Forests

Slowing the global deforestation rate

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) can improve lives, protect forests and biodiversity, and mitigate climate change. Forests serve as natural storage for carbon, and deforestation is the second leading cause of carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. Furthermore, more than one billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods, and tropical primary forests are particularly high in terrestrial biodiversity.

Child looking at camera with mother behind

Rights, Livelihoods and REDD+ 

Aims of a comprehensive REDD+ approach include: involving local communities; building the capacity of the most vulnerable and rural poor; conducting national land-use planning; addressing gender balance in decision-making about land use and allocation; and engaging others such as the private sector in sustainable initiatives.

Through global policy instruments that include the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and projects at national and landscape levels, IUCN works with diverse stakeholders and engages vulnerable communities to realise the full potential of REDD+ for forests, people and climate change mitigation. Related initiatives such as the Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million ha of forests by 2020, and 350 million ha by 2030, also help to achieve many of the same benefits, including improvements to livelihoods, biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

REDD+ and rural livelihoods

Real emissions reductions along with improved livelihoods and strengthened community rights determine the success of REDD+ interventions. Steps towards this success include: broad participation in assessing the causes of deforestation and degradation; analysation of the impacts of REDD+ on the livelihoods of forest communities with the definitions and monitoring of social baselines as indicators of these impacts; and strengthened participation of vulnerable groups in defining REDD+ activities. Particular importance is given to the interests of women, indigenous peoples and other local communities – groups that are often marginalised in the planning of outcomes that closely affect them.

IUCN’s REDD+ work focuses on the integration of rights-based approaches as the foundation for the design and deployment of landscape, sub-national and national climate change mitigation and forest management strategies. A pro-poor orientation delivers tangible environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits to the poor. In this regard, IUCN works with partners and REDD+ stakeholders in various tropical countries to ensure that by 2020, national climate change mitigation policies and initiatives have incorporated and are implementing the tenets of right-based approaches and pro-poor principles. With support of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and of Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), IUCN is engaged with partners in a number of countries – including Cameroon, Ghana, Guatemala, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and Uganda – to pilot and upscale frameworks and mechanisms that support and deliver rights-based and pro-poor outcomes.

Seven approaches to REDD+ (Forest Briefs)

Mobilising partnerships in Cameroon to advance rights-based REDD+ forest governance

Ghana advances rights-based REDD+ through existing local forest governance initiatives

Guatemala makes gender a priority for REDD+

Indonesia links REDD+ benefit sharing with local forest governance

Mexico’s subnational REDD+ efforts inform national REDD+ strategy

Capitalising on conservation agreements in Peru to enhance sustainable forest livelihoods

Enhancing forest livelihoods in Uganda to advance REDD+

Current REDD+ projects:

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