COP21: We can reduce deforestation and forest degradation dramatically

Innlegg holdt av politisk rådgiver Jens Frølich Holte under UN-REDDs side-arrangement på COP21, Paris, 8. desember 2015 (sjekkes mot framføring)

First of all, I would like to thank the UN-REDD Secretariat for organizing this event. I would also like to apologise that Minister Sundtoft was not able to attend. 

But as you may be know, she has responsibilities in driving the climate discussions forward and to, hopefully, a successful conclusion. 

There is more carbon stored in forests than in the world's atmosphere. 

Reducing deforestation -- while at the same time allowing forests to grow, regenerate and be replanted -- can contribute to one third of the climate change solution the next two decades. 

The alarming high rates of deforestation need to be reversed. 

Deforestation ruins the home of people living in the forests. It endangers and often make unique plants and animals extinct. And it disturbs the circulation of water, which the global production of food depends on. 

Through concerted international effort, we can reduce deforestation and forest degradation dramatically, and achieve large emission reductions quickly. 

The UN-REDD is a wonderful example of a massive joint undertaking responding to a common need and acting together towards a common objective. 

Currently, the UN-REDD is involved in over 60 forested developing countries. 

Brick by brick – the programme assist countries with capacity-building, policy development, institutional changes, consultation process and the application of safeguards – building a robust foundation for realising REDD+.   

This foundation will help countries addressing the drivers of deforestation more effectively. It will help in monitoring, reporting and verifying emissions reductions. Ultimately, it will enable REDD-countries to receive payments for their national efforts. 

With support from the UN-REDD, countries like Colombia, Mexico, the Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Vietnam, Indonesia and others are taking the next step. They are moving from strategies to implementation, investing in policies and measures to transform their forest economies. 

In 2008, former Norwegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon launched the UN-REDD programme, referring to it as a “pioneering initiative”. 

In 2015, 7 years after, this government fully subscribe to the importance of the REDD-agenda. That is why we in 2015 will contribute with more than 20 million USD to the programme.   

The UN-REDD programme is at a cross-roads. I understand there is a difference of opinion on what route to take. 

In our view, the provision of tailor made support that help countries deliver on the Warsaw decision should be a priority. 

Targeted support from the UN-REDD programme to forest countries that have demonstrated political will -- and advanced on the REDD agenda -- is much needed.   

There is no shortage of demand, as countries increasingly take an interest in performance-based financing mechanisms.

This progress is partly much due to the value of the skilled, specialized and dedicated assistance the UN-REDD programme provides. 

But above all, it is a result of the many forest countries taking full ownership of the REDD-agenda, which now is considered key to their low-carbon development strategies. 

I look forward to learn more from the REDD-countries tonight, and wish the UN-REDD programme and its partners the best of luck in your future endeavors. 

Thank you.