REDD+ - Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

REDD+ is a global program developed by the UN Climate ConveREDD+ is a global program developed by the UN Climate Convention that provides incentives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the destruction of forests in developing countries. Essentially, the idea is to keep forests standing and sustainably managed through climate and development financing from public and private sources and carbon markets.

REDD+ programs are now in over 70 developing countries. REDD+ includes support for forest monitoring, reporting, implementing measures, and delivering results in tons of CO2. There are built-in safeguards to protect biodiversity, respect the rights of indigenous peoples, and make sure that the actions of the program do not harm forests or their inhabitants.

Forest destruction is a major source of global emissions

Global net GHG emissions from agriculture, forestry, and other land use represent 12.0 +/- 3.0 billion tons of CO2 per year during 2007-2016. This represents 23% of total net anthropogenic emissions. Deforestation accounts for gross emissions of 4.3 - 5.5 billion tons of CO2 per year. In the tropics alone, 10 million hectares are deforested every year. If this trend continues, the Eliasch Review estimates that the global cost of deforestation could reach USD $1 trillion a year by 2100.

The climate potential of reducing the destruction of forests

The IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land (2019) recommends the following actions:

  • Sustainable land management, including sustainable forest management, can prevent and reduce land degradation, maintain land productivity, and sometimes reverse the adverse impacts of climate change on land degradation (very high confidence).
  • Reducing deforestation and forest degradation lowers GHG emissions (high confidence), with an estimated technical mitigation potential of 0.4–5.8 GtCO2 yr-1.

Land-use is estimated to be potentially one third of the climate solution (UNEP 2017). In developing countries, most emissions are caused by changes in land use, particularly deforestation. Reducing deforestation could be considered the most effective way to reduce emissions in developing countries, which have approximately 60% of their abatement potential in forests (McKinsey 2009).

Global climate ambition and REDD+

Forests are a crucial part of global climate ambition. 96% of the 194 countries that submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as of March 1, 2019 included agriculture and / or land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) as a sector in their contribution to mitigation and / or adaptation. Another interesting indicator of the importance of land-use for the climate is the fact that 50% of all country proposals to the Green Climate Fund are for reducing emissions from land-use.

At COP 21 in December 2015 in Paris, the importance of forests and REDD+ was anchored in the agreement and climate regime that comes into force after 2020. Forests and land-use were integrated into the net-zero by 2050 rationale of the agreement through Article 5 which specifically details actions in forests.

Since 2010 over USD 15 billion have been made available to support developing countries set up REDD+ (“readiness”- phase 1), for implementing REDD+ (phase 2), and for delivering results against payments (phase 3). In Paris the international community pledged another $5 billion for REDD+ for the period 2016-2020. Norway alone has pledged $1 billion per year for REDD+ for the period 2020-2030.

Switzerland supports global action in forests and specifically REDD+

Switzerland has actively participated in REDD+ negotiations under the UN climate convention (UNFCCC) since they began in 2007, with SDC and SECO coordinating positions with FOEN, which leads UNFCCC policy negotiation. REDD+ is a framework of methodologies and rules crafted over 10 years of climate negotiations.

Switzerland attaches particular importance to the aspects of sustainable forest management and inclusive forest governance (e.g. clear user and property rights). To that end, Switzerland advocates participatory, village-based forest management in developing countries based on its own positive experiences: indigenous peoples, such as local populations, should participate directly in REDD+, and their rights should continue to be protected and they should be duly consulted. Switzerland is also active in promoting biodiversity conservation in REDD+ activities. For example, this includes preventing near-natural forests from being turned into tree plantations for palm oil or other products.

Switzerland is committed to actively contributing to solutions that prevent forest destruction in its foreign policy and development aid. The Swiss government’s international forest strategy is based on the Swiss Forest Policy and the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030.

Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) developing country forest projects across the world have many linkages with REDD+. SDC is engaged in the World Bank BioCarbon Fund for Forest Landscapes and has also recently pledged support for UN-REDD to support global progress implementing forest and climate policy. Through UN-REDD support will also be targeted to specific programs such as anchoring forests and biodiversity in nature-based solutions, social and community forestry, and several regions and areas of expertise where SDC has long-term experience and contacts.

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO has been an important contributor to REDD+ through the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Readiness Fund and Carbon Fund, which continues to be instrumental to support countries to consolidate REDD+. SECO is also engaged with sustainable supply chains, natural capital initiatives, and multi-lateral support for countries implementing REDD+.

FOEN special initiatives in support of policy implementation




2020- 2021

Development of regional REDD+ concept for West Africa

Integration of concept into UN-REDD


Integrating forests into nature-based solutions

UN Climate Summit, New York (organizational support of UN-REDD)


Forest Resilience Finance

Side Event und Study UNFCCC COP24 Katowice


Supporting development of national forest finance strategies

Side Events UNFF13 und UNFCCC Bonn COP23

Information Brief –  English

Key messages - English



Improving forest monitoring concept in the UN-REDD capacity-building program for West Africa

Report and Side Event


Regional forest monitoring collaboration for West Africa RFMWA

Action Plan and Side Event COP22,

and CBD COP13
RFMWA Action Plan


Pilot monitoring and mapping tool and study on cross-border conflict

Hands-on training in Pyeongchang South Korea


The Land Sector in the UNFCCC Climate Negotiations: Training for UNFCCC Negotiators

3 day workshop and informal dialogue in  Sao Paolo, Brazil


Options and Elements for an Accounting  Framework for the Land Sector in the Post-2020 Climate Regime

Presentation at 3 land sector informal dialogues in Finland, Mexico, and Brazil
Policy brief


Best practices for governance and biodiversity safeguards

Side Event CBD, Hyderabad, India,
Policy Brief


Towards a governance framework for REDD+ financing

UNFCCC Side Event, Durban
Policy Brief 


Amazon Indigenous REDD+ Summit and markets exploration

Action plan for forests and REDD+ of indigenous peoples of the Amazon, signed  22.8.2011

Further information

Last modification 02.03.2023

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