Beyond Carbon Conference - Now Online

Some of the world’s leading environmental researchers meet at the University of Oxford this week to take stock of the United Nations’ policy for reducing deforestation.

Called REDD in short, the UN scheme aims to limit global warming by putting a financial value on the carbon stored in trees to make it uneconomic to cut down forests in developing countries. REDD has evolved from its initial aim of reducing deforestation to store carbon to wider promotion of local conservation, livelihoods and poverty alleviation, now called REDD+.

Speaker Recordings and Presentations

Called Beyond Carbon: Ensuring Justice and Equity in REDD+ the conference 23-24 March is focusing on the wider opportunities and benefits of forest protection. It is organised by the Environmental Change Institute and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research where researchers will present new findings from around the world including:

Rosita Worl of Sealaska

- Sealaska is a Native Corporation owned by over 20,000 tribal member shareholders guided by their traditions of environmental stewardship and positively impacting our communities. It is the largest private landowner and private employer in southeast Alaska
- Rosita will address how the Tlingit and Haida peoples utilized laws, political and legal institutions, and science to protect their land ownership and culture. She will also examine how they utilize traditional cultural values in the development of their land management practices

Professor Arun Agrawal of the University of Michigan

- There are major tensions between efforts to define REDD+ and how it is being practiced
- Given the disarray and lack of political commitment for international climate action, REDD provides opportunities for many different actors and agents. The past history of policy and program interventions suggests lessons for REDD
- Taking advantage of these opportunities to yield benefits will require greater coordination and collective action by communities, indigenous peoples, and local populations
- Coordination is likely to be more successful when it occurs on grounds of practical utility and circumstantial fit

Suneetha Subramanian of the United Nations University Japan

- Forests provide multiple benefits to different communities near and far that range from economic to cultural. These issues cannot be reduced merely to less or more carbon
- A focus on human wellbeing brings trade-offs between resources and people. The benefits and trade-offs require a view at landscape level land and might require regional co-operation

Thomas Sikor of the University of East Anglia

- REDD+ raises issues of fairness of how decisions, benefits and work are shared among owners, managers and forest peoples
- The United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change has instituted so-called safeguards to address issues of fairness. The problem with these safeguards is that it privileges carbon reductions and relegates fairness to a secondary role neglecting other concerns of forest people around the world

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