“It is clear we need to continue to include the land use in future agreements,” a representative read on behalf of the President. “This week we have the opportunity to have an open dialog on the land sector. We can send a strong signal that the land sector is important to all parties of the conference… The outcomes of this meeting will be shared with the COP President and ADP co-chairs.”
“Humankind is dependent on productive land resources,” the delegate from Finland explained. “Without the ability of trees and other vegetation, we would have already missed out ability to meet our 2° goal. This sector is too significant to be ignored.”
The Indonesian co-chair emphasized the importance of rural livelihoods to the economies and sustainability of many nations and protecting the rights of forest-dwelling and indigenous peoples.
Many countries stated that REDD+ is an important mechanism (Mozambique, Slovenia, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Uganda, Brazil, and Gabon). There were nuances in the statements made regarding mechanisms for the land use sector in the future. Many emphasized the need for a REDD+ agreement with an established measurement, reporting, and verification system in the upcoming 2015 agreement, recommending that it be incorporated in the ADP negotiations (Namibia, Mexico, Ireland, Norway, and France).
- The need for technical and financial support, and calling on Annex I countries to meet their commitments in this realm (Philippines, Uganda, Kenya, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, Slovenia, Norway)
- Simplicity (USA, Russia, Canada, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Slovenia, Japan)
- Flexibility (USA, Norway, Japan, and Gabon)
Themes that reflected some of the wisdom from the Global Landscapes Conference included:
- Include both mitigation and adaptation; land sector projects have a strong synergy with both (Philippines, Portugal, Lithuania, Bolivia, Ireland, Austria, Gabon)
- Take a holistic approach (Lithuania, Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, New Zealand, Austria)
- Use local methods, connect the grassroots to national policies, support for Traditional Ecological Knowledge for adaptation and mitigation (Philippines, Brazil, Kenya, Namibia)
Indonesia, Bolivia, Ecuador and the Philippines all spoke to the need to protect indigenous rights. Indonesia in particular sees REDD+ as an opportunity to benefit indigenous peoples. Canada spoke of “aboriginal involvement” but stopped short of mentioning rights or protecting indigenous lands.
Some very unique statements included Belarus’s emphasis that soils, and wetland/peatland rewetting, needed to be included; Sweden’s desire to link the land sector with energy sector, particularly in terms of biofuels; New Zealand and Ireland’s concerns that inclusion of agriculture not be detrimental to their agriculture-based economies; and Bolivia’s criticism of market-based approaches as “further commodification of Mother Earth”. More on this later.