National Wildlife Federation just signed on to the following summary of REDD, put together by the Tropical Forests and Climate Coalition.
“What is REDD?
Safeguarding forests is a cost-effective and common sense way to decrease the amount of carbon in our atmosphere, while also protecting habitat for wildlife. Healthy forests absorb carbon, while destruction of tropical forests causes up to 20% of the world’s annual global warming emissions. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is a policy approach that is emerging in global climate talks and in US legislation as the best way to reduce carbon emissions from the loss of forests and conserve tropical biodiversity on a large scale.
REDD policies can establish economic incentives for large-scale tropical forest conservation by valuing standing forests for their ability to protect the climate through storing vast amounts of carbon. In addition, efforts can be made to reduce carbon emissions that result from “degradation,” or the gradual thinning of forests, which is often a pre-cursor to deforestation. Without such incentives for conservation, the powerful economic forces that drive deforestation will continue to cause people to convert living forest to timber, charcoal, pasture and cropland.