The global forest sector contributes 17% of the global greenhouse gas emission and it could be addressed cost effectively. Since 2005, Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have been actively negotiating a policy initiative that entails the development and implementation of policies and measures (PAMs) that would contribute to climate change mitigation through forestry activities. This initiative is now known as REDD+, which stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, and (+) the role of sustainable management of forests, conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. The roadmap for the REDD+ mechanism was developed in Bali (Indonesia) in 2007 (COP13), and since then several countries have initiated national REDD+ program focusing on readiness activities. The global REDD+ mechanism seeks to support and reward developing countries for reducing their emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and for enhancing their carbon sequestration potentials. It involves a new way of curbing land use based emissions. The REDD+ policy framework primarily targets to reduce forest emissions through addressing drivers of deforestation aiming to conserve forest carbon stocks and to enhance carbon sequestration through implementation of REDD+ activities.
The UNFCCC established the process, rules and modalities for developing countries to access results based payments (RBPs) for their REDD+ policies and measures (PAMs). Under the Cancun Agreements of the UNFCCC (Decision 1/CP. 16), developing countries are encouraged to contribute to climate change 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 to reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Depending on countries circumstances, the REDD+ mechanism encourages to maximize co-benefits from forestry activities such as biodiversity conservation, enhanced hydrological functions and improved livelihoods.
The Warsaw Framework for REDD+ states that before receiving RBPs, developing countries need to have in place the four elements of REDD+ readiness: National REDD+ strategy (Action Plan), the National Forest Monitoring Systems (including the REDD+ MRV system), the Forest Reference Level (FRL) and Safeguards Information System (SIS).
Countries have to follow two distinct reporting procedures to access RBPs under the UNFCCC. The first is the technical assessment of the proposed FREL/FRL and the MRV of anthropogenic forest-related emissions by sources and removals by sinks, forest carbon stocks, and forest carbon stock and forest-area changes resulting from the implementation of REDD+ PAMs. The second part is reporting of mitigation results through a national Greenhouse Gas inventory (GHG-I), and report on emission reduction or carbon removals from implementation of REDD+ activities as technical annex of the Biannual Update Report (BUR). In addition, countries need to submit a summary of information on how the REDD+ safeguards are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of REDD+ activities; and a link to their national strategy or action plan.