- Issue: Fall 2015
When trees are illegally or irresponsibly logged, forest ecosystems are weakened. Their ability to store carbon, shelter wildlife, filter water, and to provide food, products, and jobs for people is compromised. Global forest loss also leads to more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—more than comes from all cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships in the world. But when forests thrive, they absorb carbon dioxide—and slow climate change.
REDD+ By providing financial incentives to countries that measurably reduce forest loss, the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program keeps trees standing—at an unprecedented scale.
Forests are one of the largest storehouses of carbon. REDD+ helps create a world in which carbon emissions are reduced and people can more easily adapt to climate change.
FORESTS UNDER SIEGE
Forests are being chipped away by a thousand cuts—due to agricultural expansion, unsustainable logging, extractive industries like mining, and the roads that open forested lands to development.
A GLOBAL EFFORT
REDD+ takes all of the strategies WWF uses to protect forests and magnifies them.
- Conservation is done at a very large scale
- Climate-related conservation benefits are quantified
- Results-based payments are offered as incentives
Today, WWF's role includes helping to get funding earmarked for REDD+ programs, creating and implementing REDD+ strategies, and tackling the main drivers of deforestation and degradation.
STRATEGIES TO HELP FORESTS THRIVE
WWF has been protecting forests for decades. We’ve conducted research into their importance, helped create new protected areas, and fostered community and corporate efforts to maximize their value for nature and people.
- Create and expand protected areas systems
- Increase enforcement to prevent illegal logging
- Direct new agricultural production away from forests and toward already degraded lands
- Strengthen and expand the use of responsible forest and agriculture management practices
- Support strong ecotourism models
- Strengthen land and resource tenure and forest governance
- Incentivize land-use planning and policy measures
- Support Indigenous Peoples and help them secure the right to manage their own lands
The Domino Effect Protecting forests does much more than just keep trees standing. Forests are the lungs of the planet. They serve as home, market, apothecary and bank.
REDD+ recognizes and respects the rights of forest-dependent indigenous and local communities, and contributes to equitable development by strengthening their access to, and ownership of, sustainable economic opportunities.
The more forests there are to store carbon, the less greenhouse gas there is to contribute to ocean acidification and to other changes in climate that raise sea levels and water temperatures, and degrade marine ecosystems.
REDD+ helps maintain and enhance biodiversity within forests, where more than 80% of terrestrial species live.
Well-managed natural forests almost always provide higher-quality water, which is key to improving the sustainability of freshwater systems in the world’s major river basins.