At the Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen in 2009, one outcome was a commitment to developing a mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing carbon stocks (REDD+).
There is, however, only a limited research basis for such a mechanism particularly with regard to the need to understand and monitor the impact of REDD+ activities on climate effectiveness, cost efficiency, equity and co-benefits.
I-REDD+ is approaching these challenges from a truly interdisciplinary perspective. The overall objective is to obtain an improved understanding of how the implementation of REDD+ mechanisms:
1) Reduce emissions of GHGs and maintain or enhance existing stocks of carbon in vegetation and soil of various land cover types;
2) Impact the livelihoods and welfare of local farming communities and differences between communities;
3) Impact biodiversity conservation; and
4) Provide a realistic framework for monitoring, reporting on, and verifying REDD+, including the importance of governance and accountability at multiple levels.
To complement other research initiatives, we are working in the uplands of Southeast Asia in Kalimantan, Indonesia; in the northern parts of Lao PDR and Vietnam; and in Yunnan in southwest China.
The partners in I-REDD+ are leading research institutions in Europe and Southeast Asia, international research organizations, a non-governmental organization and a small- to medium-sized enterprise. This consortium is placing strong emphasis on local dissemination and capacity development in order to ensure that project results influence REDD+ policy development at local, national and global levels.