At COP15 in Copenhagen one outcome was a commitment to develop a mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing carbon stocks (REDD+). There is, however, only a limited research basis for such a mechanism particularly with regard to the need for understanding and monitoring the impact of REDD+ activities on climate effectiveness, cost efficiency, equity and co-benefits. I-REDD+ will approach these challenges from a truly interdisciplinary perspective. The overall objective will be to obtain an improved understanding of how the implementation of REDD+ mechanisms may (1) reduce emissions of GHG and maintain or enhance existing stocks of carbon in vegetation and soil of various land cover types; (2) impact livelihoods and welfare of local farming communities and differences between communities; (3) impact biodiversity conservation, (4) provide a realistic framework for monitoring, reporting and verification of REDD+, including the importance of governance and accountability at multiple levels. To complement other research initiatives we propose to work in the uplands of Southeast Asia in the ‘Heart of Borneo’, Kalimantan, Indonesia, and in the northern parts of Lao PDR and Vietnam, and Yunnan in Southwest China. Rapid land use transitions from forest and shifting cultivation to other, more intensive land use systems and widespread forest degradation are occurring in these areas, making the potential for REDD+ particularly pronounced. Moreover, REDD+ may considerably impact on local economies, because of the high population densities in the region. The partners in I-REDD+ are leading research institutions in Europe and Southeast Asia, international research organizations, an NGO and an SME. The consortium has a strong emphasis on local dissemination and capacity development in order to ensure that project results influence REDD+ policy development at local, national and global level.
- To reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to increase carbon stocks in soil, vegetation as well as in other types of land cover;
- To assess effect of greenhouse gas emissions reduction on the livelihood and welfare of local communities, especially the differences between the communities;
- To assess effect of forestry resources protection on biodiversity and habitat;
- To provide practical conditions to monitor, report and inspect mechanisms of REDD +, which includes the important role of government, local agencies and organizations;
- To establish international and national policies on the impact of REDD + activities.