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REDD+ countries to keep working on and investing inreadiness efforts. Other important features of the Cancun agreementsinclude designing a Green Climate Fund that aims toraise and disburse US$100 billion per year by 2020 toprotect poor nations against climate impacts and assistthem with low-carbon development. The Cancunagreements also provide for a standing committeeunder the Parties that will, among otherresponsibilities, undertake measurement, reportingand verification of support provided to developingcountry Parties. For the UN-REDD Programme and other actorsinvolved in readiness and fast-start activities, theCOP16 agreements provide better guidance on whatthe REDD+ framework will include and what workneeds to be done. The agreements provide someelaboration on the activities that developing countriesneed to undertake in the development andimplementation of REDD+, such as a national plan,national reference emission levels and robust andtransparent national forest monitoring systems2-all of which are work areas that the UN-REDD Programme and other readiness initiatives have beensupporting for the past two years. The work thatREDD+ countries undertake in implementingreadiness activities between now and 2012 will beimportant next steps in supporting the implementationof the Cancun agreements.THE CHALLENGES AHEADThere is little doubt that to make REDD+ work, themost important and difficult work still lies ahead. TheCOP16 agreement on REDD+ represents a roadmaptowards a legally binding comprehensive agreementthat is expected to be finalised in Durban, South Africaat COP17. From now until Durban, the remaining keyelements will need to be finalised, including howREDD+ financing will work. At the same time, REDD+efforts around the world are rapidly evolving outsidethe UNFCCC process. If this continues without the guidance of a fully-defined mechanism, the risk is that REDD+ couldeasily become a series of fragmented anduncoordinated approaches too weak to address one ofthe world's most immediate sources of globalemissions. Also, the increasing number of REDD+initiatives outside the UNFCCC process couldpotentially undermine the UNFCCC process itself. Aconvergence between the UNFCCC processes andthose complimentary, yet external, to it will becomeincreasingly important. A challenge in fully defining a comprehensive REDD+mechanism under time pressure will be to ensure earlylessons on REDD+ from diverse sources are sharedPOST-CANCUN REMARKS043the scope and type of eligible activities to beundertaken to slow, halt and reverse forest cover andcarbon loss. Safeguards - a hotly debated issue overthe past two years - were one of the biggestbreakthroughs in the REDD+ negotiations. Theagreement now recognises the need to "promote andsupport" safeguards and requests that a "system forproviding information on how safeguards are beingaddressed and respected" is developed1. Safeguardsinclude critical issues such as forest governance,respect for the knowledge and rights of IndigenousPeoples and members of local communities andactions that are consistent with conservation of naturalforests and biological diversity. The REDD+ text in the Cancun agreements also supports a phased approach to countries reaching their readiness objective and provides methodological guidance to continue working onnational REDD+ strategies. Politically, the agreementon REDD+ provides a positive signal for donors and?

quickly and incorporated into the UNFCCC process. Itwill also be increasingly important this year to supportcountries to manage expectations for REDD+ that havegrown since Cancun. Countries will still need toaddress some unresolved issues such as how referenceemissions levels should be set, the definition of forestsand degradation, and the relationship between REDD+and nationally-appropriate mitigation actions. REDD+needs to be embedded into low-carbon developmentstrategies of developing countries and be part of acomprehensive climate change regime that has all theelements to effectively mitigate climate change andkeep temperature rise below two degrees. Finally, as044POST-CANCUN REMARKSAbove: Tropical forestsand mountains inKalimantan, Indonesia the REDD+ mechanism is fully defined, continuing tosecuring adequate and predictable funding for REDD+will be critical to keep learning and implementationmoving forward. CONCLUSION The challenges ahead may be great but so are theopportunities. In the lead up to COP17 in Durban,fighting climate change will require that the legitimateneeds for sustained social and economic developmentin developing countries are recognised. As livelihoodsPhotos: Christoforus Terry