Community-based REDD+

Community-based REDD+ (CBR+) is a partnership between the UN-REDD Programme and the GEF Small Grants Programme to deliver grants directly to indigenous peoples and communities to empower them to fully engage in the design, implementation and monitoring of REDD+ readiness activities, and develop experiences, lessons, and recommendations at the local level that can feed into national REDD+ processes.

CBR+ supports community-level projects that complement UN-REDD National Programmes, national REDD+ readiness processes and/or strategies. Currently in its pilot phase, CBR+ is being implemented in six countries: Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Panama, Paraguay, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria. 

The objectives of CBR+ are to:

  • Support the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples, communities and civil society in national-level processes related to reducing emissions for deforestation and forest degradation; 
  • Build the capacity and awareness of communities to engage in REDD+ activities and processes;
  • Facilitate the integration of community-based activities, knowledge and ideas into national REDD+ processes; and 
  • Develop and share knowledge and lessons learned from community-based experiences to inform national and international REDD+ policies and practice.

By supporting the protection of forests, and the empowerment of forest communities who live in and depend on them, CBR+ aims to contribute to the fulfilment of broader environmental and social goals, including biodiversity conservation, enhanced food security, improved rights and livelihoods for indigenous peoples and local communities, and climate change adaptation.


Implementation Arrangements

CBR+ is co-financed by the UN-REDD Programme and SGP, and grants will be delivered through SGP’s tried-and tested decentralized grant-delivery mechanism which has been operating in over 120 countries for over 20 years. The UN-REDD Programme’s contribution to CBR+’s pilot phase (2014-2017) includes USD 400,000 for community grants in each of the six pilot countries. This will be matched by similar co-financing from SGP, which will be provided through in-kind support and through parallel SGP grants that are complementary to CBR+ goals. 

CBR+ Country Plans are being developed in each pilot country to guide the selection of CBR+ projects and guide grant applicants in the development of their proposals. CBR+ Country Plans will ensure that CBR+ activities align with existing national REDD+ readiness processes and complement existing SGP Country Programme Strategies.

Existing SGP National Steering Committees in the six pilot countries have been supplemented with REDD+ experts to form CBR+ National Steering Committees, which will provide overall guidance to CBR+ at the country level, including reviewing and approving CBR+ project proposals.


CBR+ Grants

Grants of up to US$ 50,000 support a range of community-level activities such as: addressing drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, building the capacities of communities to engage in REDD+ readiness processes, clarifying and improving the definition of land use rights, exploring mechanisms for benefit sharing, and advancing the implementation of safeguards for REDD+, among others.

The project selection process for CBR+ is open to CSOs including national NGOs, indigenous peoples, community-based organizations and grassroots organizations. Consideration will be given to applications from forest-based and directly impacted communities and indigenous peoples’ organizations, as well as NGOs with an interest and track record in forests and/or REDD+ in relation to their mission. The specific eligibility criteria for CBR+ grants will be determined by each country’s CBR+ Country Plan. 


The UN-REDD Programme has developed a number of operational guidance documents to guide countries in matters of stakeholder engagement, with a focus on issues that stakeholders and governments have requested guidance on.
Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement
In order to best serve developing countries preparing to undertake REDD+, the UN-REDD Programme and the World Bank-hosted Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) have collaborated to develop harmonized Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+ Readiness with a Focus on the Participation of Indigenous Peoples and Other Forest-Dependent Communities. This document includes all substantive guidance from the UN-REDD Programme’s original Operational Guidance, which was developed in consultation with indigenous peoples and civil society, as well as including guidance from the FCPF’s Guidance Note on National Consultation and Participation for REDD. The harmonized Guidelines also include guidance on consultation presented in the FCPF’s Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) as included in the Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) template.

  • Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+ Readiness with a Focus on the Participation of Indigenous Peoples and other Forest-Dependent Communities
    English - French - Spanish

Guidelines on Free, Prior and Informed Consent
The UN-REDD Programme Guidelines on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), together with its ‘Legal Companion,’ outline existing international law and emerging national practices that affirm that indigenous peoples have the right to effective participation in the decisions, policies and initiatives that affect them and that FPIC is a legal norm that imposes duties and obligations on countries.
The UN-REDD Programme recognizes that the right to FPIC is a key part of effective stakeholder engagement. Responding to calls from stakeholders, countries, partners and donors for further clarification on FPIC in the context of REDD+, the Programme therefore organized a series of regional and international consultations with indigenous peoples, forest-dependent communities, international human rights and safeguards experts and REDD+ practitioners so as to delve into the complexities, challenges and remaining questions around the application of FPIC for REDD+.
The FPIC guidelines are the result of more than two years of consultation, analysis, pilot-testing, consensus building and fine-tuning around core issues related to FPIC. These range from its conceptual definition to its practical application.
The FPIC guidelines outline a normative, policy and operational framework for seeking and obtaining FPIC in the context of REDD+. There will be periodic updates to this version based on the application of the Guidelines, increased information and experience related to the application of FPIC more generally, and continued input and feedback from governments, indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities, practitioners, experts and partners.
Practitioners and stakeholders around the world are invited to use these FPIC guidelines for their own purposes and to help test and improve their use on an ongoing basis. The UN-REDD Programme is also supporting a number of countries to apply FPIC to their specific national circumstances.

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Key Contacts

Dr. Josep Garí (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Senior Policy Advisor, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (PNUD)
Ms. Jen Laughlin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Technical Specialist, Safeguards and Grievance mechanisms, UNDP Climate & Forests, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (PNUD)

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Find Community-based REDD+ capacity building resources and learning tools here.

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