Progress towards REDD+ implementation

Under its renewed strategic approach since 2017, the UN-REDD Programme has been increasingly supporting the pioneer REDD+ countries in implementing their PAMs for REDD+, as well as in deploying the institutional mechanisms that will underpin such implementation (e.g. investment plans, national funding mechanisms, monitoring systems, forest governance arrangements and legitimate tenure rights).

This support has also helped countries tangibly advance their NDCs in the land and forest realm. This section outlines the most relevant or innovative progress and achievements of UN-REDD technical assistance to support REDD+ implementation in 2018, notably in the Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Viet Nam. It also refers to the role of UN-REDD in designing the pioneer REDD+ RBP proposals for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) (Brazil and Ecuador).

In 2018, Côte d’Ivoire advanced its investment portfolio and institutional framework for implementing the PAMs identified in the National REDD+ Strategy. A first investment portfolio for REDD+ was designed, including a GCF programme proposal linked to a co-financing partnership with the private sector (US$ 70 million). Actions and partnerships for zero-deforestation commodity chains were also developed under the framework of the international Cocoa & Forests Initiative, which brings together major international companies in the cocoa sector and selected countries, including Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) initiative made progress in enhancing forest governance and the legality of wood production by developing decrees for the Forest Code that address issues related to timber legality, deforestation and degradation. Work is ongoing to pilot a payment-for-ecosystem-services mechanism and develop a partnership for financing sustainable commodity production that will underpin REDD+ actions with community and small-producer stakeholders. Côte d’Ivoire continued to make progress in designing a national financial mechanism for REDD+, which will help mobilize, coalesce, sequence and monitor finance for REDD+ from diverse sources, e.g. public and private, domestic and international, investments and incentives.

Indonesia adopted a new approach to addressing forest and land fires, which are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, through the establishment of ‘clusters’. With support from the international community, the country is aiming to continue improving its capacity to develop and implement an integrated fire management approach for abating repeated fires. To pilot the integrated fire management approach, seven clusters will be established, covering 14 million hectares of peatlands both in and outside the forest estate.

With UN-REDD support, Ecuador, which has fulfilled all the requirements of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ (in which UN-REDD played a pivotal role), and has advanced actions on its National REDD+ Strategy, engaged in the RBP pilot program launched by the GCF to recognize the emission reductions achieved during 2014. Ecuador reported a result of 4,831,679 tCO2 for this period, which is eligible for results-based payments. Technical support was provided for compiling, analysing and submitting these results and included the development of a funding proposal for the GCF. Additionally, technical assistance was provided for developing a REDD+ Implementation Plan for indigenous peoples with the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE), including priority actions for implementing the plan, with funds expected from the 2014 results-based payments. Finally, UN-REDD technical assistance helped the country enhance its NDCs using a participatory approach, and supported the national REDD+ working group (Mesa de Trabajo REDD+), which met five times during 2018. One of its principal achievements was approving the national proposal for results-based payments for future submission to the GCF.

In Mexico, the UN-REDD Programme provided technical knowledge and supported participatory processes to coalesce a collective, cross-stakeholder understanding on the legal ownership of forest carbon. As a result of the consensus reached, the Government will promote adjustments to the forestry law, while developing short-term options to facilitate the fair distribution of benefits for the preliminary carbon projects. The technical inputs and lessons learned from this process were shared with the region via South-South knowledge exchanges supported by the UN-REDD knowledge platform.

In Peru, UN-REDD assisted the Government in setting up a framework for implementing Peru’s National Strategy on Forests and Climate Change (ENBCC), within the context of Peru’s multilateral agreement for REDD+ – a JDI signed with Norway and Germany. This entailed support around the JDI Phase II Implementation Plan, including an agreement among stakeholders on its content and approaches to align with the ENBCC. In addition, UN-REDD advised on the approaches and stakeholder discussions required for a coherent and practical governance structure of the forest and climate change agenda in Peru, including the ENBCC, JDI Phase II Implementation Plan and the NDC on land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), among other projects and instruments. Finally, the UN-REDD Programme helped key national and subnational stakeholders – including the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Forest Service and regional governments – agree on the need to endorse land-use policy reforms to reduce deforestation and degradation and identify the principal first steps to be taken in this regard.

