BONN, May 24 (Reuters Point Carbon) - Countries risk delaying much-needed private sector investment in slowing deforestation by dodging tricky issues such as how to protect the rights of forest dwellers, green groups said Thursday.
Negotiators aim to finish work on how to measure the CO2 content of tropical forests by the year-end U.N. meeting in Qatar.
But, according to a draft U.N. document, nations will take another year to complete work on ensuring that any move to cut emissions by slowing down deforestation will not harm indigenous communities or the biodiversity of the forests.
Investors and green groups say the work is necessary, but it needs to be completed sooner to funnel private sector finance to slowing emissions growth from a sector that is estimated to be responsible for 17 percent of global greenhouse gas output.
“Until these items are addressed I would expect it would be too difficult for responsible companies to get involved,” Nils Hermann Ranum of green group Rainforest Foundation Norway told Reuters Point Carbon.
He said that because many countries with the biggest REDD potential were considered risky for investors to deploy cash, they needed firm guarantees over land rights of forest inhabitants and the rich biodiversity of rainforests included as part of a U.N. framework.
The Climate Markets and Investor Association has said ensuring so-called safeguards against is the first priority for its members to operate in the sector.
Richer countries such as Japan and Australia want to be able to use REDD credits help meet their own emission reduction goals more cheaply and effective auditing of the CO2 content in forests is seen as key to being able to use the credits in any emission trading scheme.
Reporting by Ben Garside