Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation

When there is deforestation, we lose much more than just the forests themselves, their biodiversity and other natural resources. We lose their capacity of retaining large amounts of gases – such as carbon dioxide – which when liberated contribute towards global warming. Burning forests and other changes in land-use generate nearly 20% of the total global emissions of these gases and in Peru they reach nearly 50% of the annual total.

Only for the Amazon, it is estimated that the rainforests, rivers and lakes retain a volume of gases that equals what is produced by humans in 14 years. For this reason, WWF promotes the establishment of a mechanism that promotes Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) through the conservation of forests with economic incentives from the main greenhouse gas producing countries.

WWF Peru works promoting important carbon stock studies in the Peruvian Amazon and strengthening the capacities of the local organizations and authorities, as the first steps towards an effective implementation of REDD mechanisms that will allow the conservation of the national forests.

A comprehensive study
Estimating the economic value of an environmental service such as carbon sequestration is nothing like bargaining for some product at a local market. For this reason, in 2008 WWF Peru determined the need to carry out an in-depth study to learn the capacity of carbon sequestration in different types of forest with different degrees of intervention, in order to have solid arguments to support their conservation.

Through local partners, WWF works in pilot areas in the Peruvian Amazon such as the San Martin region where a comprehensive study has been conducted through numerous measurement plots around the north Interoceanic Highway, to determine firsthand the carbon sequestration potential of the forests in areas as diverse as national parks, regional conservation areas, indigenous communities and disturbed lands.

On the other hand,  and using the most modern technology, WWF Peru evaluates the Madre de Dios forests – a less intervened but equally threatened area – through overflights with modern remote sensing systems that allow the estimation of the carbon sequestration potential of these forests.

In this manner, under a comprehensive and large-scale approach, WWF generates solid technical arguments that contribute towards conserving endangered forest in key areas, supported in their critical role against climate change.

Laying the foundations for REDD
Aside from the technical work in situ, WWF Peru works laying the institutional foundations for a future REDD implementation in Peru, in compliance with the Ministry of the Environment. Accordingly, in 2008 it promoted the establishment of the REDD Roundtable – made up of nearly 50 academic and research institutions, as well as authorities and others – as a space to define joint strategies. This space has not only allowed the definition of technical, legal and financial priorities to promote REDD in Peru, but it has also given way to three important regional roundtables, the Madre de Dios, San Martin and Piura Roundtables, which incorporates Andean forests in this conservation strategy.

WWF has also worked hand in hand with different technical organizations in order to standardize the methods to project – or model – the deforestation threats in key areas in order to have better tools to offset them. Additionally, it has contributed with the studies conducted to analyze the necessary legal framework to implement REDD and it has promoted the placement of this topic in the national development agenda.

Key facts:
  • WWF Peru combines field work with a modern remote sensing system technology in order to determine the carbon capture potential in the forests of the Peruvian Amazon.
  • The REDD Roundtable has been established as a space that has allowed the prioritization of joint steps for the future implementation of this conservation mechanism in the Peruvian forests.
We work with: Ministry of the Environment, Organization for Tropical Studies (OET), Centro de Desarrollo e Investigación de la Selva Alta (CEDISA), Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR) and Members of the REDD Roundtable.

With valuable support from: UK Department for International Development (DFID), Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD), Di Stefano Funds, WWF UK, WWF US and WWF International.
San Martín y Madre de Dios son dos zonas en las que WWF Perú combina investigación de campo con moderna tecnología para conocer el potencial de mecanismos de captura de carbono forestal.

For more information regarding the experience, please contact: