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Tanzania: Norway to organize Oslo climate conference

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Issue date: 
May 20, 2010
Publisher Name: 
Daily News Tanzania
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A MAJOR global conference to form the first real genuine partnership to fight climate change through Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries will be held in Oslo, Norway later this month.

The conference which is expected to be attended by the Minister of State at Vice President's Office responsible for the Environment, Dr Batilda Buriani, will be hosted by the Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg.

In a statement today, the Norwegian Minister for Environment, Jon Berg said the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference will aim at achieving effective, transparent and coordinated action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through REDD.

''By establishing the first global, sector wide, transparent, significantly funded and coordinated fast action climate change partnership, the conference could be a major milestone in the efforts of the international community to combat global warming,'' Mr. Berg said.

At the same time, it could provide important input to the formal negotiations on REDD+ and serve as a stepping stone to a successful outcome on REDD+ in Mexico in December, he added.

Norway is the largest single donor to the REDD initiative which seeks to compensate villagers who maintain forests and plant trees which help absorb carbon dioxide blamed for global warming.

The establishment of a REDD+ partnership would be in line with decisions taken by the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which has encouraged the members to undertake coordinated efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

The Norwegian government has already allocated NOK 41.4 (approx. 7.8bn/-) through REDD initiative to support Tanzania's preparedness to benefit from the initiative. One of the beneficiaries of the Norwegian support is Kilwa based Mpingo Conservation Project.

MCP's International Coordinator, Steve Ball told 'Daily News' recently that under REDD initiative, villagers in the country will get payment for not cutting down trees to meet their energy needs.

''Stopping deforestation would therefore make a big difference to our ability to avert catastrophic climate change, as well as have obvious other co-benefits for biodiversity conservation,'' Mr. Ball said.

It is expected that an international treaty for trading in carbon credits secured through REDD activities will come into force from 1st Jan 2013 when the existing Kyoto Protocol is due to expire.

Countries such as Tanzania which have substantial forest cover but high rates of deforestation are expected to benefit from this new market. The Norwegian government is thus putting substantial resources into assisting the government of Tanzania to become 'REDD ready' by2013.

''As part of this drive the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tanzania is funding a series of pilot projects being implemented by various Tanzanian NGOs around the country. The Mpingo Conservation Project is leading one such coalition,'' Ball noted.

The MCP plans to use verified carbon offsets, probably sold on the voluntary market, to cover the significant transaction costs which the project incurred in expanding existing model of participatory forestry management plus forest certification to new villages and new forests, thus bringing the financial benefits of forest certification to more communities in south-eastern Tanzania.

Mpingo Conservation Project  (MCP), PDF 1,6 MB



Extpub | by Dr. Radut