What is REDD+?
REDD+ is a voluntary climate change mitigation framework that has been developed by Parties to the UNFCCC. REDD stands for “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation”; the “+” signifies the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
REDD+ is incorporated in the Paris Agreement under Article 5. It holds a special position within the international climate policy. Where most measures are only aimed at reducing CO2-emissions, REDD+ also protects biodiversity and the livelihoods of local people. REDD+ provides a framework to organize rainforest conservation projects around the world. At the moment this is still on a voluntary basis, but it is expected that REDD+ will be incorporated in mandatory systems over time.
How does REDD+ work?
As a concept, REDD is simple. It concerns payments to parties in developing countries that prevent deforestation or forest degradation that would otherwise have taken place. One of the main sources of such funding comes from carbon trading, where actors in industrialised countries offset their own unavoidable emissions by purchasing carbon credits from REDD+ projects on a voluntary basis.
The money is used for forest conservation and a more sustainable use the forests (say, through more appropriate harvesting of wood and other forest products). In many REDD+ projects the money is also used to improve the use of the surrounding agricultural area, which further reduces the pressure on the forest. In order to guarantee the quality of the credits, most companies, including the members of RBI, only purchase certified credits from the widely used Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community& Biodiversity Standard (CCBS).
Next to this agreements with governments are needed to properly embed (nest) the project in national forest and climate policy in order to make sure that:
- Forest conservation in one place cannot be associated with additional forest loss elsewhere;
- Forest gain and loss is monitored in the context of the climate convention.
What is the REDD+ Business Initiative (RBI)?
The REDD+ Business Initiative (RBI) is a non-commercial initiative with the aim to mobilize businesses to voluntary use certified carbon credits from REDD+ projects to offset their unavoidable carbon emissions. By doing so our company members help safeguard undisturbed rainforests for their huge CO2 storage capacity, their wealth of biodiversity and the ecosystem services they deliver to local and global communities.
As most REDD+ projects are not only based on the sale of carbon credits but also on the sale of sustainable commodities, also companies that wish to purchase such commodities from REDD+ projects are welcome as members of RBI.
RBI aims to contribute to the further development of REDD+ and the still fragmented voluntary carbon market in a practical way, highlighting good practices and solutions rather than focussing on problems.
The purposes of the REDD+ Business Initiative and it’s mode of operation are secured in a Memorandum of Understanding, signed in the Spring of 2020.
How does the RBI distinguish itself from similar initiatives?
The REDD+ Business Initiative is complementary to other initiatives in the sense that it is:
- Encourages participation from companies in all sectors, not just energy or agriculture;
- Is comprehensive; it focuses not only on reducing the pressure on the forest, but also on giving the intact forest itself economic value;
- Focuses on all stakeholders; not only the private sector and the local population, but also policy makers;
- Gives direct access to credits without intermediaries.
What are the benefits for your company to join RBI?
By joining RBI you will get support for integrating REDD+ in your business strategy, resulting in:
- Concrete, measurable results on climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation and the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals;
- Access to the rapidly growing voluntary carbon market;
- Direct interaction with the most important actors in this field (NGOs, NL & EU Governments);
- An international stage to present your company as part of a powerful coalition.
By participating in the RBI you realize multiple sustainability goals at once. You combat climate change, preserve global biodiversity of global importance and strengthen the local economy in developing countries.
The CO2-credits you purchase for offsetting your unavoidable CO2-emissions can help your company to quickly realize targets like carbon neutrality. This comes, on top of measures to reduce your company’s own GHG-emissions and those in your supply chain, not instead of it.
You don’t do this alone, but together with other like-minded companies. Together we draw attention to the importance practical action on forest conservation in the tropics as part of the global climate policy. As member of a leading business co-operation on REDD+, you can profile yourself internationally. The green profile of your company will get more content and coherence, which is also motivating for your customers and your employees.
How do I become a member, what are the conditions?
To join us follow this link.
I don’t want to become a member, is there another way to support RBI?
If you support the mission of RBI, demonstrably invest in REDD+ and want to make this public, but do not want to join RBI as a member, you can register as supporter.
You will then be included in the external statements of the RBI, including the size of your purchases.
What does the Tambopata Flagship project of RBI involve?
For more information on the Flagship projects follow this link.