Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives to developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. The UN-REDD Programme, jointly implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme and UNEP, is supporting 49 partner countries to get ready for REDD. In Asia and the Pacific the programme provides assistance to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam.
REDD is implemented in three phases. Phase I comprises the development of national strategies or action plans, policies and measures, and capacity development. With the exception of Viet Nam, where the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme was launched in 2013, all other countries are in Phase I.
Inclusive planning for and implementation of REDD is only possible, if stakeholders are properly informed. UNEP plays a very important role in awareness raising on climate change and REDD at sub-national and national levels. Other key areas of support include REDD planning that goes beyond carbon and considers the multiple environmental and social benefits that healthy forest ecosystems can provide, and the development of country approaches to safeguards that reduce the potential risks of REDD implementation and enhance its benefits. UNEP also provides support to countries for using REDD as a catalyst for building broader support for a Green Economy, efforts mainly initiated at the 2012 Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.