JOIN THE DISCUSSION: How can youth ensure that REDD+ initiatives address oil palm expansion?

This article posts during GLF 2014. See in English | Espanol

Amidst a changing climate, deforestation due to conversion of lands into various uses contributes to almost 17-20% of greenhouse gas emissions. One way or another, we all are part of the problem, however, at the Global Landscape Forum in Lima, we’re turning the tables by being part of the solution.

We want to hear your thoughts and insights about how we can be part of the solution to the problems we’re facing. We encourage you to take a look at the questions below and write a comment at the bottom of this blogpost that can help us find collaborative and creative solutions to address climate change problems.

Countries as diverse as Indonesia, Brazil, the Congo Basin, Malaysia, and Peru all have something in common: tropical forests and shifting landscapes. Due to the increasing demand for food, fuel and forest products, these countries are experiencing unprecedented land-use changes.

By far, the biggest driver of land use change is agricultural expansion. And for the countries mentioned above, oil palm is one of the biggest players. Palm oil plantations are already occupying over 11 million hectares and are expanding rapidly, having major impacts on global emissions and biodiversity.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, the Congo Basin and Peru also have something else in common. They’ve all committed to a climate finance mechanism that has aims to reduce emissions from the forest sector and mitigate impacts of climate change. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

Billions of dollars have been pledged to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). Here’s a 3 minute animation introducing the REDD+ mechanism:

You would probably think that as a mechanism designed to tackle emissions from forest clearing, REDD+ would be focused on the largest cause of forests clearing — Oil palm.

But REDD+ initiatives have largely failed to address the expansion of oil palm plantations. We want to know why this is and what youth can do about it.

Help us find out by posting your thoughts on this question in the comments box at the end of this blogpost:

Q: What might be the main reasons that REDD+ is not really addressing oil palm expansion?

We (Rizza Karen Veridiano and Gabriel Yarleque) will take your responses to an interactive workshop at the Global Landscapes Forum youth session in Peru to more deeply explore how climate mitigation mechanisms such as REDD+ can better address agricultural drivers of deforestation. We’ll also be looking at how young people can become more engaged in these activities.

After the discussion, Claudio Castro will be pitching recommendations to a panel of experts who hopefully can help us take these forward to inform future REDD+ management plans.

We’re looking forward on your insights and innovative solutions and hopefully translate these into concrete actions during the Global Landscapes Forum!

Karen, Gabriel and Claudio