UN-REDD Programme

UN-REDD Programme


ree UN Agencies – United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – have collaborated in the establishment of the UN-REDD programme, a multi-donor trust fund that allows donors to pool resources and provide funding with the aim of significantly reducing global emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. Through its nine initial country programme activities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the UN-REDD Programme supports the capacity of national governments to prepare and implement national REDD strategies with the involvement of all stakeholders.

Basic Description

Name of Fund UN-REDD Programme
Official Fund Website http://www.un-redd.org/
Date Created Date fund proposed: June 2008

Date fund made operational: September 2008
Proposed Life of Fund The UN-REDD Programme Strategy 2011-2015, endorsed in 2010, indicates that the existing programme will be active until 2015.
Administrating Organisation The UNDP has been appointed as the Administrative Agent for the UN-REDD Programme Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF).
Objectives The UN-REDD Programme’s aims are to generate the necessary flow of resources to significantly reduce global emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. The immediate goal is to assess whether carefully structured payments and capacity support can create the incentives to ensure lasting, reliable and measurable emission reductions while maintaining and improving other ecosystem services as well as the economic and social values that forests provide.
Activities Supported
The UN-REDD Programme is comprised of two components:

(i) National / Country Programmes: Assisting developing countries prepare and implement national REDD strategies and mechanisms; and
(ii) Global Programme: Supporting the development of normative solutions and standardised approaches based on sound science for a REDD instrument linked with the UNFCCC.National/Country Programmes:

The National / Country Programmes have six work areas:

  1. Measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) and Monitoring;
  2. National REDD+ Governance;
  3. Engagement of Indigenous Peoples, Local Communities and Other Relevant Stakeholders;
  4. Ensuring Multiple Benefits of Forests and REDD+;
  5. Transparent, Equitable and Accountable Management of REDD+ Payments; and,
  6. REDD+ as a Catalyst for Transformation to a Green Economy.

The Global Programmes are based on the same work areas as the National/Country Programmes and they also focus on knowledge management, coordination and communication.

Conditions and Eligibility Requirements During the sixth Policy Board meeting (2011), the following criteria were proposed for prioritising funding allocations for new National Programmes:

  • Being a partner country of the UN-REDD Programme;
  • Achieving regional balance;
  • Enhanced coordination with other initiatives;
  • Ability of UN agencies to assist the country;
  • Ability to demonstrate progress/results in the short term based on REDD+ early action;
  • REDD+ potential; and
  • Commitment to applying the principles of the UN-REDD Programme.
Accessing the Fund
While UN-REDD programmes are implemented by FAO, UNDP and/or UNEP, the UN-REDD Programme is not an exclusive UN mechanism. National governments, Regional Development Banks and NGOs can receive funding through a participating UN organisation acting as executing agencies.
The UN REDD Programme has partnerships with 42 countries in total, 16 of which have received funding allocations for National Programmes. New partner countries can benefit from receiving targeted support from the UN-REDD Global Programme and knowledge sharing. Partner countries will also have observer status at UN-REDD Programme Policy Board meetings, and may be invited to submit a request to receive funding for a National Programme in the future, if selected through a set of criteria to prioritise funding for new countries approved by the Policy Board.
Monitoring and Evaluation  Framework The UN-REDD Programme relies on monitoring and evaluation tools of its implementing agencies. These tools are to require limited maintenance, and be flexible and easy to access. They are characterised by databases and performance contracts and by informal feedback from countries and the Policy Board.Periodic reviews and rapid assessments of performance of activities are also to be completed internally. For example, the 2011 “Year in Review” report provides short snapshots of the progress and achievements made by national programs and other partner countries.Furthermore, independent external evaluations are commissioned every two to three years on completed and on-going activities to determine whether they are achieving stated objectives and contributing to decision making. The latest one is expected to be finalised early 2014.

As of January 2013 country structured programme evaluations do not appear to have been undertaken. However the UN-REDD Programme Annual Report provides narrative and financial information on progress made (e.g. expected results and achievements) in the implementation of each programme funded by UN-REDD, as well as the difficulties faced and contingency measures taken. Annual key results and achievements are also outlined at country level.

The six UN-REDD Programme partner countries that have implemented national UN-REDD Programs have collected lessons that may be relevant for REDD+ Readiness and implementation in other countries. The lessons learnt focus on information monitoring and MRV, benefit distribution system, safeguards, and National REDD strategy.

