Tropical forests have a critical role in the prevention of dangerous climate change. Experts have estimated that reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) could provide one third of the world’s most cost-effective carbon reduction potential by 2020 while simultaneously protecting irreplaceable biodiversity and safeguarding the livelihoods of some of the poorest people on earth. The clearing of 12-15 million hectares of tropical forests per year means the REDD+ opportunity is a narrow- and closing- window of time.
During the past 5 years, dozens of conferences, hundreds of papers and billions of dollars have been devoted to accelerating REDD+. In order to judge whether REDD+ is fulﬁ lling its undoubted potential however, the two fundamental metrics by which we must judge progress are time, and scale. Assessed through such a lens, these efforts are not currently delivering what is required. Progress to date has been too slow and at a scale that simply will not meet the targets required by the science to prevent dangerous climate change.
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