NEW YORK—A new partnership with Norway and Germany is an opportunity for Peru to put in place a comprehensive, public deforestation monitoring system by the time the country hosts the UNFCCC climate meeting in December, a top forestry expert says.
On Tuesday, during the UN Climate Summit in New York, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala announced a Declaration of Intent that he said would reduce the country’s carbon emissions from deforestation and make the forest and agriculture sectors carbon-neutral by 2021.
It would be wonderful if Peru could pick its monitoring system and establish a reference level by the COP in Lima
In return, Norway has pledged to pay up to US$300 million for verified emission reductions over the next six years, with Germany continuing its current financial support and possibly adding more money depending on Peru’s results.
Daniel Nepstad, Executive Director of the Earth Innovation Institute, said on the sidelines of the Colloquium on Forests and Climate in New York this week that the agreement comes at exactly the right time.
He praised Norway’s commitments.
“I think the partnerships they’ve created have really brought a lot of synergy into climate finance for forests,” he said.
Nepstad added that the deal is a chance to quickly implement a key set of tools for reducing deforestation—forest monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV)—which, according to the Declaration of Intent, is meant to happen this year.
“It would be wonderful if Peru could pick its monitoring system and establish a reference level by the COP in Lima,” he said, referring to the 20th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties that will be held in Peru in December.
This would require setting up systems to measure the current distribution of forests in Peru, using satellite remote sensing or other data to create what are called “reference levels,” and then measuring forest cover change every year to record and publicize rates of deforestation.
“Every year, usually around the time of the COP meeting, the new numbers [on Brazilian annual forest cover change in the Amazon] come out, and it’s public—everyone’s watching the headlines, to see if it went up this year, or it went down. It’s become part of the public discourse,” he said.
BRINGING VALUE TO THE FOREST
Peru’s Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal told Forests News that the deal would bring value to the country’s forests.
“It’s very good news for Peru,” he said.
In addition to implementing MRV, the Declaration of Intent also pledges to grant land title of at least 5 million additional hectares for indigenous tribes in the Amazon; aims to reduce deforestation by 50 percent by 2017; and seeks to make the forest and agriculture sectors carbon-neutral by 2021.
“Peru is taking on some responsibilities, mostly regarding land titling, land-use change rules, monitoring of the situation of the forest, and developing reference levels,” the minister said.
“We are still discussing with the government of Germany how much money they are willing to put into this, but it is very good news because we are going to have more information based on science for what is the situation with the forest, and we are going to give to the forest at lot of value.
“For Peru, what is important is to bring value to the forest. It is not only economics—it is also the value of the culture, markets, and land tenure. So with this fund we are going to bring value to the forest.”