The UN REDD Programme

The UN REDD Programme was set up in September 2008and is run jointly by three of the United Nations largest organisations: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). UN REDD's aim is to assist developing countries and the international community to gain experience with various ways of paying for REDD and on how to deal with the risks involved. UN-REDD is explicitly promoting market-based REDD and payments for ecosystem services. UN-REDD is currently supporting pilot projects in ten countries: Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Tanzania, Viet Nam, and Zambia. Like the World Bank's FCPF. These pilot projects have two purposes:

1. They are supposed to help the countries prepare for future national REDD schemes (called readiness activities since they are supposed to create the capacities of government to become ready for REDD).

2. They will test the REDD payment systems developed.

This means that with the help of these pilot projects the UN-REDD programme want to assess whether the capacity support given and payment system devised can create the incentives to ensure clear, measurable emission reductions that last, while at the same time maintaining and improving the other ecosystem services that forests provide. The government of Norway has provided the initial funding for UN-REDD. The UN REDD Programme declared that it will apply a rights-based approach which means that the programme will in all activities respect and promote the rights of people involved in and affected. UN-REDD also stated that it will adhere to the United Nations Development Group Guidelines on Indigenous Peoples. In February 2008 these guidelines were upgraded to make them consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The guidelines among others recommend that UN operations should respect the right to free, prior and informed consent, and recognise indigenous peoples collective land and territorial rights. The UN-REDD programme has monitoring plans which, for example, foresees to provide training for governments on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to raise awareness on traditional knowledge and to develop tools for assessing co-benefits (which means other benefits than just reduction of carbon emission). But the monitoring plan so far lack what is most crucial: criteria, indicators and tools to monitor and independently verify human rights impacts as well as the governance performance in REDD programmes. It therefore remains unclear how the UN will ensure that its commitment to a rights-based approach will be applied in practice or how it will respond to indigenous peoples demands developing monitoring mechanism which ensure that its activities comply with the Guidelines on Indigenous Peoples and accountability mechanisms.

 

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