Climate protection through avoided deforestation
Title: Climate protection through avoided deforestation (CliPAD)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE)
Overall term: 2014 to 2018
Forests are significant carbon reservoirs. Globally, around 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed each year, releasing large quantities of greenhouse gases. Avoiding deforestation and forest degradation can make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change.
Laos is rich in natural resources such as water, minerals and forests. While it still has one of the highest rates of forest cover on the Southeast Asian mainland (47 per cent), the forests have nevertheless diminished dramatically in recent decades, having fallen from an estimated 70 per cent of the overall land surface in the mid-1960s.
Among the causes of forest loss are unsustainable logging practices, shifting cultivation and infrastructure development. Its consequences include extensive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiversity loss, the lower availability of forest products and a decline in the environmental benefits that forests provide (water and soil protection, etc.). The people worst affected by these developments are those in the poorest sections of Lao society, especially women and ethnic minorities who depend on the intact forests for their livelihoods.
REDD stands for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. It is an effort to place a financial value on the carbon stored in forests, and it provides incentives for developing countries to reduce their emissions from forested lands and to invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. ‘REDD+’ goes further than REDD alone by including the role of conservation, the sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks. In short, it involves various activities using financial and in-kind incentives to encourage people to stop cutting down forests.
Stakeholders in forest conservation (the rural population, forest authorities, private sector) benefit from improved conditions for sustainable forest management and REDD+ measures. This is underpinned by the appropriate policy and institutional frameworks, and initial implementation strategies at national and sub-national levels.