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The Lima UN climate conference has set the stage for governments to deliver a new universal climate change agreement in Paris, at the end of 2015. The new agreement is aimed at putting the world on track to a low-carbon, sustainable future while keeping a global temperature rise under 2 degrees C.

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Forest Announcements Pave Way for Better Action on Climate and Community Livelihoods

 5 Countries Hand Over Key Information and Data on Emission Reductions from the Forest Sector to UNFCCC Secretariat

Lima, 8 December 2014 –At the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, a group of five countries has taken steps towards improved national and global forest action.

Colombia, Guyana, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico formally submitted information and data on the status of their greenhouse gas emission reductions in the forest sector to the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is required to access finance for forests.

Action on reducing deforestation and sustainably managing forests is crucial for climate ambition. Global deforestation accounts for more than 20 per cent of the world's CO2 emissions.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, President of the UN Climate Change Conference and Environment Minister of Peru said:

 The knowledge of forest inventories and their carbon stocks is essential to be able to take action on forests. We can see that countries are doing their work and bringing the real value of forests home to their citizens. Countries are not only recognizing the economic value of forests, but also their value for biodiversity, their cultural value and their ability to provide people with a better quality of life.

The data and information submitted by the countries constitutes the international basis to establish a “forest reference emission level” for these countries.

Reference levels in turn constitute benchmarks to assess the performance of developing countries in the implementation of “REDD+ activities”, which means “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks and sustainable management of forests”.

Actions on REDD+ establish a financial value for maintaining carbon stored in forests and reducing emissions from land-use changes by using a performance-based approach.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said:

I welcome the leadership of these countries. Today's announcements build on the outcomes of last year's UN Climate Convention conference in Warsaw and take us towards widespread implementation of REDD+ on the ground, implementation that can boost climate action and trigger multiple environmental, economic and social benefits for countries and communities as the world works towards a new, universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015.

The data voluntarily submitted by the countries will be technically assessed by forestry experts, coordinated by the UNFCCC secretariat.

Ms. Figueres added that developed countries now need to demonstrate their engagement with REDD+ by scaling up financial support for results-based actions.

In June, Brazil was the first country to submit information and data on the status of its greenhouse gas emission reductions in the forest sector. The technical assessment of Brazil’s submitted forest reference emission level was finalized last week.

For more information, contact

Nick Nuttall, Coordinator, Communications and Outreach: +49 228 815 1400 (phone), +49 152 0168 4831 (mobile) nnuttall(at)unfccc.int

John Hay, Communications Officer: +49 228 815 1404 (phone), +49 172 258 6944 (mobile) jhay(at)unfccc.int

Image: Ben Britten, Twitter

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