REDD+ No Substitute for Deep Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Cuts, Secretary-General Stresses in Remarks to Indonesia Meeting on Deforestation, Climate Change

17 November 2011

REDD+ No Substitute for Deep Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Cuts, Secretary-General Stresses in Remarks to Indonesia Meeting on Deforestation, Climate Change

17 November 2011
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

REDD+ No Substitute for Deep Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Cuts, Secretary-General


Stresses in Remarks to Indonesia Meeting on Deforestation, Climate Change


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks on climate change and REDD+ in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, on 17 November:

Deforestation threatens our planet’s climate.  It threatens national economic development.  But first and foremost, it threatens people and communities.  Their subsistence, income, culture and way of life depend on healthy forests.  I was very much impressed by the wide and deep forests I saw from the plane.  They are a common asset for the whole international community.

Kalimantan has extensive forest cover and peatland.  Many of its inhabitants are custodians of an invaluable wealth of forest-based knowledge.  Yet these men and women — and these precious ecosystems — are under threat from the global demand for palm oil, timber, minerals and other commodities.

Central Kalimantan’s rich biological and cultural diversity made it an obvious choice as the pilot province selected by the Indonesian Government for the REDD+ programme.  Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation aims to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests.  It provides added incentive for Governments and local communities to preserve and sustainably manage them.  Thanks to REDD+, you can help the world while benefiting yourselves.

I welcome the Government of Indonesia’s leadership on climate change and REDD+ and I thank [Indonesian] President [Susilo Bambang] Yudhoyono for his very strong and visionary leadership, and Governor [Teras] Nerang [of Kalimantan] for his leadership.  I also express my gratitude to the Government of Norway for its generous backing.

Today, I will open the United Nations Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia, which we abbreviate as UNORCID.  And I will meet with representatives of some of the communities — ethnic, indigenous communities — affected by deforestation and land clearance.  We will discuss the benefits of REDD+.  Above all, I will listen to the concerns of those on the frontlines who are also our first line of defence.

As we move ahead with REDD+, and for the initiative to be a success, it will be crucial to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of the communities who depend on forest resources.  I am aware that there is misunderstanding, apprehension and opposition about REDD+.  Indigenous people, in particular, are concerned that REDD+ is associated with unsustainable extractive industries that harm their well-being.  Making REDD+ a success here in Kalimantan, and elsewhere, will require the commitment and cooperation of all stakeholders.  We must ensure that all have a voice.  This is a crucial test for REDD+ and for Indonesia.

The United Nations will do its part to help this groundbreaking partnership realize its potential.  We have begun by establishing the UNORCID office.  We are consulting with the Government and civil society on improving forest governance and anti-corruption.  We are working to measure and understand the physical environment and the social implications of REDD+ so we can adjust our efforts as they unfold.  We will facilitate environmental and social safeguards.  And we will help to establish green schools, and work on forest fire prevention and sustainable plantations.  In sum, our work will benefit local people while helping to address the global problem of climate change.

Globally, deforestation accounts for some 17 per cent of global carbon emissions, the second largest source after the energy sector.  Each hectare of forest lost or degraded adds to global greenhouse gas emissions.  We cannot keep global temperature rise below 2° Celsius from preindustrial levels without reducing emissions from the forestry sector.

This understanding is the basis of the UN REDD programme and REDD+.  REDD+ can be a win-win-win for local communities, for Indonesia and the world.  But let me be clear, while REDD+ can play an effective role in engaging developing countries in the global fight against climate change, it is not a substitute for deep greenhouse-gas emission reductions in developed countries.  It is complementary.

Last year’s agreement on REDD+ in Cancún gave the world one of the major components of the “implementation architecture” needed to move forward in climate negotiations.  Next month, Government delegations will meet again in Durban.  Durban must complete what was agreed last year in Cancún.  The unresolved issues are critical and complex.  Compromise and common sense will be crucial.

Governments must ensure that an adaptation framework and mechanisms for technology transfer are up and running as soon as possible.  Durban also must advance our response to the needs of countries that are particularly affected by extreme climate events.  Countries also need to clarify the future of the Kyoto Protocol.  In addition, we have to launch the Green Climate Fund agreed in Cancún and forge an understanding on short- and long-term climate change financing.

There was a $30 billion promise in Copenhagen in 2009.  We have so far identified $27 billion.  We need to fill the gap, and we need a clear understanding on how the developed world will generate $100 billion per annum by 2020.

We still have a long way to go to avert dangerous climate change.  But the work you are doing here can serve as an example to the world of what can be achieved with the appropriate will and adequate support.

I salute the government and people of Central Kalimantan for embracing REDD+.  You are pioneers in a movement that can reverse deforestation and land degradation.  You, the people of Kalimantan, can show us how to change the face of our planet.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.