The Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit in Sydney on 11–12 November will identify practical ways of reducing Asia-Pacific rainforest loss to help cut global greenhouse gas emissions and protect tropical rainforests.
Organised by the Australian Government, ministers from rainforest countries in the region and leaders from business, international organisations and civil society will attend the Summit.
Hosting an Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit was a Coalition election commitment.
Deforestation is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. With the Asia-Pacific region home to 6.2 per cent of the world’s forests, reducing forest loss can make a big difference to reducing global carbon emissions.
Slowing and halting rainforest loss relies on measuring and monitoring a country’s forest cover. Forest monitoring systems are the building block to sustainable forest management and initiatives such as combating illegal logging.
Australia will be launching a new online tool at the Summit to help countries assess their state of readiness to develop a national forestry monitoring system. The tool is based on the Australian-led work under the Global Forest Observations Initiative.
Workshops in South East Asia and the Pacific will help our regional neighbours use the online tool and design their own forest monitoring systems. This will provide a useful step and help countries seek specific implementation support from donor organisations.
Australia plays a key role in the Global Forest Observations Initiative, which provides data and technical assistance to countries to develop national forest monitoring systems.
The Global Forest Observations Initiative, led by Australia, the USA, Norway, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, supports national governments by providing assistance and guidance on using observations and data, developing methods and protocols for monitoring and promoting research and development to improve monitoring approaches.
Robust national forest monitoring systems are widely accepted as a prerequisite for countries to participate in international agreements such as REDD+.
REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. The + recognises the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
It is a response from the international community to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.
Australia is a world leader in forest monitoring systems – also known as measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) systems. Our expertise is sought by developing countries and partner agencies.
Australia worked with Indonesia to develop a robust international emissions reporting system. Indonesia is now running its own forest monitoring system, which can open their access to REDD+ support.
Further details are available from www.environment.gov.au/rainforestsummit
Follow the Summit on twitter @envirogov.