The United Nations Collaborative Programme
on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation
and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries
What are the multiple benefits of REDD+?

When REDD+ prevents the loss or degradation of forest, this will result in multiple benefits in addition to protecting or enhancing carbon stocks. These include ‘ecosystem-based benefits’ such as conservation of forest biodiversity, water regulation, soil conservation, timber, forest foods and other non-timber forest products. Various factors affect the extent to which these benefits are delivered: the type, location and condition of the forest involved, which REDD+ activity is undertaken, how it is implemented, and the dependence of the local population on forest resources. REDD+ can also lead to direct social benefits, such as jobs, livelihoods, land tenure clarification, carbon payments, enhanced participation in decision-making and improved governance.

The UN-REDD Programme supports countries in their efforts to integrate multiple benefits into their REDD+ strategies and development plans. Outputs include general concepts and guidance on ecosystem-based benefits (see Global Activities) and documents responding to specific national activities and needs (see National Activities).

Anticipated future activities include:

  • further consultations on national priorities
  • further map-based analyses of the relationship between carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem-services
  • exploration of the role of valuation and payments for ecosystem services
  • development of a framework for understanding the consequences of land-use decisions for biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • sharing of experience from different countries, for example through a web forum accessible through these pages.
Multiple Benefits Updates

Launch of the Policy Brief on ‘REDD+ and the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets: Promoting Synergies in International Forest Conservation Efforts’

October 2013

‘REDD+ and the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets: Promoting Synergies in International Forest Conservation Efforts’ is the UN-REDD Programme’s fifth Policy Brief.
Read full article…

Workshop Held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Spatial Planning Tools for Achieving Multiple Benefits from REDD+

June/July 2013

Policy-makers and technicians brought together to test software and mapping tools for the purpose of REDD+ planning for multiple benefits.
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UN-REDD Hosts Regional Workshop on Social and Environmental Safeguards

April 2013

REDD+ experts from across the Asia-Pacific region gathered in Bangkok, Thailand to share experiences and build capacities for better understanding of safeguards system in REDD+.
Read full article…

UN-REDD Hosts Regional Lessons Learned Workshop on Social and Environmental Safeguards

April 2013

At a recent consultative workshop in Bangkok participants shared knowledge and experience on safeguard policies in REDD+.
Read full article…
By: Kanwar Muhammad Javed Iqbal and Pasang Sherpa

Workshop: REDD+ Beyond Carbon: Safeguards and Multiple Benefits

December 2012

The UN-REDD Programme workshop “REDD+ Beyond Carbon: Safeguards and Multiple Benefits”, organised by UNEP-WCMC on behalf of UNEP, was held from 13th-15th November in Cambridge. The workshop bought together 46 delegates, including representatives from 14 UN-REDD Partner countries from all three of the world's major forested regions – Africa, Latin America and Asia, alongside  members of civil society and indigenous peoples organisations. Read more...

Biodiversity Monitoring for REDD+

December 2012

UNEP-WCMC, with the financial support of the UN-REDD programme, has written a paper on biodiversity monitoring for REDD+ published in the journal "Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability" this week. The paper observes the following three challenge to biodiversity monitoring for REDD+: choosing which aspects of biodiversity to monitor, the difficulty of attributing particular changes to REDD+ and the likely scarcity of resources for biodiversity monitoring. It proposes three responses which may address these challenges: 1) agreed policy targets that identify what should be monitored; 2) making links to existing biodiversity monitoring and to monitoring to estimate GHG emissions and removals; and 3) developing clear theories of change to assist in determining which changes in biodiversity can be attributed to REDD+. The paper is available on the journal website here.

REDD+ Day at CBD COP11

November 2012

At the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP11 meeting last month in India, the UN-REDD Programme hosted a full day event on REDD+, and launched its second Policy Brief on the multiple benefits of REDD+.
Read full article…

Safeguards Consultation Workshop Report

August 2012

The UN-REDD Programme participated in a multi-stakeholder safeguards consultation workshop hosted by the Ateneo School of Government and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in the Philippines (31 March-1 April 2012). The report of the workshop, which includes recommendations on the implementation of governance and biodiversity safeguards, is now available on the workspace. .

DRC Launches New Report on Mapping Biodiversity Benefits from REDD+

July 2012

The UN-REDD Programme recently supported the release of a new report which provides analyses on the relationship between biomass carbon stocks, biodiversity, land use designations and pressures on forests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Read full article…

UN-REDD Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria Welcomed at the UN-REDD 8th Policy Board Meeting

April 2012

Following discussions at the eighth UN-REDD Policy Board meeting held in Asuncion, Paraguay 25th-26th March, the SEPC were welcomed by the Policy Board as a guiding framework for the UN-REDD Programme. Read more...

New GIS Toolbox to Map Potential for Multiple Benefits from REDD+

January 2012

A new GIS toolbox has been released to assist in mapping the potential for multiple benefits from REDD+. Comments are very welcome. Read more

Report on Multiple Benefits of REDD+ in Ecuador now Available in Spanish

November 2011

With support from the UN-REDD Programme, the summary report on multiple benefits of REDD+ in Ecuador is now available in English and Spanish. Read full article…

UN-REDD Social and Environmental Criteria Open for Public Consultation

October 2011

We invite you to comment on a new version of the UN-REDD Programme Draft Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria. This public consultation process will last 15 October to 31 December 2011. More information...

Download the draft Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria (English, Spanish and French).

Download the feedback form (English).

Update on UN-REDD's Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria

April 2011

Emily Dunning and Lera Miles of UNEP's World Conservation Monitoring Centre provide an overview of the UN-REDD Programme’s draft Social and Environmental Principles and Criteria which were recently presented at the Programme's Policy Board meeting in Viet Nam. Read full article...

Biodiversity Benefits of REDD+

The UN-REDD Programme recently convened a workshop exploring the biodiversity benefits of REDD+ in Nairobi, and Elifuraha Isaya Laltaika, the elected representative of indigenous peoples in Africa to the UN- REDD Programme Policy Board, highlights the challenges and opportunities discussed. Read full article...

Curbing Climate Change and Boosting Biodiversity

New country maps pinpoint places where investments in carbon can contribute to community livelihoods and wider conservation goals. Read full release...

 Brochure released: Beyond Carbon: Ecosystem-based benefits of REDD+

The brochure is being released at the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties in Nagoya, Japan, 18-29 October 2010. An accompanying CD contains some of the contents of these web pages.

 Global Expert Workshop on Biodiversity Benefits of REDD+

Held from 20-23 September 2010, this workshop was hosted by the Convention on Biological Diversity in cooperation with the UN-REDD Programme. The workshop identified risks and opportunities for biodiversity from REDD+, and priorities for action.

Making REDD+ Work for Biodiversity and Livelihoods

UN-REDD Programme officers, Wahida Patwa-Shah and Julie Greenwalt, highlight what REDD+ efforts need to do in order to protect the multitude of social and economic benefits derived from biodiversity and ecosystem services. (With contributions from Lera Miles)