Forest Reference Emission Levels

Following 10 years of UN-REDD programme support, national forest emissions data are more transparent and of a higher quality than ever before.

Of the 39 countries that had submitted FRELs/ FRLs to UNFCCC by January 2019, over 70 percent have received UN-REDD programme support. The programme has been crucial in providing technical assistance and capacity-building for FREL development, which has an impact far beyond the submission of FRELs to UNFCCC as the data enable countries to better address the requirements of the enhanced transparency framework under the Paris Agreement, and provide important input for policy- and decision- making.

Regional collaboration continued to be a core tenet of UN-REDD programme support in 2018 to capitalize on the range of lessons learned from national activities. Strong collaboration among agencies, national government partners and development organizations has enabled knowledge-exchange events to take place in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America. Fifty delegates from 13 countries in Asia and the Pacific and 26 delegates from 11 countries in Africa shared practical experiences on FRELs/FRLs and discussed REDD+ implementation at different scales through exchanges on nesting. Delegates from eight countries in Latin America also attended a regional workshop to share lessons learned from the preparation of national greenhouse gas inventories for the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector, highlighting how increased technical capacity from FREL development can support broader national climate change objectives.

The UN-REDD Programme supported the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nigeria (Cross River state) and Suriname in 2017, all of which subsequently submitted their FRELs/FRLs to UNFCCC in early 2018. Programme support also enabled four countries – Argentina, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Solomon Islands – to finalize their FRELs/FRLs for submission in early 2019, either through direct programme support in 2018 or building on support previously provided. Several countries received support to assess and report REDD+ results to UNFCCC (Colombia, Ecuador and Chile), as well as two countries that are expected to submit these in the near future (Cambodia and Papua New Guinea). This support was provided through methodological work and consultations with a range of stakeholders from government ministries, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector. The programme increased in-country capacity and understanding of FRELs/ FRLs through training on the UNFCCC requirements and information on the policy and technical implications of FREL/FRL construction.

Overall, the UN-REDD Programme supported 43 per cent of the countries that have submitted REDD+ results to date and 50 per cent of the countries that submitted REDD+ results in 2018. The DRC, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia and Myanmar, which submitted FRELs/FRLs in early 2018, also received UN-REDD programme support during 2018 to make improvements following the results of the UNFCCC Technical Assessment.

As countries continue to advance through the pillars of the Warsaw Framework, technical assistance and capacity-building on FRELs/FRLs remain fundamental components of the UN-REDD programme support. This support also responds to countries’ changing circumstances, and as countries move closer to receiving results-based payments, more support has been provided in 2018 on nesting and managing emission reductions at different scales, through registries – this is a requirement for many payment schemes to avoid the double-counting of emission reductions.

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