World Agroforestry Centre at COP15

Looking at the Forest and the Trees for REDD

Our research shows that land uses outside the forest can store significant carbon, while enhancing other environmental services and creating climate change adaptation benefits for smallholder farmers.

The World Agroforestry Centre supports the development of incentives for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), and a REDD-plus agreement that opens the door to future emissions reductions from all land uses. Promoting land uses which store carbon - such as agroforestry - and reducing emissions from all land uses will provide reliable options to achieve global climate goals while enabling low carbon development pathways.

This page provides a resource for materials relating to the World Agroforestry Centre's involvement in the UN Climate Change Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 including:


To read more about some of the outcomes of COP15 relating to our work, see the following:

  • Report on the World Agroforestry Centre and ASB's involvement in COP 15
    Titled 'Recap: Promoting Trees outside forests in Copenhage', this blog post provides an overview of our engagement in discussions on REDD-plus, particular during Agriculture and Rural Development Day, Forest Day 3 and side events.

  • Should a perfect REDD deal get in the way of a good one?
    Blog post (ASB, REDD and UNFCC) 13 December 2009
    A draft agreement outlining a framework for REDD has created a new sense of optimism that a mechanism aimed at protecting rainforests as a means to mitigate climate change will be included in the next global climate agreement. But for others keeping a close watch on the negotiations, it provided more questions than answers because it lacked specific details on crucial items such as specific targets from reducing forest emissions or the amount of financing the program would receive.
  • Linking local, national and global actions key to fight climate change
    Article by Meine van Noordwijk, January 2010
    The Centre's Chief Science Advisor, Meine van Noordwijk, reflects on the outcomes of Copenhagen and the gap which exists between Globally Appropriate Mitigation Actions and Locally Appropriate Mitigation Actions.
  • Why farms may be the new forests
    The Economist, 30 December 2009
    Although there is still work to be done on REDD, the deal struck in Copenhagen is encouraging not just for those people whose focus is on forests, for those interested in fields. Farming is a cause of deforestation, and also emits greenhouse gases but agriculture can also dispose of heat-trapping gases, by increasing the carbon content of soils.

  • Joint-Statement: agroforestry and forestry are part of the solution
    Stakeholders representing agriculture and forestry interests, including the World Agroforestry Centre, released a joint statement on 14 December during the climate change meeting in Copenhagen. The statement emphasizes that forestry and agriculture are where poverty reduction, food security, and climate change come together, and it urges negotiators to address them in an integrated fashion to ensure that the livelihoods of poor farmers in developing countries are not adversely affected in the future. The recommendations were the conclusions of three days of events: Agriculture and Rural Development Day, Forest Day, and a side event sponsored by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.


Media Release: issued 11 December 2009, Copenhagen
New analysis finds current definition of forests in climate agreement undermines efforts to protect forests and reduce emissions
Disagreement over what constitutes a forest could undermine an agreement to protect forests, which is expected to be one of the bright spots at the UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen, according to an analysis by the Alternatives to Slash and Burn (ASB) Partnership for Tropical Forest Margins. Download the full media release.

Media coverage about the Centre from COP15:

PUBLICATIONS launched at COP15

Trees on farms: Tackling the triple challenge of mitigation, adaptation and food security
Trees on farms store carbon, buffering against climate-related impacts and providing additional income for smallholders through tree-based products.
  Reducing Emissions from All Land Uses: The case for a whole landscape approach
A whole-landscape approach to reducing emissions and managing carbon stocks can help address the drivers of deforestation, reduce problems such as leakage, and enhance the participation of developing countries in a REDD deal.

If we cannot define it, we cannot save it: Forest definitions and REDD
Forest definitions are ambiguous. As a result, forest loss is often not officially counted as deforestation. Application of AFOLU accounting rules can bypass the need for clear definitions, reduce leakage and promote multifunctional landscapes in an equitable, efficient and effective way.

