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REDD+ and the Green Economy
UN Photo/Logan Abassi

REDD+ holds the promise of multiple benefits for climate, development and conservation in the forest sector at national and global levels. The UN-REDD Programme supports countries to realize these benefits from forests and REDD+ through support to their national REDD+ programmes and targeted support. As countries advance their REDD+ readiness and develop national strategies to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, the cross linkages with the other sectors and themes within national development planning become apparent. It is crucial therefore to strengthen national multi-sectoral ownership of the REDD+ agenda, if REDD+ is to meet the expectation for deep change. Such comprehensive change includes ensuring that REDD+ provides benefits for development, including but not limited to poverty alleviation and gender dimensions.

This work area provides an entry point and aims to support the necessary practical steps, knowledge and capacity strengthening for an approach which elevates the REDD+ process as an engine to design and implement a low carbon economy . Such paradigmatic change has been referred to elsewhere as 'sustainable development' and more recently as a 'green economy'. Without such transformative shifts, there is a danger that REDD+ might simply be a temporary pause in a continuing negative trend of deforestation and forest degradation along an environmental Kuznets curve.

The UN-REDD Programme refers to this transformation as a shift or improvement of land and forest resource use to one that lowers carbon emissions, while delivering other benefits such as sustainable livelihoods, food security and other economic and ecological benefits (including addressing poverty and gender dimensions of inequity). 

Forest Ecosystem Valuation and Economics

Forests provide a whole range of provisioning, regulating and cultural services for human use, which contribute to myriad economic activities. Some, like timber extraction and commercialization, are accounted for in the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country, whereas many other services – especially regulating services like water retention or cultural services – are not financially accounted for by either governments or companies.

The UN-REDD Programme is supporting its partner countries to help them understand the economic value of forest-related ecosystem services to the national economy. Studies have been carried out or are ongoing in Kenya, Tanzania, Panama, Zambia, the Congo and Indonesia. Such studies provide information to various government ministries in order to make more informed decisions about land-use.

Access publications and resources related to Forest ecosystem valuation and economics.