Can REDD forests ever become green? Social and other safeguards are needed if REDD initiatives are to cut GHG emissions while doing no harm and benefiting indigenous peoples.
Deforestation, especially of tropical forests, makes up 18 percent of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — more emissions than the entire global transportation sector.
REDD initiatives aim to reduce GHG emissions by assigning forests a monetary value based on their capacity to absorb and store atmospheric carbon. REDD+ initiatives attempt to incorporate additional sources of forest value, such as ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, and local livelihoods.
Both REDD and REDD+ approaches feed into carbon markets that are supposed to generate significant financial flows from companies with high degrees of GHG emissions in developed countries toward less polluting, carbon-neutral or carbon-negative activities in developing countries.
United Nations University (2012)