Reducing emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+)
Forests have a critical role as carbon stores and they influence water, climate and weather systems. They build countries’ resilience to extreme weather events and help people adapt to a changing climate. Around 1.2 billion poor people directly depend on forests for their livelihoods. Forests are also home to an estimated 80% of the world’s species.
In 2013, the Physical Science Basis to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that net CO2 emissions from land-use change, mainly deforestation, represent about 10% of the total anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
REDD+ is a mechanism designed under the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to financially support developing countries that are willing and able to reduce emissions from deforestation and invest in low carbon paths to sustainable development.
UK support for REDD+
Addressing deforestation is a priority for the UK’s £3.87 billion International Climate Fund (ICF). The ICF aims for a balanced allocation between adaptation, low carbon development and forestry. To date the ICF has allocated over £500m to programmes which address deforestation.
The UK’s ICF is managed by:
- Department for International Development (DFID)
- Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC)
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Multilateral programmes help the UK use its public funds to leverage more money from other donors. REDD+ funding from the UK covers the following programmes administered by multilateral organisations:
- Climate Investment Funds’ Forest Investment Programme (£100 million) – administered by the World Bank to help 8 countries scale up investments in action against deforestation
- Congo Basin Forest Fund (£50 million) – administered by the African Development Bank to help the 10 countries of the Congo Basin improve their forest management
- Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (£3.5 million to the FCPF Readiness Fund and £56.5 million to the FCPF Carbon Fund) – administered by the World Bank to help 47 countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.
- BioCarbon Fund (£75 million) – administered by the World Bank, the fund aims to bring together a number of land-use projects across a larger area to achieve a bigger, landscape sized, transformation. The approach targets opportunities that sequester or conserve carbon in forest and agro-ecosystems while promoting biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation.
We also support forestry and land-management projects through direct or bilateral relationships with other countries. Our bilateral programmes help countries address the causes of deforestation by:
- improving the way forests are governed and landscapes managed
- enhancing community access to resources that support better livelihoods
- working to stop illegal logging and related corruption
- influencing consumer behaviour to change the markets for timber and other commodities associated with deforestation
- supporting best practice knowledge on these issues
Current UK bilateral programmes include:
- £15 million low-carbon agricultural project with Colombia – will help cattle farmers plant trees on cattle-grazing land to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect forests, increase biodiversity and improve livelihoods - you can read our case study about the programme in Colombia
- £20 million Forestry Knowledge and Tools (KnowFor) initiative – supports good practice forest management by working with leading international think tanks to influence policy and decision makers
- £20 million Nepal Multi-Stakeholder Forestry Programme – reduces rural poverty and maintains healthy ecosystems by helping local communities manage their forests
- £25 million to help Indonesia improve accountability for land use decisions, manage corruption in the system for issuing plantation and mining permits, and support spatial planning in Papua for sustainable economic development in Indonesia’s last undisturbed forest
- £60 million for the new Investments in Forests and Sustainable Land Use initiative. This new UK programme aims to encourage businesses to join the fight against deforestation. It will form a number of innovative public-private partnerships with communities, local farmers and local and international businesses including UK companies, to manage forests sustainably and support and encourage agriculture that does not cause further deforestation.
Trade in illegal timber is a significant cause of deforestation. Our efforts to control illegal logging and encourage trade in legally harvested timber over the past 12 years have already helped to protect an estimated 17 million hectares of forest – an area equivalent to England and Wales in size.
Since March 2013 it has been a criminal offence to sell illegally-harvested timber in the UK and those supplying timber to the EU must take steps to ensure that the timber is from legal sources.
Through Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) regulation, the European Union and timber-exporting countries are working to bring improvements to forest management and reduce illegal logging in countries such as Indonesia, Ghana, and Republic of Congo. Malaysia is in negotiations to develop a similar agreement. More information on this work is available from the the CPET website.
The UK has also contributed £163 million to the Forests Governance Markets and Climate initiative, that works in Liberia, Ghana, Indonesia and other countries to help stop illegal logging.
Through these programmes, the UK is playing its part to help save tens of millions of hectares of forest and boost the incomes of thousands of poor people who depend on forests for their jobs and livelihoods.
Events and developments
26 January 2015
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, meeting on Forests, Climate Change and Development at the British Academy
Forests and their ecosystems play a vital role in addressing climate change, preserving biodiversity, and as sources of food, income, water and energy to some of the poorest and most marginalised people in the world. Yet an average of 13 million hectares, an area the size of England, is lost across the world each year - a rate of 36 football fields per minute on average from 2000 to 2010.
The meeting focussed on enabling and scaling-up action in a number of priority areas to promote sustainable supply chains, implement governance and land tenure reform, and meet forest landscape restoration goals.
9 January 2014
Testing methodologies for REDD+: Deforestation drivers, costs and reference levels - Technical Report
The definition and setting of forest reference levels is important in the design of REDD+ under a future climate agreement. This technical report from Ecofys, supported by DECC, explores the idea of using a stepwise approach to set reference levels that integrate better data as they become available, in order to make emissions projections that better represent country circumstances. Four tropical countries that are part of CIFOR’s Global Comparative Study were selected for in-depth case studies because they represent countries with a wide range of national circumstances. These countries are Cameroon, Vietnam, Indonesia and Brazil.
20 November 2013
The UK-hosted Forest Event at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 19th Conference of Parties (COP19/CMP9) | Warsaw 2013
On 20 November 2013, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey hosted an event where developed and developing countries made announcements to support REDD+.
Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States released a joint statement that detailed collective progress to address REDD+ in 2013. This built on the joint statement made in November 2012, at a forests summit hosted by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
The UK announced £75m (around $120m) from the International Climate Fund for the new ‘BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes’. Working with the World Bank, this joint public-private partnership aims to work at scale to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by addressing key drivers of deforestation - particularly agricultural production. Norway (up to $135m), and the US ($25m) also announced support for this initiative in its first year, and additional partners are expected to join.
The UK also announced willingness to fund an additional programme in the FCPF Carbon Fund, providing sufficient credible programmes are approved.
At the forest event Colombia, Germany, Norway and the UK released a joint statement on reducing emissions from deforestation in the Colombian Amazon.
Secretary Kerry’s address:
The government of the UK supported the production of a report from the Earth Innovation Institute (formerly IPAM International Program) on the agricultural drivers of deforestation in Colombia. Additional financial support was provided by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
29 November 2012
Prince of Wales summit on international forests
On 29 November 2012 Energy and Climate Secretary Edward Davey outlined new innovative plans to tackle deforestation as part of the UK’s international climate change commitments at a forestry summit at Clarence House, co-hosted by the Prince of Wales.
During the event, the Secretary of State also announced a new £15 million programme under the ICF to develop climate change mitigation plans and poverty alleviation in Colombia. This involves supporting smallholder farmers to plant trees on cattle grazing land, to increase biodiversity, improve the livelihood of farmers, reduce carbon emissions, and protect local forests.
Read the associated DECC press release.
The government of the UK and Norway supported the production of an independent report to help inform the decision-making process on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) at the upcoming United Nations climate change negotiations in Doha in December 2012.
18 May 2011
In 2011 PwC published the independent strategic review Funding for Forests: UK Government support for REDD+ which was used to further inform our REDD+ strategy.