FORESTS provide the dwelling and livelihood for over 1 billion people – including many indigenous peoples – as well as hosting the largest share the world's biodiversity and providing essential ecosystem services, such as water and carbon storage. Deforestation and forest degradation contribute severely to climate change, currently representing about a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions.

REDD+ stands for ‘reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks’ in developing countries and refers to the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide financial incentives to forest-based approaches to mitigating climate change. It was specifically endorsed in the Paris Agreement (article 5). REDD+ policies and finance are indispensable to mitigate climate change and set nations and communities in the path for sustainable development. REDD+ represents an innovative approach for sustainable development, offering a gateway for climate finance – a new source of finance for development, under a results-based philosophy.

The work of the UNDP Climate & Forests Team contributes to both SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 15 (forest ecosystems), addressing their close linkages. When promoting forest and climate policies and investments in countries, UNDP employs a social inclusion approach, wherein effective stakeholder engagement is ensured, the rights of indigenous peoples and forest communities are promoted, gender equality and women’s empowerment principles are mainstreamed, and policy reforms towards more equitable land use and tenure systems are encouraged.