CoDe REDD Philippines recognizes the importance of critically exploring the potentials of sustainable income streams for forest-based communities through the REDD (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) scheme. There is great potential in not only “non-timber forest products” but also in “non-timber forest services” such as those possibly through payment for ecosystem (carbon) services.
Unfortunately, REDD is not fully understood and the framing of REDD within UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) is still emerging. There is a need to consider the local realities and solicit field –based input on the REDD mechanism to guarantee local benefit sharing, enabling governance structure, and critical success factors in general for the program to be effective and lead to goals of equity, poverty-reduction and most of all forest conservation. It is opportune that before all is “carved in stone” that inputs from the South, from forest stewards and their civil society partners are heard and raised at the UNFCCC level.
In this light, NTFP-EP is facilitating the formation of CoDe REDD Philippines through the implementation of a project entitled, REDD Mapping, Baseline Piloting and Local Stakeholders Consultations for the Philippines and Southeast Asia. This project aims to undertake stakeholder consultations as build up activities towards the Cop 15 in Copenhagen in December 2009. It extends beyond COP 15 so as to also be able to operationalize the decisions made in Copenhagen in concrete projects or continued experimentation or piloting. Such efforts will be complemented by a REDD mapping initiative and capacity building activities.