ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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No Complacency

We agree with P J Dilip Kumar, apropos article in EPW dated 24 May 2014 titled “Climate Change, Forest Carbon Sequestration and REDD Plus: The Context of India”, that a sum of $280 million committed for REDD plus through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) mechanism is absolutely insignificant. After giving a background of REDD plus as an international climate change policy instrument to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, the author has raised some basic questions about measurement of such reduction, and funding of the results-based actions. The results-based financing for REDD plus has been agreed in principle and the details are being worked out. Two channels of multi-lateral assistance are in place through the UNREDD (an organisation consisting of UNDP, UNEP and FAO) and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank which have some developing countries as partners engaged in preparedness for REDD plus. All the questions the author has raised are under active consideration through the UNFCCC process.

The author is too optimistic about the scenario in India contending that a robust policy, legal and institutional framework as well as forest management systems exist in this country and that REDD or any other mechanism will hardly add by way of improved governance. The author further raises questions about the relevance of REDD plus to India. According to him there is no net emission of greenhouse gases from India’s forest sector as there is a net increase in forest area and forests are contributing to the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The author concludes that there is little scope for REDD plus in India as steps such as Green India Mission and large-scale afforestation give a business as usual baseline which leaves little scope for additionality to get financial incentives for REDD plus. He cautions that the Indian government, especially the forest service, should not get unduly excited about REDD plus finance.

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