REDD+ is a framework created by the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) to guide activities in the forest sector that reduces emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the sustainable management of forests and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. It aims at the implementation of activities by national governments to reduce human pressure on forests that result in greenhouse gas emissions at the national level, but as an interim measure also recognizes subnational implementation. The implementation of REDD+ activities is voluntary and depends on the national circumstances, capacities and capabilities of each developing country and the level of support received.
The framework is commonly referred to as the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ (WFR) adopted at COP 19 in Warsaw, December 2013 and provides the complete methodological and financing guidance for the implementation of REDD+ activities. REDD+ is also recognized in Article 5 of the Paris Agreement, where Parties re-iterated the encouragement to implement REDD+ activities, and that these should be an integral element of the Paris Agreement. Therefore, the WFR is a foundation for Parties engaged in REDD+ to fulfill the highest level of commitment to climate actions in the forest sector.
Implementation in phases
Parties agreed that REDD+ should be implemented in phases, which can overlap:
- Beginning with the development of national strategies or action plans, policies and measures, and capacity-building (also known as the readiness phase),
- Followed by implementation of national policies and measures and national strategies or action plans that could involve further capacity-building, technology development and transfer and results-based demonstration activities,
- And evolving into results-based actions that should be fully measured, reported and verified, allowing countries to seek and obtain results-based payments.
Relevant organizations and stakeholders are invited to support efforts by Parties in a number of ways, for example by addressing drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, sharing experiences, support capacity-building, provide technical assistance and mobilize resources. Although many different stakeholders are involved in the actual implementation of the REDD+ activities, such actions should happen within the framework of the national REDD+ strategy or action plan, because the national government is the responsible entity for reporting to the UNFCCC.
Reporting to the UNFCCC
The elements that are being developed during the early phases of REDD+ should be in place when developing countries seek to obtain and receive results-based finance for results-based actions that are fully measured, reported and verified. Information that needs to be reported to be eligible for results-based finance includes:
- The assessed results (tonnes CO2 per year) for each relevant period;
- The assessed forest reference level (tonnes CO2 per year);
- The summary of information on how all of the REDD+ safeguards are being addressed and respected;
- A link to the REDD+ national strategy or action plan;
- Information on the national forest monitoring system.
Once reported, all of the information above is available on the central Lima Information Hub for REDD+.
One of the strengths of the WFR is the trust it creates between actors by providing transparency on the implementation of REDD+ results-based actions, while also allowing the flexibility for countries to implement REDD+ activities depending on the specific national circumstances, capacities and capabilities of each developing country and the level of support received. The transparency of REDD+ activities in accordance with the WFR is also essential to ensure environmental integrity and consistency with the Paris Agreement.
Parties, relevant organizations and stakeholders are also encouraged to share information related to REDD+ on the UNFCCC REDD+ Web Platform.