From euphoria to reality on efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)

  • Robin B. MatthewsEmail author
  • Meine van Noordwijk


The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently published its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) which concluded that warming of the earth’s climate is now unequivocal, and that it is clear that this is due to emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from human activities, particularly from the last half of the 20th century onwards (IPCC 2013). Atmospheric concentrations of the GHGs, which include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), are higher than any time over the last 650,000 years. Rapid increases in the emissions, especially in Asia, of short-lived gases such as sulphur dioxide that have a net cooling effect may temporarily slow down the warming, but are no structural solution (Kaufmann et al. 2011; Klimont et al. 2013).

While fossil fuel use remains the dominant concern, conversion of forests into agricultural land is also a major source of GHG emissions. Currently, a gross figure of 13 million ha of forests are lost annually,...


Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation REDD+ Indonesia Vietnam Cameroon Peru Peatlands Carbon stocks Greenhouse gases GHGs 


  1. Eliasch J (2008) Climate change: financing global forests: the Eliasch review. UK Government Office of Climate Change, London, 250 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. FAO (2010) Global forest resources assessment 2010. FAO Forestry Paper 163. Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome, 340 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. IPCC (2013) Summary for policymakers. In: Stocker TF, Qin D, Plattner G-K, Tignor M, Allen SK, Boschung J, Nauels A, Xia Y, Bex V, Midgley PM (eds) Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USAGoogle Scholar
  4. Kaufmann RK, Kauppi H, Mann ML, Stock JH (2011) Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(29):11790–11793Google Scholar
  5. Klimont Z, Smith SJ, Cofala J (2013) The last decade of global anthropogenic sulfur dioxide: 2000–2011 emissions. Environ Res Lett 8:014003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Le Quéré C, Raupach MR, Canadell JG, Marland G, Bopp L, Ciais P et al (2009) Trends in the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide. Nat Geosci 2:831–836CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Mollicone D, Freibauer A, Schultze ED, Braatz S, Grassi G, Federici S (2007) Elements for the expected mechanisms on ‘reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation, REDD’ under UNFCCC. Environ Res Lett 2, 045024, 7 ppCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Putz FE, Zuidema PA, Pinard MA, Boot RGA, Sayer JA, Sheil D (2008) Improved tropical forest management for carbon retention. PLoS Biol 6:e166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Santilli M, Moutinho P, Schwartzman S, Nepstad DC, Curran LM, Nobre CA (2005) Tropical deforestation and the Kyoto Protocol: an editorial essay. Clim Chang 71:267–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Stern N (2007) The economics of climate change: the Stern review. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 692 ppGoogle Scholar
  11. van der Werf GR, Morton DC, DeFries RS, Olivier JGJ, Kasibhatla PS, Jackson RB et al (2009) CO2 emissions from forest loss. Nat Geosci 2:737–738CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.James Hutton InstituteAberdeenUK
  2. 2.World Agroforestry CentreBogorIndonesia

Personalised recommendations