Deforestation and forest degradation contribute nearly 20% of global emissions of greenhouse gases, which is more that the transportation sector and second only to the energy sector. Asia-Pacific is a major source of these global emissions. Deforestation and forest degradation do not only contribute to climate change, but also have adverse effects on livelihoods of people, as well as the region’s rich biodiversity. Underlining causes of deforestation and forest degradation in the region include plantations, illegal logging, shifting cultivation, mining and infrastructure development.
The UN-REDD Programme is a collaborative initiative of UNEP, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.. The programme assists developing countries to prepare and implement their national REDD+ strategies and mechanisms to improve forest governance. REDD+ includes activities aimed at reducing emissions due to deforestation, reducing emissions due to forest degradation, boosting forest carbon stocks and sustainable forest management. The Programme supports participating countries monetize carbon stored in forests as an incentive to protect and sustainably manage their forest assets. This involves mechanisms for measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of REDD+ performance, broad-based stakeholder engagement and equitable and transparent distribution of benefits.
Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Viet Nam are the original UN-REDD pilot countries in the region, while Cambodia, Solomon Islands, Philippines, Nepal and Sri Lanka have recently joined the programme. UN-REDD has also started collaboration with Bangladesh and Bhutan.