Executive Summary: Draft Recommendations to Conserve Tropical Rainforests, Protect Local Communities and Reduce State-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions



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The REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) Offset Working Group was established in February 2011 as a result of a memorandum of understanding signed in November of 2010 between the Governors of California, Chiapas and Acre as part of a collaborative  effort to reduce emissions from global deforestation and degradation.  

ROW, which includes state representatives and technical experts, who serve in their personal capacities, is examining three central questions with input from stakeholders: (1) what legal and institutional mechanisms are required to enable California to recognize international REDD-based emission offsets for compliance purposes; (2) what are the key policy considerations a sectoral REDD program should address to achieve the level of performance needed for California to recognize the REDD-based offsets for compliance purposes; and (3) what should be the bases for judging the performance of the states in reducing carbon removals from forests?  

ROW was tasked with the development of a set of recommendations regarding the design of compliance-grade jurisdictional REDD+ programs and options for linking these programs with the California system.  This draft report is the result of the ROW’s efforts over the last two years.  It discusses a broad range of issues, including 

• design elements of compliance-grade REDD+ programs such as the scope of eligible REDD+ activities, reference levels and additionality, crediting pathways, registry infrastructure, statelevel accounting, and systems for measurement monitoring, reporting, and verification; 

• legal and institutional issues associated with efforts to link GHG reduction efforts in subnational jurisdictions in foreign countries; and 

• social and environmental safeguards. 

The release of this draft report is intended to initiate an open dialogue with all interested stakeholders on the options for linking jurisdictional REDD+ programs with the California cap-and-trade system. To that effect, the ROW will host a series of public workshops through April 2013 to address the issues and recommendations elaborated in this draft report and welcomes any comments or suggestions. Based on feedback received, the ROW intends to publish a final, revised report for submission to the Governments of Acre, California, and Chiapas by Summer 2013.