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Targeted mainly at the European markets, Reduced Emissions from Degradation and Deforestation or REDD is starting to emerge as a major force in the voluntary carbon market and is expected to become part of the successor to the Kyoto Protocol post 2012.

REDDSo called REDD projects are supporting the voluntary markets. EITG and its partners are active in projects throughout Africa using proprietary mobile phone technology developed for the purposes of managing payments. Using this technology forest can be managed down to the 1 ha level with individuals paid for monitoring and managing the forest rather than burning it down and raising crops that ruin the soil.

Customers in supermarkets in Europe then use mobile technology to recognise and track the bar codes on product playing a video for the customer to show the forest conservation activity in action.

All of this is the precursor to REDD be accepted in the successor to the Kyoto Protocol post 2012 in part to allow countries to access cheap carbon offsets to compensate for increased emission reduction targets of 20 to 30% below 1990 levels.

The scale of these projects is massive, one EITG is currently in the early stages of working on is some 44 million ha. This is over 20 times the total exotic forest estate in New Zealand or 1.6 times the entire area of the country!

Currently REDD emissions reductions trade for between 5 and 8 USD per tonne of C02 avoided, or less than half the equivalent Kyoto credits. Prices have been steadily rising due to improved verification and understanding of the benefits by those purchasing the credits.