Landscape approaches and planning

The UN-REDD Programme’s global work on landscape approaches and planning aims to synthesize experiences on land-use planning/spatial planning to accelerate REDD+ implementation, both through knowledge-sharing events and knowledge products.

Multiple land use planning will help achieve transformational change at a landscape scale in order to raise ambitions in the NDCs.

Specific examples of tools and approaches for integrated land-use planning and management, as well as lessons learned from country-level implementation, were explored and shared during the technical session at the Sixth World Forest Week entitled ‘Common Ground: multipurpose landuse planning for halting deforestation’. The exchange organized by the UN-REDD Programme included country representatives from Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, as well the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Participants highlighted the need for community participation in land-use planning and for support to enable the development of innovative tools that facilitate cross-sectoral collaboration.

During 2018, the experiences of various countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America in integrating non-carbon benefits and spatial-analysis results into REDD+ policy documents were amalgamated into an Info Brief – Spatial analysis: a tool for integrated land-use planning for REDD+ (available in English, French, Spanish). The Info Brief documents best practice in this field to help those countries that are still preparing their NS/APs, as well as those who have already approved an NS/AP and are now in the process of developing investment or implementation plans. Furthermore, two reports about using spatial analysis to support REDD+ land-use planning were elaborated and tailored to the context of Liberia and Papua New Guinea. These highlighted the importance of analysing, considering and strengthening benefits for biodiversity, ecosystem services and livelihoods.

Integrated land-use planning aims to balance, in a participative, evidence- based way, the goals of different sectors or policy areas. Within a REDD+ context, this involves understanding the potential benefits and risks related to the objectives of specific REDD+ actions, and how they vary across a country or landscape. What policy or measure is implemented, where it is implemented and how it is implemented are factors that will collectively influence the social, environmental and economic outcomes. The analysis of benefits and risks specific to REDD+ PAMs has been carried out in numerous countries with UN-REDD support to help ensure that REDD+ is designed and implemented in a way that avoids or mitigates potential environmental and social risks and enhances benefits, in line with the Cancun safeguards. These specific benefits and risks were mentioned in almost half of the strategy documents reviewed and, in most cases, there was evidence that they had influenced the choice of PAMs incorporated into REDD+ strategies and plans.

Interviews with representatives from nine different countries identified the following key factors enabling the integration of non-carbon benefits and risks into REDD+ strategies and plans: reliability of spatial data; timing of spatial analyses; clarity of goals; relevance to policies; and stakeholder involvement. Best practices emerging from REDD+ work, which support the integration of spatial-analysis results into policy, include use of participatory approaches to agree on analysis objectives; alignment of spatial analyses and policy development; involvement of key stakeholders; increased accessibility and availability of spatial data; and technical capacity- building.

To support REDD+ countries in undertaking spatial analyses, the UN-REDD Programme has this year developed four new GIS tutorials (on wind erosion, fire, landslide vulnerability and multiple benefits – available at //, which were tested in country working sessions. Two existing tutorials (Comparison of carbon data sets and ArcGis Toolbox) have also had a major update.

This report is made possible through support from Denmark, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the European Union.