RECOFTC at COP 17: Durban, South Africa

Forests and Climate Change - a starter for 10

We've put together ten pieces of key information on the relationship between forests and climate change. Take a look!

Key governments including the US, UK, Japan and the EU are no longer aiming for a binding climate deal to be in force this decade. Despite this there is still plenty to achieve in Durban, by focusing on areas where progress can be more realistically made, such as REDD+ and finalizing the Cancun agreements on finance, clean technology and adaptation.

The growing prominence of forestry, both in mitigation actions such as REDD+ and in increasing efforts to relate it to climate change adaptation in the negotiations, is reflected by RECOFTC’s growing presence at COP17. This includes a presentation of our upcoming REDD+ capacity building needs analysis in Asia Pacific for UNEP/UN-REDD, RECOFTC’s official side event on Gender and REDD+, a REDD-net official side event examining the synergies and tradeoffs we can anticipate between forest-based climate mitigation and adaptation, and a Forests Day booth. In addition to this, RECOFTC and RECOFTC-related projects are supporting the attendance of a number of civil society representatives to COP17 with a view to sharing indigenous, women’s and other civil society perspectives. We look forward to being able to present some of these COP17 experiences through the RECOFTC blog.

Presentations and Side Events

All these events hold resonance for the REDD+ negotiations this year:

•    Funding REDD+ readiness – How should we coordinate and spend the remaining bulk of US $5.5 billion in ‘fast-start funding'? Our UNEP/UN-REDD assessment highlights where funding and capacity building can be better directed in Asia Pacific to reach REDD+ readiness. Come down and participate in our UN-REDD presentation and discussion on Thursday, 1 December, 10am-12pm in the Rio Conventions Pavilion.

Presentation by Jim Stephenson from RECOFTC. Overall session facilitated by Yemi Katerere, head of the UN-REDD secretariat.

•    Gender and REDD+ in the Asia Pacific: Supporting Innovation for Women’s Leadership and Gender Equality - RECOFTC and WOCAN’s official side event at COP17, this panel discussion will present back on a series of innovations for addressing the gap between women’s involvement and REDD+ which emerged from a meeting of key regional thinkers from the Asia-Pacific region in November, 2011. Involving government representation from leaders in the region, speakers include Mdm Thoa, from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam; Yani  Septiani, from the Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia; Regan Suzuki, from RECOFTC and Jeannette Gurung of WOCAN.  Join us on Monday, 5 December in the Indwe River room from 15:00-16:30.

•    Finding the linkages between forest-based climate change adaptation and mitigation activities such as REDD+ - The REDDnet event ‘Synergies and tradeoffs between mitigation and adaptation: the case of forests’ will shed light in a relatively new area of investigation – the linkages between mitigation and adaptation activities and policies and how these impact forest-based communities. RECOFTC/ REDD-net has been conducting a series of regional case studies on adaptation and REDD+ linkages and the preliminary results of case studies in Vietnam and Nepal will be presented here, on Friday, 2 Dec 2011 20:15—21:45, Apies River Room.

Speakers will include representatives from CATIE, ODI, RECOFTC and UCSD, as well as other REDD-net partners from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

•    Communities and indigenous peoples – A fundamental prerequisite for the success of REDD+ is an increased understanding of what it entails and how it will work, particularly for indigenous people and local communities living in and around forests. We will be sharing updates on our progress with the project ‘Grassroots capacity building for REDD+ in Asia Pacific’ at our Forests Day Booth on 4 December. To date, this project has raised awareness of REDD+ amongst 11,000 community members, 350 ‘trainer of trainers,’ and journalists in Indonesia, Lao PDR, Nepal and Vietnam. RECOFTC will also be conducting interviews with regional indigenous rights groups at COP17 as part of the project.

Forests Day 5

Please come and visit us at our booth at Forests Day 5 on the 4 December, 2011, where you can meet our delegation team and discuss the issues of the day!

Forest Day, now moving into its fifth year, has become one of the most intensive and influential annual global events on forests. At its heart, it is a platform for anyone with an interest in forests and climate change to meet once a year to ensure that forests remain high on the agenda of global and national climate strategies, and that those strategies are informed by the most up-to-date knowledge and experience.


Not attending the conference? We will keep you updated with our Durban blogs, which will be posted regularly at throughout the conference.

Published Blogs:

Additional Resources

Our Durban team:

Jim Stephenson, Program Officer, People, Forests, and Climate Change:

Regan Suzuki, Coordinator, REDD-Net Asia-Pacific:

Dr. Chandra Silori, Coordinator, Grassroots Capacity Building for REDD+:


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