Perceptions on fairness and efficiency of the REDD Value Chain: Methods and results from pilot analyses in Indonesia and Peru
REDD will require a value chain that links local emission reduction and carbon enhancement activities with global carbon markets. A REDD deal must be fair for the providers of these services, effective at reducing emissions, and cost-efficient.


Global survey of REDD projects: What implications for global climate objectives?

Africa's biocarbon experience: Lessons for improving performance in the African carbon markets

The current patterns of REDD investments across the tropics will miss important opportunities to maximize emissions reductions. Investments in REDD demonstration projects, particularly in Africa, should be increased, in order to generate practical lessons for future REDD implementation and to enhance participation in mainstream carbon markets.


Our scientists presented at the following side events and the Centre had an exhibition booth at the conference centre from 7-18 December, 2009. For a summary report, see the blog post: Recap: promoting trees outside the forest at Copenhagen.

Thursday 10 December 2009, 13.00 - 15.00
EU side event: Deforestation, forest conservation and the climate challenge
Venue: Bella Centre, EU pavilion, Room Schuman
Speakers include Dr. Robin Matthews (Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, UK) and Dr Meine van Noordwijk (World Agroforestry Centre) on Opportunity costs of carbon emissions from land use change: Broadening the Scope of REDD. The organizations are partners on the project: REDD-Alert (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation through Alternative Landuses in Rainforests of the Tropics).

Friday 11 December 2009, 15:30 - 17:00
Development and Climate Day session: REDD and development: ensuring the integrity of greenhouse gas reductions and development benefits
Venue: Koncerthuset (The Concert House), DR Byen
Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre, Dr Dennis Garrity, will speak on REDD, Agroforestry and Livelihood Benefits alongside panelists from the Governments of Norway and Vietnam, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Saturday 12 December 2009, 08:00 - 18:00
Agriculture and Rural Development Day
Venue: Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE), University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 40
Dr. Henry Neufeldt, head of climate change research at the World Agroforestry Centre, will present on Agroforestry for Mitigation and Adaptation at the Ideas Marketplace (14.30h)

Sunday 13 December 2009, 16.30 - 18.00
Forest Day 3 Learning Event: Landscape approaches to adaptation and mitigation
Venue: Radisson BLU Falconer Hotel & Conference Center
This learning event, co-hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and The World Bank will explore how landscape approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation are being developed in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Director General, Dr. Dennis Garrity will chair the session and Dr. Meine van Noordwijk will present the Centre's work on payments for environmental services in the Mount Kenya area.

Thursday 17 Dec 2009, 14:45-16:15
UNFCCC side event: Strategies for a staged full inclusion of terrestrial carbon
Venue: Bella Centre, room Halfdan Rasmussen
The World Agroforestry Centre and the Terrestrial Carbon Group will present progress and strategies for resolving scientific, institutional and economic challenges to a staged full inclusion of terrestrial carbon in accounting for greenhouse gas mitigation, starting with forest emissions and sequestration.


Kahrl F, Tennigkeit T, Wilkes A, Xu Jianchu , Yufang S and Mei Y. 2009. Pro-Growth Pathway for Reducing Net GHG Emissions in China. Working Paper no 93:15 p. 

Hairiah K, Dewi S, Agus F, van Noordwijk M and Rahayu S. 2009. Measuring Carbon Stocks Across Land Use Systems: A Manual. Bogor, Indonesia. World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), SEA Regional Office, Brawijaya University and ICALRRD (Indonesian Center for Agricultural Land Resources Research and Development). 127 p. (DRAFT)

Suyanto S, Muharrom E and van Noordwijk M. 2009. Fair and Efficient REDD Value Chain Allocation: Lessons from Indonesia. Bogor, Indonesia. World Agroforestry Centre - ICRAF, SEA Regional Office. (DRAFT)

Galudra G, Sirait MT, Pasya G and Fay CC. 2009. RaTA: A Rapid Land Tenure Assessment Manual for Identifying the Nature of Land Tenure Conflicts. Bogor, Indonesia. World Agroforestry Centre - ICRAF, SEA Regional Office. 61 p. (DRAFT)