Branching Up and Out: Options for Integrating Forests into the Post-2015 Development Framework

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Forests & Lands

Today, Climate Advisers released a new analysis showing several ways forests can be integrated into the post-2015 development agenda. The paper comes as diplomats gather next week in New York for the 12th meeting of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals.

“Forests have a critical role to play in forging a better future—free of the most urgent environmental, social and economic challenges of our day,” said Climate Advisers Managing Director Abigail Jones, lead author of the report. “Despite potential near-term tradeoffs, forests can be fully integrated into the new development framework in ways that both help to end poverty and address global climate change.”

Based on the political costs and benefits of each possible path forward, Climate Advisers recommends both mainstreaming forest targets across relevant goal areas—as the OWG has done (on the right in the figure below)—and housing forest-specific targets under a standalone natural resource management goal, given the clarity, communicability, and political resonance of the “management” frame (on the left in the figure below).

The relevance of forests to the goal areas on the right are as follows:

  • Reduce by X% the incidence of morbidity and mortality from indoor and outdoor air pollution relative to 2013: Reducing dependence on wood burning will improve health and air quality while protecting forests.
  • Ensure universal access to modern energy: Substituting away from wood energy can help protect forests.
  • Ensure universal access to secure tenure for men and women, including customary rights to land and forests: Secure tenure enhances land management and forest protection.
  • Reduce by 50% post-harvest agricultural lost, marine bycatch, and food waste: Reducing waste will help close the food gap without the need to clear forests for agricultural expansion.
  • Increase by X% sustainable agricultural production on smallholder farms: Increasing agricultural production boosts food supply and can mean less need to clear forests.
  • Reduce by X% illegal deforestation and logging relative to 2013: Illegal deforestation and illegal logging deprives governments of tax revenues, and undermines communities’ rights to control their lands.

“The forest agenda must fit squarely within a pro-economic, pro-people development agenda, or it is doomed on finance. Donor country aid budgets have been strongly influenced by the international development goals,” said Climate Advisers Managing Director Michael Wolosin, co-author of the report. “That means future forest/REDD+ finance will come from aid budgets. Now is the time to prioritize it.”

Over the coming weeks and months, Climate Advisers welcomes thoughts, questions, and suggestions to improve and refine our recommendations.

Branching Up and Out: Options for Integrating Forests into the Post-2015 Development Framework
May 2014
Climate Advisers’ Managing Director Abigail Jones released a new options paper with colleague Michael Wolosin that proposes a number of ways to integrate forests into the post-2015 development agenda. Based on the political costs and benefits of each approach considered, they recommend both mainstreaming forest targets across relevant goal areas and housing forest-specific targets under a standalone natural resource management goal.

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On June 9, 2014

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