A former natural forest area in Kalimantan/Indonesia in which oil palms are now to be grown.
Photo: Michael Köhl


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If developing countries reduce the deforestation and degradation of their natural forests, they should be rewarded financially by the United Nations REDD+ programme. But high costs are jeopardising the success of REDD+. The countries themselves must prove how much forest they have conserved by avoiding deforestation and forest degradation. However, this proof is expensive and the related costs can be higher than the expected incentive payments.

The continuing deforestation and degradation of tropical forests and the associated negative consequences such as loss of biodiversity and CO2 emissions have motivated the international community to consider the conservation of forests as a climate protection measure. At their 13th Conference of Parties (COP 13) in 2007, the member states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed on REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) as a national strategy for developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The basic idea of REDD+ is to create economic benefits for forest conservation through incentive payments and the remuneration of emission reductions (carbon financing). The REDD+ process is currently entering a new era as many countries are about to finish their REDD+ readiness phase and are now negotiating Emission Reductions Payment Agreements (ERPA). ERPAs are documents in which the seller (i.e. a REDD+ country) and the buyer (i.e.

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