UNFCCC negotiations

The COP agreed that Parties should collectively aim to slow, halt and reverse forest cover and carbon loss, in accordance with national circumstances, consistent with the ultimate objective of the Convention to achieve stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. From 2007 to 2013, Parties to the UNFCCC adopted 13 decisions on this matter.

In the context of the provision of adequate and predictable support to developing country Parties, the COP encouraged developing country Parties to contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector by undertaking the following activities, as deemed appropriate by each Party and in accordance with their respective capabilities and national circumstances:

(a) Reducing emissions from deforestation;

(b) Reducing emissions from forest degradation;

(c) Conservation of forest carbon stocks;

(d) Sustainable management of forests;

(e) Enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

The acronym “REDD+” is often used to informally refer to these 5 activities.

REDD+ can be implemented in phases:

  1. Development of national strategies or action plans, policies and measures, and capacity-building;
  2. Implementation of national policies and measures and national strategies or action plans that could involve further capacity-building, technology development and transfer, and results-based demonstration activities;
  3. Results-based actions that should be fully measured, reported and verified.

The choice of a starting phase depends on the specific national circumstances, capacities and capabilities of each developing country and the level of support received.

All Parties in a position to do so are encouraged to support capacity-building, provide technical assistance, facilitate the transfer of technology to improve, inter alia, data collection, estimation of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, monitoring and reporting, and address the institutional needs of developing countries to estimate and reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The COP also invited relevant international organizations and stakeholders to contribute to the implementation of REDD+ activities.

The COP also requested developing country Parties implementing REDD+ to develop the following elements:

(a) A national strategy or action plan;

(b) A national forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level or, if appropriate, as an interim measure, subnational forest reference emission levels and/or forest reference levels;

(c) A robust and transparent national forest monitoring system for the monitoring and reporting of REDD+;

(d) A system for providing information on how REDD+ safeguards are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of REDD+, while respecting sovereignty.

The UNFCCC website contains a full overview of past negotiations and the outcomes on the following aspects: