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NDC forest ambitions

Forest solutions are critical to developing countries’ ability to deliver ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement

NDC forest ambitions and REDD+

The Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector can provide up to one-third of the emission reductions needed to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change (IPCC, 2019). Conserving and sustainably managing forests can unlock significant emission reductions, with approximately 3.3 GtCO2/year of cost-effective mitigation potential in the tropics alone, representing the most significant opportunity to increase the ambition of NDCs in many tropical forested countries.

Many countries refer in their NDCs to reducing deforestation as a priority with high mitigation potential, including efforts to implement Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). As of 1 May, 2021, 47 out of 55 countries that submitted enhanced or updated NDCs to the UNFCCC mention forests. Many Parties also highlight the importance of social and environmental co-benefits resulting from these mitigation activities, including adaptation co-benefits.

Despite this demonstrated political will, both public and private efforts have not made sufficient progress towards reducing emissions from forest loss. Tropical primary forest loss has generally increased, with 4.2 million hectares lost in 2020 (NYDF Assessment Partners, 2021). Substantially accelerated efforts (at least five-fold by 2030 and three-fold by 2050) are needed to ensure that reduced deforestation and restoration contribute fully to achieving the Paris temperature goal.

How do UN-REDD work with NDC forest ambitions?

The UN-REDD Programme provides technical assistance and policy advice to countries to assess, enhance, and accelerate NDC mitigation actions in the forest and land use sector by:

  • Facilitating high-level policy coordination and multi-stakeholder dialogues for the review, alignment and enhancement of NDC forest-related targets and actions.
  • Developing action plans, assessing costs and scoping financing and investment opportunities for the implementation of the NDC forest and land-use components.
  • Supporting expansion of forest and land-use coverage in NDC scope, including introduction of new policies and measures for REDD+ informed by enhanced national forest monitoring systems including GHG inventory data improvements.
  • Capitalising on synergies between REDD+ finance (including results-based payments, or RBPs, as well as carbon market-based finance) and enhanced ambition and implementation of NDC forest components. This is key considering a significant number of country targets are conditional on international climate finance.
  • Facilitating stakeholder inclusion in forest and land-use aspects of NDC review processes, preparation of the NDC action plans and monitoring NDC implementation.

UN-REDD approaches to enhancing NDC forest ambitions

Drawing from 10-plus years of REDD+ experience, UN-REDD has identified considerations that are key to enhancing NDC mitigation action through forest solutions:


Unique characteristics

Careful consideration of the unique characteristics of the land-use sector (e.g. highly dynamic, already occurring impacts of climate change) when designing forest-based climate solutions, including the risk of reversals as well as emissions displacement.


UNFCCC landscape

Awareness of the evolving UNFCCC landscape, particularly the newly agreed Article 6 and Transparency aspects of the Paris Rulebook.


Flexible approaches

Supporting flexible approaches to meet NDC goals through innovative financing and implementation of forest solutions.



Fostering enhanced inter-ministerial coordination bodies at the institutional level.


NDC targets

Facilitating access to results-based finance to support implementation of the forest sector contribution to the NDC targets or goals.


Key REDD+ components

Integrating key REDD+ components, particularly social and environmental safeguards and national forest monitoring systems, into the broader forest and land use sector to foster NDC ambition and contribute to implementation.

Key tools or communities to link to

Recommended key documents

Venue: Kaminzimmer Room, World Convention Center, Bonn, Germany  

Date: June 6, 13:15 - 14:45 CEST

Format: Hybrid (in-person & virtual) presentation and discussion

Livestream Link: 

Interpretation: Consecutive interpretation will be provided for remarks in Thai.

This event will share the findings of analysis of NDCs in 10 Asian countries, assessing how the rights and contributions of IPs are reflected in national climate commitments, identifying best practice, gaps, and issuing a call to action to recognize IPs as equal partners in efforts to enhance climate ambition.

Analysis undertaken by the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) over the past two years, supported by UNDP, the UN-REDD Programme, the Development Cooperation Section of the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through Swedbio at the Stockholm Resilience Centre investigates the rights, roles, and contributions of Indigenous Peoples in the NDCs of ten countries in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) against nine indicators. 

Using a gender and social inclusion approach, the analysis considers whether each country’s NDC includes specific reference to rights holders such as Indigenous Peoples, including those more marginalized, such as Indigenous women, youth, and persons with disabilities, and whether the NDC explicitly recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ rights, including customary land and resource tenure rights, and the right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC). The analysis also looks at whether and how NDCs promote or reference traditional knowledge, Indigenous Peoples’ participation, and capacity building and highlights a series of ways that Indigenous women, men, youth, and persons with disabilities contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement: by protecting forests and biodiversity, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered; protecting and restoring customary rules, practices, and traditional livelihood activities; maintaining and transferring their knowledge and wisdom on how to adapt to harsh climatic conditions; and providing inspiring examples of food system resilience.


  • Kittisak Rattanakrajangsri is an indigenous person. He belongs to the Iu Mien indigenous group from the north of Thailand. He is the current chairperson of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), chairperson of the Council of Indigenous Peoples in Thailand (CIPT) and director of the Indigenous Peoples’ Foundation for Education and Environment (IPF).
  • Tunga Bhadra Rai belongs to the Rai Indigenous Nation of Nepal. He works with the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) Climate Change Partnership Program
  • Naw Ei Ei Min received the U.S. Embassy’s Women of Change award on March 16 (2017). She is the Director of the Promotion of Indigenous and Nature Together (POINT), Myanmar and Executive Council Member of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP).
  • Ms. Noraeri Thungmueangthong is a chief of Huay Ee Khang Village. She belongs to the Karen Indigenous group in Thailand. She is one of the prominent Indigenous Women leaders in Thailand.
  • Mr. Lakpa Nuri Sherpa belongs to the Sherpa Indigenous Community from Nepal. Currently, he manages the Environment Programme of Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  • Leticia Guimaraes is Senior Global Technical Advisor for UNDP’s Climate & Forests Programme.