay Singh presented a framework for developing a safeguard information system when implementing REDD plus on ground.
As per United Nations requirements countries implementing REDD plus must prepare a safeguard information system that addresses a set of governance, environmental and social safeguards.
Participants had a brainstorming session on developing a safeguard information system. Existing policies, legislations and regulation that can form part of safeguard information system were also discussed.