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REDD+ Dictionary
E3E+ The 3E+ criteria refer to effectiveness, efficiency, equity and co-benefits and are used in the climate debate to assess proposed options and their expected outcomes or to evaluate actual outcomes.
Access and benefit-sharing (ABS) refers to the way in which genetic resources may be accessed, and how the benefits that result from their use are shared between the people or countries using the resources (users) and the people or countries that provide them (providers)
Adaptation Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities (IPCC, 2001a).
Additionality is the requirement that a REDD+ activity or project should generate benefits, such as reduced emissions or increased removals that would not have happened without the activity (i.e. the BAU scenario).
Afforestation is the direct human-induced conversion of land that has not been forested for a period of at least 50 years to forested land, through planting, seeding and/or the human-induced promotion of natural seed sources.
Baseline This term is used in different ways. In REDD+, it typically represents the projected anthropogenic changes in forest carbon stock that would occur in the absence of the proposed project activity or policy intervention. See also BAU and reference level. In project evaluations, baseline can refer to pre-project conditions (e.g. a baseline study involves collecting socioeconomic and ecological data before a project starts, implicitly assuming that any change is due to the project).
Benefit sharing The distribution of direct and indirect net gains (monetary and nonmonetary benefits) from the implementation of REDD+.
Business as usual (BAU) A policy neutral reference to future emissions or removals, estimated using projections of future emission or removal levels without any REDD+ activity. The term is also used in a political economy sense to mean the continuation of policies and practices consistent with the status quo in the pre-REDD+ political economy of a country.
Carbon market A market in which carbon emission reductions are traded, usually in the form of carbon credits (verified or certified emission reductions). Carbon markets take the form of: (i) a voluntary market (where emission reduction targets are not regulated), or (ii) a compliance market (where carbon credits are traded to meet regulated emission reduction targets). The largest carbon market is the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS).
Carbon offset A reduction in emissions or an increase in removals made to compensate for an emission made elsewhere. Carbon offsets are measured in metric tons (t) of CO2e.
Carbon Pool refers to the reservoir containing carbon. According to IPCC Guidelines, the carbon pools are classified into six (6) kinds, such as: aboveground biomass, belowground biomass, dead wood, litter, soil organic matter and harvested wood products.
Carbon Rights this generally refers to the claims on the various benefits streams arising from a specific parcel of forest land. This includes two concepts: (1) property rights to sequestered carbon; and (2) the rights to the benefits that arise from the transfer of these rights, for example in benefits from the sale of carbon credits.
Carbon sequestration is a biochemical process by which atmospheric carbon is absorbed by living organisms, including trees, soil micro-organisms, and crops, and involving the storage of carbon in soils, with the potential to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
Carbon sequestration potential estimated amount of carbon that can be sequestered by a carbon sink within a certain specified time and found to be beneficial as it increases.
Carbon sink is anything that absorbs more carbon that it releases Forests, soils, oceans and the atmosphere all store carbon and this carbon moves between them in a continuous cycle.
Carbon Source is anything that releases more carbon than it absorb
Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) refers to a title formally recognizing the rights of possession and ownership of ICCs/IPs over their ancestral domains identified and delineated in accordance with this law.
Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) Partnership of international NGOs with a mission to stimulate and promote land management activities that mitigate global climate change, improve the well-being and reduce the poverty of local communities, and conserve biodiversity.
Co-benefit Benefits arising from REDD+ in addition to climate mitigation benefits, such as enhancing biodiversity, enhancing adaptation to climate change, alleviating poverty, improving local livelihoods, improving forest governance and protecting rights.
Co-benefits refer to the additional, non-carbon benefits that can result from improved forest management and conservation through REDD-plus (i.e socio-economic benefits, biodiversity conservation, other ecosystem services)
Compulsory/compliance/mandatory markets Markets created and regulated by mandatory national or international climate regimes. They allocate or auction GHG emission limits (quotas or caps) to countries, subnational units or companies and allow them to buy carbon credits to meet their cap, or sell them if they emit less than their cap (i.e. trade, also known as cap and trade).
Conference of Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC The governing body of the UNFCCC. It meets once a year.
Customary Law refers to a body of written or unwritten rules, usages, customs and practices traditionally observed, accepted and recognized by respective ICCs/IPs.
