Funds must be used more effectively, says Forest Trends founder

There is a crucial need to “jump-start REDD+” by using funds more efficiently, reports Michael Jenkins, Founder of Forests Trends.

Writing for, Mr. Jenkins said that “to date, very little of the commitments to REDD+ has reached the ground and with minimal impact in terms of real reductions of carbon emissions from forestry and land use, or mobilizing longer-term private sector investment.”

Mr. Jenkins founded the NGO Forest Trends in 1998 as a way of highlighting the market value of natural ecosystems such as forests and using that to promote its conservation. It has been widely credited for promoting the powerful concept of paying for ecosystem services, similar to what REDD+ projects are envisaging. Previously, Mr. Jenkins worked as a forester in countries such as Haiti and Brazil with the MacArthur Foundation, where he advocated strengthening financial mechanisms and sustainability strategies in a “whole-systems” approach.

According to Mr. Jenkins, either a bilateral or multilateral third party should act as a central buyer of carbon credits to reduce the risk for both public and private sector investment, as well as provide the necessary sophisticated financial and jurisdictional infrastructre to support such an initiative.

“This would offer the bold leadership that could jump-start REDD and give it a chance to deliver on its promise,” he finished.


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