REDD+ and other mitigation strategies

REDD+ stands for “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Forests, and the Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks in Developing Countries.” REDD+ aims to reduce the emission of CO2 by protecting tropical forests. REDD+ is part of the 2010 Cancun Accords.

Several dozens of developing countries with forests are currently preparing for REDD+. How REDD+ can be incorporated in a future climate agreement depends on the climate negotiations. These are continuing as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The first phase is also called ‘readiness phase’ and partly under influence of environmental and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, this period is used to strengthen forest governance in REDD+ countries.

For the success of REDD+ and to avoid injustices, Indigenous Peoples and local communities should be fully engaged in REDD+. Countries negotiating under the UNFCCC have recognized this and have designed social and environmental standards. These safeguards should ensure that both the interests of forest dependent communities and the issue of biodiversity conservation are assured. Particular attention is needed to clarify and ensure the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. These include the right to give or withhold consent for programs, after having been fully informed ahead of such activities. This right is called ‘Free, Prior and Informed Consent’ and is enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Other issues that should be receive attention is the protection of livelihoods, the equitable distribution of REDD+ benefits and the protection of ecosystem services and biodiversity values of tropical forests. Many outstanding issues are still subject of continued negotiations, as part of the Durban Platform, established at the 17th Conference of Parties (COP17) in Durban in 2011. Important issues include: the future financial architecture of REDD+, the tackling of the drivers of deforestation and the operationalisation of environmental and social safeguards. This also includes the question how countries should monitor and report on these safeguards.

Further reading:

Read more about the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the context of REDD+ and other forest issues:

To read more about the formal readiness processes in various REDD+ countries and the funds made available for such activities, see the national REDD+ strategies and some of the bilateral funding, visit or