Over 90 legislators from more than 30 countries participated in the Forest Legislation Session of the GLOBE 2nd Climate Legislation Summit at the World Bank, Washington DC on February 28, 2014. The GLOBE Forest Legislation Initiative is a separate strand of GLOBE's work; however given the relevance of forests/REDD+ to climate change, the coverage of forest legislation in the Climate Legislation Study, and the strong interest of legislators in this topic, a separate forest session was held at the DC Summit.
Emissions from deforestation and land use change account for up to 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions halting deforestation and legislating for reduced emissions from the forest sector is a key priority in the climate change strategies of many countries. Halting deforestation can also contribute to climate change adaptation and reduced vulnerability in the face of more intense and more frequent extreme weather events.
Mr Murray Collins, one of the co-authors of the 4th Edition of the GLOBE Climate Legislation Study, presented the findings of the study related to forest and REDD+ legislation, demonstrating that approaches are multi-fold, and that the co-benefits of REDD legislation are many.
His presentation concluded that:
- 50 out of the 66 countries covered by the study have adopted some form of forest or land use legislation that addresses climate change
- REDD+ approaches include:
- Macro-economic restructuring (Guyana)
- Fundamental changes, deep ecology (Bolivia, Ecuador)
- Incorporation into development strategies
- Forest land supply regulation (Indonesia)
- Protected area development (Gabon, Ecuador)
- Timber supply regulation (Gabon)
- Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) & market-based solutions.
Mexican Congresswoman Lourdes Lopez presented the successful legislative reforms to the Mexican Law on Sustainable Forest Development, passed with the aid of GLOBE Mexico in 2012, and presented a number of key areas of reform that are currently being pursued, including REDD+-related reforms/forest inventories, land rights issues and land use planning, sustainable forest management, community forest management, and integrated management for sustainable rural development. These areas will all facilitate the implementation of REDD+.
Honourable Joseph Ipalaka, Member of the DRC National Assembly, presented an overview of the DRC's efforts to tackle climate change, with the implementation of and legislative preparedness for REDD+_ being a key part of this strategy. Legislators have developed a road map for legislative reform for REDD+ with the support of GLOBE, and will be viewing to amend the Forest Code to incorporate REDD and other provisions in 2014.
Representative Susan Yap from the Philippines, Chairperson of the Reforestation Committee of the Philippine Congress, highlighted the role of forests in the context of climate change adaptation and building resilience. Representative Yap highlighted several recent developments related to REDD+ legislation in the Philippines, including the national Climate Change Act of 2009 and an Executive Order providing a moratorium on logging. Further legislative proposals to enhance REDD+ preparedness will be debated in Congress in 2014, including an Act to protect, conserve, utilize, develop and sustainably manage forest resources, and an Act providing for the protection, rehabilitation, and sustainable management of forest ecosystems.
Legislators from other countries including Peru, Ecuador, Pakistan and Bangladesh contributed to the discussions during the forest session, presenting some of their national objectives and challenges related to legislation for sustainable forest management and REDD as part of their wider climate change and sustainable development strategies.
Deputy Loudes Lopez from Mexico addressing the 2nd GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit