Forests, Climate & Sustainable Development

Forests, Climate & Sustainable Development

Forests, Climate & Sustainable Development

The UNDP Climate and Forests Team supports countries with the design and implementation of national policies and measures to reduce deforestation and manage forests sustainably, hence contributing to the mitigation of climate change and advancing sustainable development. The global team has advisors in Geneva, New York, Panama, Bangkok and Nairobi, New York supporting a ~ USD 400 million portfolio of programmes across circa 30 countries.

Forests provide the dwelling and livelihood for over 1 billion people – including many indigenous peoples – as well as hosting the largest share the world's biodiversity and providing essential ecosystem services, such as water and carbon storage. Deforestation and forest degradation contribute severely to climate change, currently representing about a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions.

stands for ‘reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks’ in developing countries and refers to the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide financial incentives to forest-based approaches to mitigating climate change. It was specifically endorsed in the Paris Agreement (article 5). REDD+ policies and finance are indispensable to mitigate climate change and set nations and communities in the path for sustainable development. REDD+ represents an innovative approach for sustainable development, offering a gateway for climate finance – a new source of finance for development, under a results-based philosophy.

The work of the UNDP Climate & Forests Team contributes to both SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 15 (forest ecosystems), addressing their close linkages. When promoting forest and climate policies and investments in countries, UNDP employs a social inclusion approach, wherein effective stakeholder engagement is ensured, the rights of indigenous peoples and forest communities are promoted, gender equality and women’s empowerment principles are mainstreamed, and policy reforms towards more equitable land use and tenure systems are encouraged.

The UNDP Climate & Forests Team manages or implements a diverse range of programmes and initiatives, including as follows:

The United Nations Collaborative Partnership on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD Programme) – UNDP is a founding partner of UN-REDD, a UN partnership to support REDD+ in developing countries. The partnership was launched in 2008 and is composed by three UN agencies (FAO, UNEP, UNDP), 64 partner countries and six donor countries. The UN-REDD Programme provides countries with capacity building, policy design and multi-stakeholder dialogue towards embedding REDD+ actions and results in national development. UN-REDD has a multi-stakeholder governance system and its three implementing agencies together manage a budget of USD 256 million. 

Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) – UNDP is a delivery partner for the FCPF and is currently delivering FCPF Readiness grants in Kenya, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea, with the Climate and Forests Team playing key roles in technical assistance, policy advice and quality assurance. In addition, UNDP and the FCPF have elaborated joint guidelines on safeguards, stakeholder engagement, disclosure of information and on grievance redress mechanisms for the REDD+ readiness activities. The FCPF supports REDD+ efforts through its Readiness Fund and Carbon Fund, managed by the World Bank. 

Governor’s Climate and Forests Task Force – Launched in 2009 by ten Governors from Brazil, Indonesia, and the U.S., the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCFTF) was designed to advance jurisdiction-wide approaches to REDD+ and low emissions development. The GCFTF now has 38 states and provinces in ten countries, including 35 tropical forest jurisdictions. UNDP is supporting innovative GCFTF tropical forest states and provinces to develop jurisdictional strategies for REDD+ and low emissions development and catalyze transformative financing opportunities.

The Global Italian initiative on REDD+ National Implementation (GIORNI) – UNDP and the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) of the Republic of Italy signed a Third Party Cost-Sharing Agreement, to undertake a range of climate change and REDD+ forest-related joint and coordinated activities at the global, regional and national level. The first three countries to receive support through the partnership are Ecuador, Ghana and Myanmar. 

National investment programmes for REDD+ results – UNDP Climate & Forests supports countries in their efforts to secure financing for the implementation of their REDD+ strategies or plans, through the negotiation and co-design of large-scale investment projects and results-based payments schemes. The main sources of funding under which this support is provided are the Green Climate Fund, bilateral agreements on REDD+ and other relevant multilateral initiatives.

The New York Declaration on Forests Global Platform (NYDF Platform) 
– is a dedicated, multi-stakeholder platform to re-invigorate political endorsement of the NYDF and its ten goals, ultimately to halt deforestation by 2030. The NYDF Platform facilitates coordination and communication among endorsers and key stakeholders; shares best practices, resources and lessons related to implementation of the NYDF goals; and supports ongoing monitoring of progress. The ultimate aim of the NYDF and the Global Platform is to increase ambition, forge new partnerships and accelerate progress on the NYDF goals.

Further Information

Contact: Tim Clairs, Principal Technical Advisor, Climate & Forests Team, UNDP -