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New Jurisdictional REDD+ Technical Assistance Partnership Announced at COP28

The formation of a new Jurisdictional REDD+ Technical Assistance Partnership, JTAP, was announced today at COP28. The initial group of partner organizations, Conservation International, Climate Law and Policy, Environmental Defense Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Winrock International’s Ecosystem Services Unit, are actively seeking to engage additional partners including forest country governments and local organizations to further strengthen the initiative.

Building on decades of expertise in the design and implementation of REDD+ programs in countries including Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Kenya, Vietnam, and Zambia, JTAP members will work towards unlocking the potential of the rapidly evolving jurisdictional REDD+ marketplace to help tropical forest countries access much needed finance and accelerate large-scale conservation of forests. The initiative will address the challenges forest countries face in navigating standards, market requirements, and technical barriers by providing vital access to timely technical assistance for transaction, audit, implementation, and issuance readiness needs. The JTAP is uniquely designed to foster deep collaboration and capacity building in service of and alongside leading local civil society organizations, social organizations, and forest country governments.

Franz Tattenbach, Ministry of Environment of Costa Rica, in comments about the JTAP, said: “With the right technical and legal support, REDD+ countries gained access to payment initiatives that reward results. Costa Rica serves as a shining example of this, having signed agreements over $110 million in Emission Reductions Payments thanks to the technical assistance we received. This funding has allowed us to expand our environmental services programs and achieve a net-zero deforestation status for our agroforestry landscape.”

Minister Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana, said: “The multi-faceted dimensions of forest carbon transactions, particularly of its multiple actors, demand that technical assistance be bespoke, nuanced and tailored to support broad level understanding and urgent delivery of climate finance. For Ghana, this is what the JTAP represents, and has the capacity to redefine technical assistance beyond the known rhetoric. As a country pioneering broad level sustainable action to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, through jurisdictional REDD+ that creates tangible results and payments, the value of capacity building and hand holding in our journey cannot be overemphasized. We applaud the JTAP and look forward to it delivering support for urgent forest and climate action as needed. This must be for the resilience of all, particularly Indigenous People and Local Communities.”

Honourable Vickram Bharrat, Minister of Natural Resources, Guyana, said: "Guyana was proud to be the first country in the world to issue jurisdictional REDD+ credits for the voluntary carbon market. During 2023, we received US$150 million in payments which are already delivering sustainable jobs, economic development and social infrastructure - through over 500 projects identified by indigenous peoples and local communities, alongside one of Guyana’s biggest ever investments in climate adaptation. It took a lot of hard work to achieve this, led by Guyanese people from across our country. But they couldn’t have done it without the supporting efforts of many of the organisations involved in JTAP who each provided invaluable assistance. It is very encouraging to see much of that support now coming together in a more integrated package through JTAP. We wholeheartedly welcome its launch today and believe that other forest countries will benefit like we did. We commend all the organisations involved."

The Carbon Finance Working Group of the Forest & Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), a coalition of governments, has expressed support for the enhancement and expansion of technical assistance to help tropical forest countries overcome the capacity and technical barriers to participating in carbon markets. In this context, FCLP members welcome the launch of the JTAP, in recognition of the role that the JTAP can play within the broader ecosystem of technical assistance. As part of this agenda, FCLP members will also support the work of the JTAP through participating in its advisory committee to shape the initiative’s strategic direction and amplify the learnings and results of the partnership across its member jurisdictions, and beyond.

During the first stage of this work, JTAP will help generate J-REDD+ credits in priority jurisdictions, while developing tools and infrastructure to scale and expand outcomes globally. As a result, participating countries will make significant progress towards the conservation and sustainable management of forests, while accelerating climate action, bolstering biodiversity, and supporting effective participation and equitable distribution of benefits for Indigenous People and local community partners.

To deliver on its agenda, the JTAP will complement existing technical assistance efforts, further seeding and strengthening effective partnerships within and among jurisdictions and delivery partners. This will also enable the JTAP to help bridge gaps in available technical assistance for jurisdictions seeking to meet high-integrity J-REDD+ standards and market requirements.

The JTAP is in an active phase of co-creation, partnership development, and piloting, and invites interested parties to explore how to most effectively engage in service of supporting forest countries unlock finance for high-integrity credits and scale up tropical forest conservation.

M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, said: “Deforestation is profitable, and the barriers to entry are minimal. Tapping into the global carbon market — and building an economy around standing forests — is far more difficult. It typically requires familiarity with remote sensing, carbon accounting, and complex regulation. The JTAP will help level the economic playing field, providing governments and their local partners with the technical support required to accelerate the transition to jurisdictional REDD+, fund forest conservation through the sale of high-integrity credits, and create new sustainable livelihoods at an unprecedented scale."

Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund, said: “High-quality jurisdictional REDD+ holds enormous potential to halt and reverse tropical deforestation, which is essential to our global efforts to stabilize the climate. We are seeing a real momentum building for scaling funding from both the public and private sectors just within the past week with the LEAF Coalition announcement for purchase agreements valued at $60 million. But to realize this potential and to keep the momentum going, we must do more to address the roadblocks faced by jurisdictions as they enter the high-quality J-REDD+ marketplace. In that spirit, EDF is honored to partner with this constellation of organizations to support tropical forest countries and we salute the trailblazing jurisdictions embarking on the work that is so critical for our planet.”

Joyjit Deb Roy, Acting President and CEO of Winrock International, said: “Jurisdictional REDD+ represents a critical avenue to address climate change through nature-based solutions at a large scale. While significant advancements have been made in recent years with regard to standards and markets for J-REDD+, technical assistance provided to countries has remained ad hoc. JTAP will provide much-needed coordination that will support countries in accessing high-quality, rapid- response technical assistance that addresses all relevant elements of a J-REDD+ program. Winrock’s Ecosystem Services Unit is pleased to be part of JTAP, which complements our past and present efforts in countries on three continents, including Guyana, Kenya, Vietnam, and Zambia.”

Joe Walston, WCS Executive Vice President of Global Conservation, said: “For almost two decades, WCS has supported our government and Indigenous People and Local Community partners across the globe, including Congo, Cambodia, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea, to participate in the REDD+ program. Through the JTAP we have created a shared commitment to not only accelerate the operationalization of REDD+ to meet the urgency of the climate crisis, but to ensure effective and equitable access to carbon market finance that is commensurate with the benefits high integrity ecosystems provide for people and the planet.”

Daniela Rey, Managing Director of Climate Law and Policy, said: “Stopping tropical forest loss is crucial to tackling the climate crisis. Through the JTAP, we will support the creation of the conditions needed for a fair and continuous financial flow for tropical countries and jurisdictions in their efforts to preserve their forests and all ecosystem services they provide.”

Source: https://www.edf.org/

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