UN-REDD has supported the Republic of the Congo in revising its REDD+ National Investment Framework to ensure that it is closely aligned with the country’s efforts to secure current international climate and forest financing opportunities. This investment framework, which includes programmes for climate-smart agriculture and sustainable forest management, was positively received by the Executive Board of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), which decided to initiate a negotiation process for a funding agreement that is likely to be secured in 2019. The revision of the investment framework equally served to enhance the country’s engagement with the Forest Investment Program (FIP), as well as underpinning the design of a proposal for the GCF to address the pressures on forests from small-scale agriculture and fuelwood collection.

Thanks to UN-REDD support in Viet Nam, the midterm National REDD+ Implementation Plan was finalized and endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in December 1. Compared with previous REDD+ policy implementation plans, the National REDD+ Implementation Plan reveals a robust cross-sectoral approach. It also boasts an in-depth degree of stakeholder engagement, notably engagement of indigenous peoples and the private sector. UN-REDD has advised the Government and stakeholders on how to engage and include ethnic minorities in national investment endeavours, including policy dialogue within the Committee on Ethnic Minorities that was backed by a high-level political forum (see the section on ‘Forest tenure and the rights of indigenous peoples’ in this report for more details). UN-REDD also supported the Government in engaging and guiding private-sector actors towards deforestation- free sustainable investments, including the development of responsible investment guidelines and forest certification approaches, all of which will guide producers, traders and industrialists in various commodity chains (notably rubber, coffee and cashew nuts). UN-REDD continued providing technical advisory support for REDD+ implementation in pilot provinces. In addition, it advised on the development of a draft monitoring and evaluation framework for REDD+ implementation that is key to enabling stakeholders to track and support implementation.

The UN-REDD Programme provided technical assistance to two pioneer countries – Brazil and Ecuador (see above) – for designing pilot RBP proposals on REDD+ to submit to the GCF. These are the very first proposals to recognize and reward REDD+ implementation under UNFCCC rules. The approach undertaken by UN-REDD experts will serve other REDD+ nations, as it demonstrates that using REDD+ as a results-based financial system works. These cases highlight that REDD+ implementation yields financial returns as per UNFCCC agreements.

In addition, UN-REDD supported several institutional mechanisms and instruments to underpin and monitor the implementation of REDD+ PAMs. One major stream of knowledge and advisory services concerned the establishment and governance of national REDD+ funding arrangements, aimed at mobilizing, channelling, coordinating, assessing, sequencing and monitoring international and domestic REDD+ finance – this is further detailed in the section ‘REDD+ funding mechanisms’. UN-REDD also helped Chile develop integrated systems for monitoring the pace and results of implementation of the National Strategy on Climate Change and Vegetation Resources (ENCCRV). This included a methodological approach to monitoring the non-carbon co-benefits of the ENCCRV, suitable for different policy and investment partnerships, from UNFCCC reporting requirements to GCF programmes. The UN-REDD Programme also supported enhanced forest governance mechanisms to enable implementation of certain REDD+ actions, such as the legal clarification of forest and carbon rights. In particular, UN-REDD helped the Latin-American Parliament (Parlatino) prepare a draft climate change law within its Agricultural Commission that will guide many countries in the region to conciliate the forest–farm–climate linkages. The collaboration between the UN-REDD Programme and various initiatives on FLEGT continued, as cited in the Côte d’Ivoire case, as well as in Colombia and Viet Nam.

In response to country requests, UN-REDD has increasingly been supporting countries to achieve their forest-carbon emission reduction targets through a combination of cross-sectoral and policy reform efforts originating from forest, land and agriculture actions alike. Several countries received support to advance sustainable and low-impact forest management practices (Chile and Panama), integrated fire management (Chile), landscape restoration (Chile), inclusion of ‘value chain’ concepts (Zambia), and to mobilize private finance for deforestation-free agriculture (Indonesia). Countries also received support for REDD+ investment plans, South-South exchanges on the use of market mechanisms for forest conservation (Colombia and Mexico) and the empowerment of indigenous people to manage and monitor their territories (forests and lands) using innovative technologies (Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama).

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