Photograph: View from old farm house in Las Mercedes Reserva Natural de las Aguas, Colombia. By: Emmerich Weissenberger, Nora Ruzsics.

Carbon Payments as Means for facilitating transformative Change to a low GHG Emission Land Use

Experiences from REDD+ Programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo & Colombia – by Martin Burian and Emmerich Weissenberger

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land use change, most importantly deforestation account for approx. 17 % of our global emissions. To address this issue, governments develop under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) a respective instrument, called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). In parallel, the international community developed the Forest Partnership Facility (FCPF), managed by World Bank, which pioneers payments for reducing GHG emissions from deforestation in tropical countries. The FCPF currently features a funding volume of 1.4 billion USD.

We will discuss our experiences in developing and implementing REDD+ programs covering:
•    Mai Ndombe Emission Reduction program in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which became the first REDD+ program approved by the FCPF;
•    Las Mercedes REDD+ Program in Colombia;

Our discussion will cover the basic elements of climate policies, climate finance and GHG accounting as well as practical experiences from designing and implementing REDD+ activities. The discussion aims on how scarce carbon finance may be best used to incentivize alternative land use approaches and related paradigm shifts.

MARTIN BURIAN holds a master in economics and works as climate and energy expert with GFA Consulting Group. Martin supports governments in developing countries in formulating low carbon development strategies, climate change mitigation programs as well as related financing instruments. Martin has worked in 20+ developing countries (mainly Africa) supporting European Commission, World Bank, UNDP, UNEP, GIZ and KfW Development Bank funded programs.

EMMERICH WEISSENBERGER, Actionist, Painter, Sculptor, Illustrator, born in 1966 in Graz (Austria), lives and works at Castle Landersdorf, Lower Austria. Diploma at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Co-founder of Rosasturm Art Laboratory for Sustainable Development since 2004, and of the artist collective ArtEmbassy in collaboration with Nora Ruzsics. Since 2009, ArtEmbassy has been working on the topics of eco-social and economic sustainability in international art projects and exhibitions, resulting in films and publications.


In the context of exploring questions related to the future of work and what ‘a good life’ could mean through our 'Artscience practises’ seminar this year. Currently we experience the promise of jobs as a powerful actor (whether its through the threat of cuts due to automatisation, immigration, urbanisation etc or as justification to give tax-breaks). Through lectures, workshops and excursions we want to use the winter and summer semester to speculate on what work could be and how it could frame our sense of fulfilment if moral implications and definitions are changing.

Carbon Payments as Means for facilitating transformative Change to a low GHG Emission Land Use
March 11, 2019, 14:00h
Salzgries 14, 2nd floor, 1010 Vienna