REDD+ and energy for rural development in East Africa

REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, including the role of conservation, sustainable management of forest and enhancement of carbon stocks in developing countries. This mechanism is intended to provide payments to developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from forests, and could support activities such as the conservation of existing forests, sustainable forest management and enhancing carbon stocks, which may include reforestation or afforestation activities. The emergence of REDD+ provides an opportunity on both the regional and national scale, to invest in long term sustainable forest management that not only contributes to mitigate climate change through reduced deforestation and forest degradation in the region, but also provides an opportunity to complement regional and national strategies to address energy issues. By integrating REDD+ strategies with country-level strategies and programmes for energy it will be possible to, improve the sustainability of biomass energy use and production and to diversify access to energy in rural and urban areas, and conserve key ecosystems in order to secure a steady flow of water for hydroelectric power production that is essential for industrial growth and the growing services sector.