The UN-REDD Programme is the United Nations Collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries. The Programme was launched in September 2008 to assist developing countries prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies, and builds on the convening power and expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Programme empowers countries to manage their REDD processes by assisting them to identify ways to address their specific drivers of deforestation; develop methods and tools for measuring and monitoring greenhouse gas emissions; facilitate the participation of national stakeholders; and access financial and technical assistance." UN-REDD pilot countries include :
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Papua New Guinea
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
The four specific outcomes of the UN-REDD Programme activities at the global level are:
- Improved guidance on Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) approaches, including consensus on principles and guidelines for MRV and training programmes.
- Increased engagement of stakeholders in the REDD+ agenda, ensuring Indigenous Peoples representative groups and non-Annex 1 decisionmakers are informed and engaged
- Ensuring that forests continue to provide multiple benefits for livelihoods and the environment
- Increased confidence in REDD+ amongst decision makers, to ensure a REDD+ mechanism is included in a post 2012 climate change agreement.
Deforestation and forest degradation, through agricultural expansion, conversion to pastureland, infrastructure development, destructive logging, fires etc., account for nearly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire global transportation sector and second only to the energy sector. It is now clear that in order to constrain the impacts of climate change within limits that society will reasonably be able to tolerate, the global average temperatures must be stabilized within two degrees Celsius. This will be practically impossible to achieve without reducing emissions from the forest sector, in addition to other mitigation actions.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) - is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. “REDD+” goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
It is predicted that financial flows for greenhouse gas emission reductions from REDD+ could reach up to US$30 billion a year. This significant North-South flow of funds could reward a meaningful reduction of carbon emissions and could also support new, pro-poor development, help conserve biodiversity and secure vital ecosystem services.
Further, maintaining forest ecosystems can contribute to increased resilience to climate change. To achieve these multiple benefits, REDD will require the full engagement and respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities.
To “seal the deal” on climate change, REDD activities in developing countries must complement, not be a substitute for, deep cuts in developed countries’ emissions. The decision to include REDD in a post-Kyoto regime must not jeopardize the commitment of Annex I countries to reduce their own emissions. Both will be critical to successfully address climate change.
Carbon, biodiversity & ecosystem services: exploring co-benefits
Emissions from land use change, mainly tropical forest loss, contribute an estimated 17.4% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC 2007). The maintenance and enhancement of natural carbon stocks, e.g. through Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD), is now considered a key climate change mitigation measure.
Maintaining natural carbon stocks can generate co-benefits, benefits that are additional to climate change mitigation effects. Ecosystem co-benefits, which include biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services, derive directly from maintaining natural ecosystems. Other co-benefits derive from the mechanisms used and the social and political changes needed to implement them, such as clarification of land tenure and enhanced participation in decision making. These are sometimes termed 'social' co-benefits. The types, mixture and scale of co-benefits vary between approaches and locations.