Background The concept of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation Plus (REDD+) was developed, as an incentive

based mitigation response in Forestry sector. The Bali Action Plan (2007) agreed at the COP-13 came as a starting point towards developing an international instrument on forest conservation, sustainable forest management and the enhancement of carbon stocks in an effort to reduce the share of GHG emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. The Cancun agreement (2010) on REDD+ provides international commitments to implement REDD+ in developing countries within certain conditions and ensuring safeguards. Major part of Pakistan falls in the arid and semi-r arid zones with 5.01% forest cover as assessed from Remote Sensing-based data, qualifying as Low Forestry Cover Counties (LFCC). Natural forests are declining at an average rate of 27,000 ha per year and other forest areas are also under severe anthropogenic pressures experiencing degradation. According to a preliminary estimate, Pakistan has a potential of sequestering 400 mt of carbon through implementation of REDD+ (VRD 2011). To realize this, however, the carbon value of the forests in Pakistan needs to be accurately quantified a rough estimate of the country’s REDD potential has been worked out and points towards a potential of earning between U$ 94.74 Million to U$ 315.8 Million/year if deforestation rates are brought to zero (REDD+ Policy brief Nov. 2011, LEAD+GoP,CDKN) Under the Constitution of Pakistan, forest management is the responsibility of provincial forest departments who will be the real implementing partners of REDD+ in Pakistan. Ministry of Climate Change, as the national focal point for REDD+ performs the functions of facilitation, coordination, international negotiation, developing baselines and MRV, and national registration of REDD+ activities as required under the Cancun agreement. Progress of REDD+ implementation in Pakistan Since adoption of Cancun agreement on REDD+ in December 2010, following actions have been taken to implement in Pakistan:

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Government of Pakistan has designated Inspector General of Forests as National Focal Point; all provinces have also notified their respective REDD focal persons At federal level, National REDD+ Steering Committee” has been constituted which meets twice in a year Pakistan has secured membership of REDD+ Partnership which was formed after Oslo talks to finance REDD+ activities in developing countries. Pakistan secured membership of UN-REDD Programme in 2011, participated in international meetings organized by UN-REDD and developed project proposals for funding Private sector has been engaged in REDD related activities with the provincial governments and AJK The government of KPK has signed a MOU with a London based private investment firm for a REDD project in selected forested area during June 2011 for USD 26 m. The government of AJk has also signed a similar MOU for a REDD project worth USD 18 m. ICIMOD and Ministry of Climate Change are jointly implementing REDD+ Capacity Building project with the financial support of One-UN Programme on Environment

A series of training and capacity building workshops have been organized by NFP-REDD+ in collaboration with national partners for the stakeholders of federal and provincial governments and NGOs. 1. Training programme on “Climate Change & Natural Resources Management, Development of CDM Project Design Documents” 2007-2009, with the support of Inter-cooperation, SDC 2. One-week Training Workshop on “Forest carbon Stock Assessment” 14-18 January 2011, with the support of ISESCO, SDPI, Terra Global Capital 3. Training Session on “REDD+ in Pakistan” 19 – 21 October 2011, with the support of SDPI, Merlin’s Wood, One-UN 4. Workshop on “Social & Environmental Principles & Criteria for REDD+ safeguards” 12 January 2012, with the support of SLMP 5. Visit of REDD+ Demonstration sites in Nepal, January 2012, with the support of FAO, ICIMOD

Planned and / or proposed REDD+ activities

1. National REDD+ Roadmap Under the ICIMOD project, Pakistan will develop a national REDD+ roadmap by the middle of 2013

2. National Forest Emission Reference Level (FERL) or Forest Reference Level (FRL)
The UN-REDD Programme implementing partners i.e. UNDP, FAO and UNEP are being approached to provide technical assistance to devlop Pakistan’s FERL or FRM

3. Environmental and Social Safeguards
In the light of recommendations of the national workshop on REDD+ safeguards, grass-root level consultation process will be undertaken with the support of FAO/UNDP

4. National Monitoring, Reporting & Verification system
Design of MRV system will be prepared with the support of Un-REDD Programme as an essential component of national REDD+ Strategy 5. Capacity building Programme ICIMOD+WWF CB will be integral component of all REDD+ related projects

Issues and challenges Lack of policy, legal cover and institutional mechanisms National REDD+ Strategy for Provincial Subject of Forests

Governance issues Methodological issues including Leakage and Permanence Finally, an important aspect to focus on for Pakistan is to be carefully cognizant of the recent cases of corruption involving private investors from developed countries, aptly termed “Carbon Cowboys”, who raked in cheap advance forest carbon rights in poorly prepared and partially informed developing countries (in contravention to the provisions of the Cancun agreement that calls for capacity building at phase one and trading at phase 3). Learning from these bitter experiences, Pakistan needs to open up its REDD+ market only after identifying and realizing the forest sequestration potential in the country, instituting an informed regulatory/policy framework and fully understanding the dynamics this new commodity market.