Fund Governance


Decision Making Structure The UN-REDD Programme is intended to facilitate and streamline the provision of donor resources to UN Joint Programmes to implement REDD activities at country level.

The UN-REDD Programme Policy Board provides overall leadership and sets the strategic direction of the UN-REDD Programme as well as deciding on financial allocations. The UN-REDD Programme Secretariat serves the Policy Board, using the capacities of the participating UN organisations, research institutions and recognised experts. It ensures policies and strategies are implemented and adhered to. The Secretariat also manages the Joint Programmes review process and the UN-REDD Programme’s overall monitoring and evaluation function which includes inter alia, monitoring allocations to and delivery by international support functions and country joint programmes, and tracking Programme-wide progress and ensuring that monitoring mechanisms are applied.

The UNDP MDTF Office is the Administrative Agent of the Fund. The MDTF Office manages the distribution of resources and oversees the work of UNDP Country offices that may be involved in the provision of Administrative Agent function at the country level.

The UN-REDD Programme will be supported by UN Resident Coordinators in their strategic leadership of the UN Country Team and relationships with national authorities. The UN Resident Coordinator will provide ongoing oversight to the joint programme at the national level, ensuring the participating UN organisations are meeting their obligations.

Each Participating UN Organisation assumes full programmatic and financial accountability for the funds disbursed to it by the Administrative Agent and establishes a separate ledger account for the receipt and administration of the funds disbursed to it by the Administrative Agent. The Participating Organisations participate in the design, ongoing programmatic implementation and oversight of the country Joint Programme.

A National REDD Steering Committee provides day-to-day management of the Joint Programme, coordinates national REDD activities, ensures government-wide responses, and integrates REDD into national development planning processes.

Non-Government Stakeholder Participation Of the 19 seats of the Policy Board of the UN-REDD Programme, Indigenous Peoples (IPs) are represented by the Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) – on a non-rotational basis – and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) also hold one seat. In addition, the 29 observers at Policy Board meetings include three representatives from IPs and CSOs each.Between October and December of 2011, the UN-REDD program invited the public to comment on the ‘UN-REDD Programme Draft Social and Environmental principles’.
Information Disclosure In 2009, the Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) office developed the MDTF Office GATEWAY, a knowledge platform with tools and tables displaying financial data in real-time from the MDTF Office accounting system on donor contributions and transfers to the Participating UN Organisations.
Safeguard Policies The UN-REDD programme’s Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria (SEPCs) outline 7 overarching principles and 24 specific criteria for safeguarding against unintended negative impacts of REDD+ implementation.The principles encompass democratic governance; stakeholder rights; sustainable livelihoods; compatibility with low-carbon development strategies and national commitments; protection of natural forest from degradation and conversion; maintenance/enhancement of forest functions; and the avoidance of adverse impacts of non-forest ecosystem services. They encompass a number of UN policies and declarations.

The UN-REDD programme has produced programme guidelines to help national recipient countries adhere to some of the SEPC criteria. There is also emphasis on the transparent, equitable and accountable management of REDD+ funds. Recipient countries are also expected to adhere to UN human rights obligations, including the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which includes provisions relating to the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). UN-REDD and the World Bank’s FCPF, as well as the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) are working together to maximise the harmonization of their safeguard guidelines and procedures so that REDD+ implementation is as efficient as possible in countries where multiple programmes are active. The UN-REDD Programme has also drafted a Social Principles Risk Identification and Mitigation Tool to aid countries.

Analysis by the World Resources Institute (WRI) has made the case for the development of additional national-level safeguard frameworks as a more effective and contextually sensitive way to both meet funder requirements and maximise benefits of REDD+ for recipients. Global Witness has called for further financial transparency and fiduciary safeguards.

Issues Raised Unknown

Relationship with Official Development Assistance

Inclusion as Official Development Assistance  Yes.
Financial Instrument/ Delivery Mechanism Used (e.g. grant, loan)  Grants.
Nature of Recipient Country Involvement National actions are identified and led by the host government and supported by the UN Country team. In August 2011, the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board endorsed the UN-REDD Global Programme Framework document: “Support to National REDD+ Action– Global Programme Framework 2011-2015” which highlights the efforts of recipient countries to develop and implement REDD+ strategies.