At the recently concluded Leaders’ Summit on Climate, Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF) Coalition, a collective of the United States, United Kingdom and Norway governments, came up with a $1 billion fund plan that shall be offered to countries committed to arrest the decline of their tropical forests by 2030.
Key Details about LEAF Coalition Initiative
- Such a financial impetus is crucial as it incentivises developing countries to capture extensive deforestation and provide livelihood opportunities to forest-dependent populations.
- A country willing to participate would need to fulfil certain predetermined conditions laid down by the Coalition.
- It is a unique initiative as it seeks to help developing countries in battling the double-edged sword of development versus ecological commitment.
- The initiative comes at a crucial time. The tropics have lost close to 12.2 million hectares (mha) of tree cover year last year according to global estimates released by Global Forest Watch, an independent monitoring platform.
- Of this, a loss of 4.2 mha occurred within humid tropical primary forests alone.
- It should come as no surprise that most of these lost forests were located in the developing countries of Latin America, Africa and South Asia.
- According to the UN-REDD programme, after the energy sector, deforestation accounts for massive carbon emissions — close to 11 per cent — in the atmosphere.
- Between 2002-2020, Brazil’s total area of humid primary forest reduced by 7.7 per cent while India’s reduced by 3.4 per cent.
- For India, this loss is equivalent to 951 metric tonnes worth carbon dioxide emissions released in the atmosphere.
- Implementation of the LEAF Coalition plan will help pump in fresh rigour among developing countries like India, that are reluctant to recognise the contributions of their forest dwelling populations in mitigating climate change. With the deadline for proposal submission fast approaching, India needs to act swiftly on a revised strategy.
- Although India has pledged to carry out its REDD+ commitments, it is impossible to do so without seeking knowledge from its forest dwelling population.
- Perhaps India can begin by taking the first step.
Back to Basics
About LEAF Coalition
It is an ambitious new public-private initiative designed to accelerate climate action by providing results-based finance to countries committed to protecting their tropical forests.
- It is an initiative with initial participation from the governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States.
- It offers the financial assurance needed for countries to start prioritizing policies and investments that reduce deforestation and protect their tropical forests.
- The LEAF Coalition empowers tropical and subtropical forest countries to move more rapidly towards ending deforestation, while supporting them in achieving their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.
About REDD+ Mechanism
- It is a mechanism developed by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
- It creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.
- Developing countries would receive results-based payments for results-based actions.
REDD+ goes beyond simply deforestation and forest degradation and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
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