There is mounting agreement on rewarding tropical countries which slow deforestation under a new deal. This is the first issue where significant progress has been made in Copenhagen.

Rie Jerichow15/12/2009 16:00
Negotiators in Copenhagen have made progress on two key issues for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation – also known as REDD – a forest policy group reports, according to

“We needed two critical pieces of text to catapult into a world where developing nations could see real value for saving tropical forests,” says John O. Niles, Director of the Tropical Forest Group.

“Forests and forest peoples worldwide need “early action” language to fast track financing to save forests immediately. And the agreement needs clarification that national forest reference emissions levels will be discussed and decided with concrete timelines. Both of these critical dimensions of a new global forest paradigm are now very much in play,” he says according to

This the one of the few areas where significant progress has been made in Copenhagen, says Cara Peace, Tropical Forest Group’s Assistant Director for Policy in a statement.

“Saving tropical forests has positively catalyzed the climate change negotiations – it is the only beacon in an otherwise dark night,” cites her as saying.

According to Reuters, the latest draft text also addressed several key issues on protecting the interests of indigenous people, but activists complain that is has been moved out of a legally binding part of the text.