The Role of REDD in the Harmonisation of Overlapping International Obligations
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Since 2007, Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have been negotiating “policy approaches and positive incentives on issues relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries; and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries,” commonly referred to with the acronym REDD+. Albeit the negotiations on REDD+ remain in fieri at the time of writing, this article discusses its potential to complement international conventions and agreements dealing with biodiversity protection and human rights. The choice of these two areas relates both to their links with the subject matter of REDD+, and to the fact that Parties to the UNFCCC and international bureaucracies dealing with these matters have already taken some steps to address potential overlaps. Far from being merely a theoretical question, therefore, the issues discussed in this article have attracted ample attention as negotiations progress. This article gives an account of this ongoing debate, providing a snapshot of its evolution, as well as some predictions on its outcome.