Within the UNEP Programme of Work, UN-REDD activities are implemented through the UNEP project ‘UNEP in UN-REDD’, in the framework of the UNEP Climate Change sub-programme. UNEP and its collaborative centres, UNEP-WCMC and UNEP Finance Initiative, currently maintain a combined team of over 30 staff working on this collaborative effort.
As one of the key agencies for the UN-REDD programme, UNEP leads and delivers on a variety of activities at both the national and global level. At the global level, UNEP in conjunction with the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) leads on the multiple benefits agenda which consists of a variety of activities which aim to highlight the many benefits and ecosystem services of REDD+ that go beyond carbon sequestration. These include water, forest-based products, tourism, community development, biodiversity and others. Experts from UNEP-WCMC with UNEP’s Department of Environmental Policy and Implementation (DEPI) are developing tools for measuring these ecosystem services and workshops to develop national capacities. For more information, visit the REDD+ and the Green Economy portal here and access publications and resources related to Forest ecosystem valuation and economics here.
Deforestation is driven by a variety of factors and those drivers must be addressed in order to unlock carbon payments from REDD. But there is also significant potential for particular strategies to go beyond reducing deforestation alone and contribute to the larger goals of increasing sustainable development and building the green economy. UNEP is working to identify the interventions that add value to the economy, increase revenue, and provide new livelihood opportunities while conserving forests and reducing emissions. Working with national counterparts UNEP will demonstrate the potential of forest sector investments, institutional changes and targeted tools to contribute to both development and climate mitigation goals.
Convening high level and strategic events is another central role that UNEP has within the UN-REDD programme. Key events such as the Secretary-General’s High Level Event on REDD, held in September 2014, raise awareness of REDD and demonstrate political will and support for the climate change mechanism. UNEP recognizes that lack of capacity is the single biggest challenge countries face in delivering on the REDD+ agenda. All UNEP’s efforts on REDD+ focus on building capacity in partner countries. Special attention and effort is given to promoting opportunities to share information and knowledge regionally and globally and providing training to key groups.