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Extraordinary Meeting of the Environment Network

Date: 08 Jun 2007

Time: 9:00 AM

Location: Washington, D.C., United States

Extraordinary Meeting of the Environment Network “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD): Perspectives from LAC and Opportunities for Bank Support” Friday, June 8th, 2007

On June 8th, 2007 the Environment Network held an Extraordinary Meeting on “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD): Perspectives from LAC and Opportunities for Bank Support”at the Bank's DC headquarters. The half-day meeting assembled nine vice-ministers and IDB staff from across the region to discuss the issue of avoided deforestation which responds to the Network´s request to address forest conservation practices in the context of global CO2 emission reduction initiatives. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), also known as “avoided deforestation”, is emerging as an innovative idea, sparking interest around the world. Recognizing the impact of uncontrolled climate change to the region’s economy and natural environment, the Dialogue seeks to align itself with ongoing activities in the area of renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon finance and promote synergies being sought among various Bank mechanisms and programs. As such, the Dialogue hopes to bring about greater communication, sharing of experiences and regional cooperation among governments and meet a need highlighted by member countries on the linkages between environment, energy and climate change policies in the region. One such program is the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative (SECCI) launched early this year, which aims at supporting the LAC region in its urgent challenge to find economically and environmentally sound energy options. Recognizing the importance of the issue of avoided deforestation, the Environment Network's meeting took place the day after a large Bank meeting on Avoided Deforestation. The meeting held June 7th in DC was attended by over 80 representatives from NGOs, governments and multilateral organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean. Presentations and more information on that meeting can be found at www.secci-idb.org. The Environment Network's Extraordinary meeting assembled approximately 25 participants and had the following objectives: 1) Produce a proactive dialogue on avoided deforestation, between vice-ministers of environment and forestry and energy counterparts, the academic and technical community, NGOs and other relevant actors; 2) Discuss the strategic “issue map” of the REDD as presented by study commissioned by the Network entitled: “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation: Forests and Carbon Markets in the Americas”; 3) Assist the countries in technical discussions to strengthen their positions with respect to REDD for the upcoming COP13 meeting in Bali, Indonesia in December; 4) Develop an agenda for sub-regional activities and IDB support to vice-ministers and the environment and energy agendas within the Dialogue framework. Participants at the Environment Network's Extraordinary Session shared their country experiences and concerns on the issues of avoided deforestation and the role of the IDB in helping them deal with this important issue. At the end of the meeting, participants reached the following conclusions: 1) Participants saw a role for the IDB to play regarding REDD and urged the IDB to incorporate this subject into its activities through SECCI or another initiative; 2) Encouraged further technical and analytical assessments be done to gain a better grasp on country positions . This would be something elemental and would help the IDB to continue developing this discussion with the necessary safeguards; 3) The next step would be to decide whether to link the analytic work and the consulting work of the Network and fold it into SECCI and create a work program for the upcoming sub-regional meetings. Would aim for a Hemispheric meeting in early 2008. Finally, with the restructuring of the IDB, it was mentioned that it wasn’t yet clear where the Dialogue would be housed but participants wanted to ensure functional continuity by the Bank on the topic of Avoided Deforestation

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