The 3RD Regional Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry, convened by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community on 28 September 2012 in Nadi, Fiji, endorsed the Pacific Islands Regional Policy Framework for REDD+.The framework was developed at the request of the regional Heads of Forestry meeting in 2009, to support Pacific Island countries (PICs) to address and participate in international regimes on greenhouse gas emission reduction in the forest and trees sector, commonly called: REDD+ (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation PLUS forest conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks).
The policy framework was drafted following a national and regional multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder consultation process, including policy dialogue, workshops and submissions to the draft. This process was supported through the SPC/GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) regional project Climate Protection through Forest Conservation in Pacific Islands Countries funded by the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Environment Ministry.
This Pacific Islands Regional Policy Framework for REDD+ is designed to provide options to guide national REDD+ programme development in the four larger Melanesian countries (Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu), which are preparing themselves to receive performance-based payments from national-scale accounted emission reductions.
It supports a 'no regrets' approach to REDD+ that keeps options open to engage with possible future global instruments currently in development, whilst taking advantage of mechanisms already available. Smaller PICs could benefit from such a project-based, site-specific approach to REDD+.
The proposed regional cooperation and support structures for the advancement of the forestry sector will also benefit all countries in the Pacific Island region.
The REDD+ policy framework comes with the understanding that forest-related mitigation measures in the Pacific Island region will have a range of non-carbon co-benefits associated with sustainable forest management, such as biodiversity conservation, adaptation to climate change and enhancement of livelihoods of Pacific Island communities.