Significant Progress made to Reduce Deforestation and Forest Degradation in St. Lucia

Significant Progress made to Reduce Deforestation and Forest Degradation in St. Lucia

OECS and EU Finance Climate Change Mitigation Initiative

Two days of consultations held in Saint Lucia recently have laid the groundwork for implementation of a National Strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).

Agencies and experts in attendance during the two day consultations included the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Forestry Department, the Department of Sustainable Development, the Physical Planning Department, Project Manager for the Iyanola Project, the Caribbean Youth Environmental Network (CYEN), Invest St. Lucia, Fauna and Flora International (FFI), the Physical Planning Department and the Japan Climate Change Alliance.

The workshop was facilitated by Climate Change Expert Mr. Eduardo Reyes of Panama, who was contracted by the OECS Commission, with funding from the EU, to provide technical assistance for the establishment of a REDD+ National Strategy.

The workshop provided attendees with a brief synopsis of climate change and its impacts. It also explained REDD+ as an initiative developed to mitigate climate change by reducing deforestation, forest degradation, conservation of existing forests, and the enhancement of carbon stocks through reforestation and afforestation. Deforestation and Forest Degradation account for nearly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It has become increasingly clear that, in order to lessen the impacts of climate change to tolerable limits, global average temperatures must not be increased to more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. This goal will not be attainable without reducing emissions from the forest sector, in addition to other mitigation actions.

Mr. Reyes informed the workshop that REDD+ is an initiative with a three phased approach. “The first phase would allow a country to decide on actions within REDD+ that it may choose to carry out without having to report formally on these actions."

“The second phase builds on the first and usually includes projects that enhances the existing carbon stocks within the country."

"In the third phase the country applies to access the payment mechanism under the REDD+ initiative. This payment mechanism allows countries to sell carbon credits through bi-lateral agreements or receive payments for carbon credits through the green climate fund,” Mr. Reyes said.

Mr. Reyes cautioned that while Saint Lucia was indeed on the right path towards REDD+, there was still a lot of work to be done. He elaborated that data requirements such as GIS data, a forest definition, and a more comprehensive and transparent Green House Gas (GHG) Inventory would be needed. He also explained that assessments of the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector was necessary to get the country ready for the third phase of the project.

This REDD+ initiative is part of iLand Resilience – The OECS Commission’s Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainable Land Management Project funded by the EU.

Contact us
Chamberlain Emmanuel Head of Environmental Cluster, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Phillip Cupid OECS Communications, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Ramon Peachey OECS Communications, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Tahira Carter OECS Communications, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Chamberlain Emmanuel Head of Environmental Cluster, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Phillip Cupid OECS Communications, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Ramon Peachey OECS Communications, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Tahira Carter OECS Communications, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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