Forestry protection slowed by rift between developed and developing countries


At the United Nations climate conference in Doha last week, countries were attempting to design a global system to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation, an activity that accounts for nearly 20 percent of global emissions.

Nevertheless, disagreement between wealthy investor countries and poorer forested countries threatens to block a deal among the 194 nations. At the heart of the matter is a dispute on how to verify emission cuts achieved through projects that reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD).

Without an agreement on verification procedures, several billion dollars of finance per year from developed countries may not be forthcoming.

If the Doha summit fails to resolve this issue, discussions will be delayed until a gathering in Bonn, Germany next June, leaving investors without a clear forest emissions financing system for at least another six months.

The stable and credible value of British Columbia's forestry carbon offsets, both at home and on the international market, rests on the province's reputation for sustainable forest management and climate action.

BC's robust offset standards provide investors with a significant advantage in a world where many offsets are far less accurately quantified, making them less credible. To guide forest carbon accounting and the management of offset projects, BC has developed its own forest carbon offset protocol.

The protocol is tailored to BC's forest stock with rigorous criteria to ensure that forest carbon projects meet or exceed international standards.

These foundations and the ongoing implementation of the BC Forest Stewardship Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation provide a useful model for global forest carbon negotiations.

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