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Technology & Innovation Provide a Progressive Route for REDDCiaran Kelly, CEO, Celestial Gren Ventures PLC084 Forests

Our planet is constantly evolving, and nowhere can this be seen more clearly than through the devastating effects of climate change. The increasing propensity of people and countries to drive economic, social and industrial advancement carries with it inherent environmental risks which can be seen and unseen in equal measure. From Svante Arrhenius's emergent theory to the 2012 Rio+20 Conference, climate change has spent much of its 116-year existence battling to be acknowledged by the wider global community. Now we have finally reached a stage where major influencers and decision-makers in this community are not only listening but also taking significant steps towards the mitigation of GHG emissions and climate change.Our collective ability to alleviate the effects of climate change is dependent on many variables, including our willingness to live smarter and our determination to seek out and utilise a combination of mitigation strategies. Despite the reluctance of some to change their behaviours, there is an increasing minority attempting to address this worrying trend of detrimental climate change. In recent years, there has been an increasing belief that REDD forestry certificates can substantially contribute towards, the achievement of post-Kyoto climate change targets and solving the global environmental sustainability conundrum.reddREDD+ encompasses additional integrated co-benefits including conservation of the rainforest, to protect the natural habitat of the Indigenous Tribes and forest dwelling communities; biodiversity protection of the plants and animals, which are reliant on this vulnerable habitat; and socio-economic investment & improvements for the local communities, including health, education, and employment.REDD+ projects are an excellent opportunity for stakeholders in both the developed and developing world to reciprocally learn from each other. Developed country's stakeholders can avail of the vast knowledge resource, which exists in these communities, to teach people about sustainable living; while the developing country's stakeholders can be educated in agricultural strategies to improve the productivity of small to medium landholdings, which reduces deforestation drivers such as slash and burn. Pictured: REDD+ projects aim to protect vulnerable rainforest regionsHistorically, unceremonious and unscrupulous activities have been perpetrated by domestic and foreign stakeholders, who have dispossessed communities of their lands and resources. These injustices can no longer be ignored, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, must be used as a fundamental cornerstone of implementing safeguards when developing REDD projects worldwide, irrespective of the standard used.After the mandatory adherence to the international FPIC principle, Celestial Green Ventures' (CGV's) REDD+ projects include requirements to respect and protect the rights of the local people and their communities, including the full and effective participation of and engagement with the project area's inhabitants. It is also imperative, through the ECO Natural Forest Standard, that each of CGV's projects fulfil the fundamental additionality requirement, while also delivering additional integrated benefits of conservation, biodiversity protection and socioeconomic & community investment in the project areas. These all contribute to an overarching objective of effective forest governance.Contemporary ProgressIn a fast moving, technologically driven world, stakeholders who can leverage the available information and technology to achieve their own objectives will be able to successfully meet the market's requirements. With this in mind, CGV in partnership with Ecometrica, have developed a unique cloud-based geospatial data platform. This utilises collated research resources from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SimAMAZONIA, PRODES INPE and CGV project data. This innovative tool can illustrate multiple layers of environmental data, including historic & predicted deforestation, sequestered carbon stocks & biomass density and future risk of deforestation on a five-point intensity scale, which includes tonnes of carbon at risk, and therefore the forestry offset yield potential of an area. It can also identify areas within each project where illegal deforestation is occurring, resulting in vastly reduced response times enabling an almost instantaneous redistribution of resources to the affected area.CGV is strategically positioned in the market, operating medium to large-scale regional projects and therefore bridging the gap between the current polarised stakeholders, who are the smaller community projects and the major international government & UN endorsed projects. ??Forests 085