A gathering in Da Lat to discuss forests and climate change (2011)

The third stage of my trip to Vietnam in 2011 involved flying from Hanoi to the city of Da Lat in the southern highlands, where I joined a series of meetings of the steering committees of two global initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and degradation of forests (REDD+). A large number of delegates were assembled, representing tropical forest countries in the “south”, donor agencies and various specialised units of the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). I subsequently worked as an adviser for the joint UN “REDD” Programme, based in Geneva from 2014 to 2016. But in Da Lat I was simply a participant in the meetings, which included an excursion to the forests of the region to learn how the communities – ethnic minorities – managed to balance their interests in expanding coffee cultivation with forest conservation.

After 3 days of talking, 150 participants head for the hills to see forests (6 bus loads…)

dscn1368

A video-recorded interview with one of the Indonesian forestry service reps.

dscn1382

Intercultural exchanges between foresters from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas

dscn1384

A farm house in Bao Thuan with coffee bushes planted right up close to the building

dscn1394

Ceremony welcoming the delegates to Bao Thuan – note the carbon dioxide in the trees! 

dscn1396

Men in traditional garb, not looking very happy or perhaps just a bit chilly…

dscn1397

Dancing and beating the drums around a symbolic tree

dscn1406

My caravan has passed a lot of other forests and parked outside numerous meeting halls and hotels since I began to get involved in the global REDD+ agenda. From the end of 2007 when parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed to include forests in the effort to reduce emissions, to the breakthrough agreement at the 21st conference of the parties in Paris in December 2015, I was active in developing the REDD+ mechanism. The conservation of nature, better forest management and reduced emissions are vital components of development strategies to “green” our planet (again…).

For more information see:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s