This annual report presents the cumulative results of the UN-REDD Programme up to and including 2021. It builds on, and continues, a progressive series of technical, policy and knowledge achievements at the nexus between climate and forests since the Programme’s launch in 2008.
2021 has been a transition year for the UN-REDD Programme, moving from a phase focused on REDD+ readiness and capacity building to a new phase designed to support massively scaled-up international REDD+ implementation.
Looking to the 2030 horizon, the goal of UN-REDD is to help fully realize the mitigation potential of forest solutions to the climate emergency by avoiding carbon emissions and fostering carbon sequestration at levels of at least 5 GtCO2e per year (as proposed by the 2019 IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land and the 2018 UNEP Emissions Gap Report). In pursuing this goal, UN-REDD will employ both proven and innovative approaches to help countries implement sustainable land and forest policies and investments, access climate finance for carbon emission reductions and promote social inclusion in climate policies and finances, while simultaneously realizing non-carbon benefits including safeguarding biodiversity, supporting local livelihoods and advancing the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs).
Within the scope of this ambition, UN-REDD initiated the implementation of its new results framework for the period 2021-2025, aiming to support countries in implementing and enhancing forest solutions to the climate emergency. This results framework positions UN-REDD to assist countries in accessing performance-based finance schemes for REDD+ results, including carbon markets (under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement), by supporting them to meet standards of high environmental integrity and to advance their efforts in delivering results. The results framework is based on more than a decade of UN-REDD experience and lessons learned at the global, country and community levels, as well as on the aims and provisions of the Paris Agreement – this century’s milestone treaty for climate action. It aligns UN-REDD with other major international development undertakings in the coming decade, as the Paris Agreement enters full implementation and as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are realized.
In 2021, UN-REDD assistance to partner countries completing the four pillars of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ was largely concluded. This is the foundational requirement for countries to access results-based finance for their REDD+ actions and results. Adopted in 2013, the Warsaw Framework outlines four areas of REDD+ readiness: national REDD+ strategies or action plans (NS/AP), national forest monitoring systems (NFMS), forest reference emissions levels/forest reference levels (FREL/FRL) and safeguards information systems (SIS).
Over the years, UN-REDD has supported more than 30 countries in the global south to elaborate NS/AP, of which 26 have formally endorsed these policies at a ministerial or parliamentary level. UN-REDD has also supported more than 50 countries in developing robust NFMS and 29 countries in submitting FREL/ FRL to the UNFCCC. On the safeguards front, key achievements in 2021 included the launch of SIS in Peru and the development of DRC’s SIS webpage and upgrades to the systems in Mexico and Chile, bringing the number of countries supported by the Programme, with their approaches to meeting UNFCCC safeguards requirements, to 36.
Despite the disruption and delivery challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many REDD+ countries continued to make significant progress towards REDD+ implementation in 2021 with UN-REDD Programme support. Throughout the year, 16 partner countries and one region – the Lower Mekong – received customized UN-REDD support through national programmes and technical assistance for REDD+ implementation. Country-level work was complemented by knowledge management (KM) and communications support, further extending the reach of the Programme’s support to its many partner countries and beyond. Highlights of support to countries are presented below for each of the four outcomes of the UN-REDD 2021-2025 Results Framework.