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The 10-year anniversary of the UN-REDD Programme, which fell on September of 2018, has provided the opportunity to not only evaluate the UN-REDD Programme’s successes but to plan future work. To do so, the UN-REDD Programme Executive Board met for the second time on 18 and 19 October 2018, in Rome, Italy. The Executive Board is composed of representatives of donors, UN-REDD Programme countries, Indigenous Peoples, civil society organisations, and the participating UN agencies - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment.

The UN-REDD Programme Executive Board of the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (the UN-REDD Programme) The UN-REDD Programme Executive Board is the main body of oversight, operational guidance and decision-making for the Programme. After the first successful meeting held from 28 to 29 June 2016 at FAO headquarters, the Executive Board met once again in Rome on 18 – 19 October 2018 to discuss the Programme’s past successes and lessons learned and analyse them to improve the Programmes performance further.

Eva Muller, FAO’s Director of  Forestry Policy and Resources and co-chair of the meeting in her welcome remarks, noted the progress made in supporting countries to move from REDD+ readiness to implementation and results and stressed the importance of combating deforestation and forest degradation in the broader context of sustainable development including: ensuring food security, eradicating inequality, while mitigating and adapting to climate change and ensuring national sustainable development. Ms Muller noted:

"The meeting highlighted the significant progress by the UN-REDD programme not only in 2018, but overall during its 10-year existence in strengthening  country capacity to improve forest-related governance and strengthen institutions, engage civil society, empower women, and access and apply technological innovation for forest monitoring, all  contributing to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of the SDGs."

The participants shared the successes of recently completed country programmes, demonstrating how REDD+ processes are having an impact at a country level.

The outcome of the Cote D’Ivoire National Programme has shown how leveraging high-level political support can lead to quick and substantive progress on REDD+, having finalised their National REDD+ Strategy, as well as their Forest Reference Emission Level, which has been submitted and assessed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It was also noted that Cote d’Ivoire’s national approach to REDD+, which is linked to the country’s strong agriculture sector and its cocoa industry, serves as an inspiring example on how to mobilise the private sector and various international partners to shift deforestation trends and restore the country’s forest cover. 

Uganda also demonstrated rapid progress in its REDD+ process, including the finalisation of its REDD+ Strategy and Forest Reference Emission Level, and its plans to operationalise its REDD+ Strategy through four different emission reduction programs for key Water Management Zones.  The country has also shown how close coordination of international support can lead to quicker results and more coherent approaches for REDD+ implementation, and that supporting a broad consultation process that involve sectoral ministries, civil society, communities, as well as the private sector, can help build a national REDD+ process that truly answers the needs and concerns of various stakeholder groups.

Results from Colombia show that REDD+ can be a catalytic element for different policy processes, including the Peace Process that are related to forest and land use governance, providing the tools to monitor deforestation and feed into national debates, and how REDD+ has been driving the organisation and strengthening of Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.

The meeting encompassed several dialogue sessions on knowledge management and upcoming opportunities, including sessions on:

  •          REDD+ and Cooperative Approaches in Support of NDCs
  •          Update on potential European regional workshop on international climate partnerships on forests
  •          Finance facilities and international transactions on REDD+
  •          Technology and innovation for the advancement of MRV and transparency frameworks
  •          Land-use planning tools and approaches for REDD+

During the meeting, the Board also approved the UN-REDD Programme’s 2019 Work Plan and Budget, which has identified nine countries — Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Mexico, Myanmar, Peru, Republic of the Congo, Viet Nam and Zambia — where in-country support will be catalytic in achieving each country’s particular REDD+ goals, coupled with robust global knowledge and capacity-building activities.

The Executive Board meeting was also the occasion for the launch of the publication “Ten years of capacity development on national forest monitoring for REDD+: Much achieved yet more to do”. The publication outlines how technical support from FAO provided through the UN-REDD Programme and other programmes has helped countries make significant advances in forest monitoring, including data collection and analysis and transparency in reporting. While commenting on the publications, Tiina Vahanen, the coordinator of the REDD+/National Forest Monitoring cluster at FAO, said:

"This report shows what kind of progress is possible, but it also highlights the need to make sure that support is sustained and ongoing. With continued investment and sustained technical support, REDD+ can create a win-win for forests and other land-uses, and a major contribution to the Paris Agreement, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda."

In conclusion, over the two-day meeting, the Executive Board members underlined the key role the  UN-REDD Programme has to play in further strengthening countries capacity to better protect, manage and monitor their forests, to advance forest-related investments in partner countries and to support strategies and market access for deforestation-free agriculture commodities as a measure to halt deforestation and ultimately deliver emission reductions.

For further information about the UN-REDD Programme Executive Board, and to access meeting documents as they become available, please visit


Useful links:

Forests: A Natural Solution to Climate Change, Crucial for a Sustainable Future

Unlocking the carbon storage potential of forests through better data

Celebrating a decade of saving forests and improving lives


For more information, please contact:


Malgorzata Buszko-Briggs

Programme Officer,

REDD+/NFM Cluster, Forestry Department, FAO

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