Climate Change

Small islands, whether located in the tropics or higher latitudes, have characteristics which make them especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, sea-level rise, and extreme events (very high confidence) ♦  Sea-level rise is expected to exacerbate inundation, storm surge, erosion and other coastal hazards, thus threatening vital infrastructure, settlements and facilities that support the livelihood of island communities (very high confidence). ♦  There is strong evidence that under most climate change scenarios, water resources in small islands are likely to be seriously compromised (very high confidence). ♦  It is very likely that subsistence and commercial agriculture on small islands will be adversely affected by climate change (high confidence). IPCC 4th Assessment Report, 2007

REDD in Fiji
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 17:12

The SPC/GTZ Programme on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region (ACCPIR) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Land Resources Division, in close collaboration with the Fiji Forestry Department and the Department of Environment, is supporting Fiji develop a REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) programme. The programme is designed to assist Fiji prepare for and take advantage of carbon and climate related finance for sustainable management in the forest sector, enabling the protection and enhancement of resilient forested landscapes in the face of future climate change.

‘REDD’ in the context of the Fiji National REDD Strategy refers to REDD-Plus, encompassing Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation’; and afforestation/reforestation; and any activity capable of addressing the drivers of deforestation and degradation, or amplifying the drivers of afforestation/reforestation.

Fiji Deforestation

While it is clear that sustainable management of forests is an integral component of climate change adaptation in Fiji, there are important strategic synergies between climate change adaptation and mitigation that can be used to maximize the financing opportunities for building and maintaining resilient forested landscapes capable of providing many ecosystem services to the people of Fiji.

Fiji has identified 3 phases for the Fiji REDD programme:

Phase 1: Policy and scoping – output “National REDD Policy” (final draft submitted June 2010)

Phase 2: Detailed planning – output “National REDD Strategy”  (2010 – 2011)

Phase 3: Implementation – output “National REDD strategy outcomes and monitoring” (2011 - )

 

COMPONENTS OF THE FIJI REDD PROGRAMME (elaborated in the draft National REDD Policy)

Scale

Fiji will adopt a “hybrid” scale approach to REDD enabling both national and project scale activities where appropriate. This allows for both national and project level engagement with REDD financing instruments as part of a coordinated national programme designed to maximise opportunities and minimise costs.

This approach was adopted in order to gain the benefits of both national and project scale approaches and avoid the pitfalls. Here, a national approach provides a national reference level and national Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) will facilitate higher level quality assurance for any project scale activities. A hybrid scale approach would enable certain activity types to be managed on a national scale and others managed at a project scale.


Scope/finance

The scope (activity types) of a REDD Programme is closely linked to financing instruments that prescribe eligibility criteria. The Fiji REDD Programme will be open to all available financing instruments for the REDD sector: A number of different activity types were identified as potentially eligible (in theory) in a National Fiji REDD Programme:

1. Reducing emissions from deforestation via forest protection

2. Reducing emissions from deforestation via sustainable forest management

3. Reducing emissions from degradation via forest protection

4. Reducing emissions from degradation via sustainable forest management

5. Afforestation/reforestation

6. Forest/energy sector linkages (biomass electricity generation)

7. Forest/agriculture linkages (biomass residue/biochar)

8. Combination linking A/R with REDD

It will be important for Fiji to monitor the UNFCCC policy development and the USA domestic emissions trading legislation to ensure that the national REDD programme is appropriately aligned with these international policy developments.

Pilot projects would assist the development of a national programme.

Activity types that warrant attention in the form of interventions include those that cause the loss of carbon to the atmosphere and those that sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

Forest conversion - Taveuni, FijiThe two most important activities leading to the loss of forest carbon stocks in Fiji were identified as:

1. Forest conversion for expansion of agriculture (deforestation)

2. High intensity selective logging of native forests (degradation)

A national strategy would need to focus its attention on stopping or changing the drivers of forest conversion for agriculture (reduced deforestation) and high intensity selective logging of native forest (reduced degradation), as well as encouraging the drivers for the establishment of new forest on marginal grassland (afforestation/reforestation).



Reference Level

Fiji needs to develop a national forest carbon MRV system as a necessary step in developing the national reference level. This will also need to be defined in close association with more detailed analysis of deforestation and degradation drivers. This is particularly important for strategic development in agriculture in the face of a growing population and future food security challenges.

Two central elements for establishing a reference level and for continuous reporting on forest carbon changes are a national forest carbon monitoring system and a forest carbon inventory.

National Forest Carbon Monitoring System

Fiji will follow a specific set of internationally approved requirements for establishing a national forest carbon monitoring system for REDD implementation.

Monitoring GHG emissions and removals requires data collection capabilities derived from national forest inventories including permanent plot measurements, and remote sensing-based monitoring.  All relevant data and information needs to be stored, updated, and made available by means of a common data infrastructure (i.e. as part of a national GHG information system). The information system provides for the transparent estimation of emissions and removals of greenhouse gases.

The national GHG information system will be used in the analysis of the data, support for national and international reporting, the implementation of quality assurance procedures, and international expert peer review. The analysis and use of existing forest carbon data is most important for the estimation of historical changes and for the establishment of the national reference level of emissions from the forest sector.

National Forest Carbon Inventory

Fiji will undertake a national carbon stock and stock change assessment using existing data sets from the national forest inventory, and then improve the quality of this carbon stock and stock change assessment through time. Existing data sets enable the generation of a national carbon stock and stock change assessment but there are some important data gaps that will need to be filled:

  1. Wood density data in National Forest Inventory
  2. Forest area change
  3. Inventory data quality
  4. Frequency of National Forest Inventory
  5. Plantation Forest Inventory
  6. Carbon pools

 

Distribution

The distribution of benefits arising from a National REDD Programme will need to focus primarily on

1. maximising benefits to landowners

2. maximising strategic benefits to Fiji

Clarification is yet needed on forest carbon property rights and legal dimensions of any transfer of these property rights. A legal review is planned in order to clarify the legal means by which benefits arising from forest carbon trading will be distributed in the context of a National REDD Programme. This is particularly important in terms of defining the architecture of a ‘hybrid’ scale programme that combines national and project based activities.

In terms of maximising the benefits to Fiji, a national REDD programme will need to develop its activity types in a strategic manner in order to maximise opportunities arising from carbon financing. This will sometimes mean that certain activity types are best managed at a national scale, while others can be most effectively and strategically managed at a local (devolved) project scale.

For more information please refer to the Fiji REDD Policy Scoping report posted under Publications:

http://www.spc.int/lrd/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=211&Itemid=48