With the increasing perception that catastrophic climate change is not just a wild figment of the imagination but a very real possibility, governments and policy makers are searching desperately for effective solutions that are palatable enough to be sold to their electorates. It is not surprising then that a new policy in discussion under the UNFCCC, REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries), by which reductions in emissions related to deforestation in tropical countries would be rewarded through valuation of the carbon saved, has been embraced with enthusiasm by a wide range of Parties, official observers and the general public (Economist 2009). REDD has already expanded somewhat, now also including forest enhancement, sustainable forest management and forest conservation, under the rubric REDD+. This seems to be an all round winner: cheap carbon reductions (as evidenced by the well-received report of the Stern Commission (2007)), with multiple additional environmental benefits, requiring forest policies and management measures selected by each participating country in line with its own long run objectives for forest management and conservation, and with the potential for participation and benefit sharing by a large number of developing countries and local stakeholders.
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