The Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change is working towards ensuring that Jamaica can begin to benefit from incentives under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme by early next year.
“We are hopeful that by February 2022, we will have a structure for REDD+ in Jamaica,” Principal Director of the Climate Change Division in the Ministry, UnaMay Gordon, said at a recent JIS Think Tank.
“We have put forward our complementary proposal to the Green Climate Fund for some additional funding to advance a little bit more on our work and to ensure that we get it right. So, the work continues, and the Forestry Department is playing their part,” she noted.
REDD+ was created by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to incentivise developing countries to reduce or remove forest carbon emissions by awarding them carbon credits, which can be sold in carbon markets.
Ms. Gordon noted that in 2019, Jamaica got support from the Green Climate Fund to start to look at a framework for REDD+ in Jamaica.
“However, in 2020, we had the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, so there has been some delay, but we continue to implement the programme and we are almost advanced in terms of putting this framework together. The framework for REDD+ itself will enable us also to capitalise on the (carbon) markets,” she noted.
Ms. Gordon told JIS News that adjustments had to be made to the deliverables of the programme, as aspects of the framework were impacted by the pandemic. One such aspect is the grievance mechanism to be developed out of consultation with forest-dependent communities.
A new completion deadline has been set and the team, spearheaded by the Forestry Department, is working to ensure that Jamaica can soon benefit from incentives under REDD+.
The preparatory work includes collaboration with other areas of Government such as the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport on matters such as utilising forest reserves that are a part of Jamaica’s cultural heritage or are located in Maroon communities, for example.
After successful implementation of the framework for REDD+, Jamaica will qualify to earn from reducing emissions and removing carbon from the air through forest carbon sinks.
The Think Tank was held to provide details about Jamaica’s preparations for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, from November 1-12.