Quick Stop on Durban Cop-December 1
Negotiators in the AWG-LCA agreed on Thursday to keep their REDD+ debate focused on those issues where agreement can be reached and blended with the text that SBSTA is developing on safeguards and reference levels - a decision that many in the halls described as kicking the tough stuff down the road.
Within SBSTA, the critical issue of how countries submit reference levels will be kicked down to an expert review.
"It's not dead; it's not gone away," says John-O Niles, who runs the Tropical Forest Group. "It's just not here now, but you can't get everything across the line at once."
He gave high marks to SBSTA co-chair Peter Graham for whittling an ungainly mass of conflicting opinions down to something that has a chance of maybe one day becoming something that has meaning.
"He did a really good job of taking this extraordinarily complex thing -- 100s of submissions with some of them running pages," Niles says. "He did a nice job of probably getting something that the delegates can pass for SBSTA which is what we work on, what a lot of people will work on this little level."
He adds that progress on reference levels, information systems, and safeguards was promising - but other groups felt the safeguards were being pushed to the side. We'll try and flesh this issue out as talks progress.
Bolivia, meanwhile, offered to deliver an alternative to REDD - something we hope to flesh out later today.
We also ran into Odigha Odigha in the halls, and he told us about a new "REDD University" that he's working on together with John Mason and NCRC. They've apparently gotten some funding from UNDP, UNEP, and FAO, and technical support from Brazlian NGO Idesam. Stay tuned for details on that as well.