REDD+: Germany’s pioneering role in the fight against deforestation and for climate protection

Berlin, August 31, 2023 – Climate change has long since become a global challenge that threatens our environment and livelihoods. Among the many approaches, the German government has taken the lead by supporting the REDD+ program to combat deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. This is a certified standard that focuses not only on forest protection, but also on social and environmental benefits.

REDD+, which stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, has the ambitious goal of curbing global deforestation while reducing CO2 emissions. Unlike other carbon certification standards, such as the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) or the Gold Standard, REDD+ focuses specifically on forest conservation. The idea behind it is as simple as it is ingenious: financial incentives are to be used to encourage developing countries to protect their forests and manage them sustainably.

A prominent advantage of the REDD+ program is its performance-based nature. Companies and countries that support the program are rewarded for measurable and verifiable emissions reductions. This is done by assigning a monetary value to the carbon dioxide sequestered in the forest. In this way, forests are given the weight they deserve in an economic context and become an active part of global climate protection measures.

The German government recognizes the importance of this program and its goals. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) are actively promoting REDD+ projects. This financial support enables developing countries to build the structures and institutions they urgently need to protect their forests.

Although REDD+ has already made tangible progress in many partner countries, the challenge of deforestation and forest degradation remains. Behind these environmental problems are often indirect causes such as inadequate governance and unclear land use rights. The REDD+ program therefore not only takes the approach of direct emissions reduction, but also seeks to address the roots of these problems to ensure long-term success.

The international community recognizes the importance of REDD+, and Germany has been instrumental in advancing the program through its unique efforts. While the initial expectation to reduce emissions in the forest sector has not yet been fully realized, German actors have shaped the REDD+ concept internationally and brought much-needed attention to forests, indigenous peoples, and rural communities. At a time when the urgency of climate protection is becoming increasingly apparent, the German government’s support for the REDD+ program demonstrates a pioneering initiative. By not only focusing on its own emission reductions, but also promoting global forest conservation measures, Germany is contributing to a sustainable future – for us and for future generations.

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