Deforestation refers to the natural or anthropogenic process that converts forest land to non- forest land (IPCC, 2007). It is also defined as the conversion of forest to another land use or the long-term reduction of the tree canopy cover below the minimum 10% threshold (FAO, 2005)
Deforestation The permanent conversion of land from forest to non-forest. In the Marrakesh Accords, deforestation is defined as “the direct human induced conversion of forested land to non-forested land.” FAO defines deforestation as “the conversion of forest to another land use or the long-term reduction of the tree canopy cover below the minimum 10% threshold.” (CIFOR)
Degradation Degradation refers to changes within the forest that negatively affect the structure or function of the forest stand or site, and thereby lower its capacity to supply products and services. In the context of REDD+, degradation can be measured in terms of reduced carbon stocks in forests that remain as forests. No formal definition of degradation has yet been adopted, because many forest carbon stocks fluctuate due to natural cyclical causes or management practices.
Forest The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines forest as having minimum canopy cover of 10%, minimum tree height in situ of 5 m, minimum area of 0.5 ha, and where agriculture is not the dominant land-use. The UNFCCC allows for a more flexible forest definition: minimum canopy cover 10–30%, minimum tree height 2–5 m and minimum area 0.1 ha. Individual countries have their own definitions.
Forest Carbon refers to the carbon found in the five main carbon pools in forests: above ground biomass, below ground biomass, dead wood, and litter and soil organic matter.
Forest Carbon Contract refers to a broad range of agreements which primarily involves contracting of forest carbon, from a simple reforestation to a much complex process of REDD Plus.
Forest Carbon Project and/or Activity This term is used in different ways. In REDD+, it typically represents the projected anthropogenic changes in forest carbon stock that would occur in the absence of the proposed project activity or policy intervention. See also BAU and reference level. In project evaluations, baseline can refer to pre-project conditions (e.g. a baseline study involves collecting socioeconomic and ecological data before a project starts, implicitly assuming that any change is due to the project).
Forest Carbon Trading refers to activities leading to an agreement that measures, verifies and offers forest carbon primarily for profit or any commercial transactions.
Forest Degradation refers to the changes within the forest that negatively affect the structure or function of the stand or site, and thereby lower the capacity to supply products and/or services (FAO, 2005)
Forest Management Units a specific area in the forest lands that is under one management arrangement.
Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) as used in the Order shall mean the consensus of all members of the ICCs/IPs to be determined in accordance with their respective customary laws and practices, free from any external manipulation, interference and coercion, and obtained after fully disclosing the intent and scope of an activity, in a language and process understandable to the community.
Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) upholds the rights of indigenous people to grant or withhold their FPIC for: activities affecting the lands they have traditionally owned, occupied, or used; any proposed relocation and; any legal or administrative measures affecting them. FPIC implies that consent has been obtained without coercion in advance of project authorization and commencement, and that the affected parties fully understand the scope, duration and potential impacts of the activities. In the context of REDD+, proponents seek the consent of all local stakeholders, not just indigenous peoples.
Implementation costs The costs of setting up a system and putting into place the necessary policies and actions to achieve REDD+
Indigenous peoples There is no universally agreed definition of indigenous people, although some international legal instruments provide definitions. According to the United Nations, rather than define indigenous people, the most useful approach is for them to identify themselves according to the fundamental right to self-identification set out in declarations of human rights.
IPCC refers to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is composed of 195 countries and it is mandated to provide scientific view on the current body of knowledge on climate change.
Jurisdictional REDD+ REDD+ initiative encompassing a government administrative unit at the district level or higher.
Leakage In the context of climate change, carbon leakage happens when interventions to reduce emissions in one area (subnational or national) lead to an increase in emissions in another area. The official UNFCCC term is ‘displaced emissions.’
Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) is a term used to describe all measures such as collecting data on emissions, mitigation actions and support; compiling the information in reports and inventories and; subjecting the information to some form of international review or analysis.
Measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) MRV is a series of procedures associated with the communication of all mitigation actions of developing countries. Measurement refers to the quantification of (i) anthropogenic forest-related emissions by sources and removals by sinks; (ii) forest carbon stocks; and (iii) changes in forest carbon stocks and forest area resulting from the implementation of REDD+ activities. Reporting refers to communication to the international community following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change best practices guidelines. Verifying refers to checks on the accuracy of the estimation by UNFCCC designated entities.
Mitigation An anthropogenic intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases (IPCC, 2001a).
Opportunity cost In the context of REDD+, this refers to forgone profits from the most profitable alternative use of forest land.
Payment for ecosystem services (PES) refers to a management tool that aims to provide value/payment to environmental/ecosystem services (ES) such as, provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural; as well as providing incentives to ENR managers.
Payment for ecosystem/environmental services (PES) A buyer who values environmental services pays the provider or manager of the land use that supplies those services; in return, the seller continues to deliver them. In REDD+, PES refers to a results-based system in which payments are made for reduced emissions or increased removals relative to an agreed reference level. (CIFOR)
Policies and measures (PAMs) In REDD+, PAMs are nationally enacted policies and actions that countries undertake to reduce carbon emissions or increase removals.
