17 March 2014
The second National Consultative Workshop on an international plan to limit carbon emissions from forests loss and degradation was held in Harare a week ago, as Zimbabwe seeks strategies for tapping into the growing lucrative market for carbon trading.
In September 2008, the UN established the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) Programme as part of the wider global goal of cutting production of climate change-causing gases. Zimbabwe joined REDD last year.
Under that programme falls the REDD plus or REDD+, a carbon-based compensation mechanism for projects that result in reduced carbon emissions or enhancing carbon sinks or both in tropical forests.
Although Zimbabwe loses an unsustainable 50 million trees per year, according to the Forestry Commission, no public REDD+ projects are running, missing out on benefits that save forests, limit emissions and improve livelihoods for communities that depend on forests.
Now, the country has begun steps to build capacity and improve readiness for implementing REDD+ initiatives.
There is, however, a successful private REDD+ project, which covers four rural district councils currently running in Kariba and close to selling its credits on the international carbon market
The Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate workshop on March 6 and 7 resolved that Zimbabwe needed a strong REDD+ office at the Forestry Commission to drive the plan and create a credible inventory on the state of forests.
The meeting was facilitated by the Bio-Hub Trust in Harare, a coalition of six local and international NGOs, who are consulting for the Ministry on REDD+.
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