Before carbon is counted, policy indicators offer way to measure REDD+ progress

9 September 2014

BOGOR, Indonesia — Countries can measure their progress in REDD+ by assessing their policy environment, even if supportive governance structures are not in place and they aren’t ready to measure their carbon emission reductions, a recent study shows.

The idea of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) is to encourage developing countries to keep their forests standing by placing a financial value on the carbon in trees, with payments from wealthier countries made based on measurable results.

Carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation account for more than 10 percent of the global total, so cutting these emissions is essential for mitigating climate change and its dangerous impacts.

But despite the emphasis on measuring carbon, keeping trees standing begins with getting governance and policies into shape, argue the study’s authors, and that process can — and should — be measured too.

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