Readiness REDD+ country actions – including capacity building, policy design, consultation and consensus building, and testing and evaluation of a REDD+ national strategy – that are taken prior to the comprehensive implementation of REDD+.
REDD Plus/REDD+ a proposed incentive system for reducing GHG emissions where industrialized countries would provide financial incentives for forested, developing countries to manage and protect their forest to reduce GHG emissions and enhance forest carbon stocks. It is performance-based, such that payments would only be delivered if emissions are reliably reduced. REDD refers to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the plus refers to the removal of GHG through (1) conservation of forest carbon stocks (2) sustainable management of forests (3) enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
REDD+ readiness relates to the efforts a country is undertaking to develop the capacities needed to deliver REDD+. REDD+ readiness support is provided to countries through bilateral and multilateral initiatives. This includes both financial and technical support on such REDD+ related areas of work as governance, stakeholder engagement, safeguards and multiple benefits, and monitoring, reporting and verification.
REDD+ SES The REDD+ Social & Environmental Standards initiative aims to build support for government-led REDD+ programs that make a significant contribution to human rights, poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation.
REDD-Plus refers to the carbon found in the five main carbon pools in forests: above ground biomass, below ground biomass, dead wood, and litter and soil organic matter.
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and enhancing forest carbon stock in developing countries (REDD+) The term ‘REDD+’ is used in many ways. A broad definition, based on the official COP13 terminology, holds that REDD+ comprises local, subnational, national and global actions whose primary aim is to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhance forest carbon stocks (increase removals) in developing countries. A narrower definition is that REDD+ also includes results-based or conditional payments, which was a core idea when REDD+ was first launched. From another perspective, REDD+ may not only refer to actions: it may refer to the overall idea, the objective of reduced emissions and increased removals, the set of policies or actions necessary to achieve that objective, the outcome as measured in reduced emissions and increased removals or the process involving all of these elements. REDD (without the plus) is used to refer only to reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and does not include forest carbon stock enhancement. (CIFOR)
Reference level (REL) Two distinct meanings and different uses may be distinguished for reference levels. First, the reference level is used for the BAU scenario or baseline for changes in carbon stocks, which is used as a benchmark for measuring the impact of REDD+ policies and actions and to define emission reductions. In this sense, reference level can refer to gross emission levels from deforestation and forest degradation, and to net emission levels from all emissions and removals from deforestation, forest degradation, conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Second, in a result-based system, the reference level is used as a benchmark for estimating payments to countries, subnational units or projects for emissions reductions.
Reforestation is the direct human-induced conversion of non-forested land to forested land, through planting, seeding and/or the human-induced promotion of natural seed sources on land that was forested, but that has been converted to non-forested land.
Rights based approach refers to the mainstreaming process to link human rights to development, an approach that integrates the norms, standards and principles of the international human rights system into plans, policies and processes of development.
Shifting cultivation An agricultural system in which plots of land are cultivated temporarily, then abandoned when the soil loses its fertility or weeds become dominant. The plot of land is then left to be reclaimed by natural vegetation.
Smallholder A farmer of a relatively small plot of land (a smallholding), where he or she produces in relatively small volumes, either for subsistence alone or subsistence and sale, often depending wholly or largely on family labor. The size of smallholdings varies significantly across regions, but their defining characteristic is that they are small relative to the land area used by commercial producers in the same region.
Sustainable forest management refers to one of the eligible activities under REDD-Plus which is a strategy for enhancing carbon stocks and managing forests in a way than can deliver multiple carbon, social and environmental benefits
Swidden agriculture An agricultural practice that involves cutting and burning of forests or woodlands to create fields, typically part of a shifting cultivation system (also referred to as slash and burn agriculture).
Ton (t) One ton is equivalent to 1000 kg (also referred to as a metric ton).
Transaction costs A cost that is incurred when making an economic exchange. It includes costs related to search and information, enforcement and monitoring. Transaction costs sometimes refer to all costs of REDD+ except opportunity costs.
UNFCCC refers to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It is the political side or deciding-body of the Climate Change arena.
Validation Independent third-party assessment of a project plan or design against defined standards, e.g. to determine eligibility for CDM or certify by VCS.
Verification Independent third-party assessment of the actual emissions reductions and co-benefits of a particular mitigation activity.
Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) This is one of the world’s most widely used carbon standards for voluntary carbon offset industry. Carbon emission reductions generated in line with VCS are called VERerified Emission Reductions (VERs).
Voluntary market Markets that function alongside compliance markets. Buyers are companies, governments, NGOs and individuals who are voluntarily buying verified emissions reductions, e.g. to offset their own emissions.