Forest Reference Emission Levels

Following 10 years of UN-REDD support, national forest emissions data are more transparent and of a higher quality than ever before.

The Programme has been crucial in providing technical assistance and capacity-building for FREL development, which has had an impact far beyond the submission of FRELs to the UNFCCC secretariat. The data gathering enables countries to better address the requirements of the enhanced transparency framework under the Paris Agreement, and provides important input for policy and decision-making.

Of the 50 countries that had submitted FRELs/ FRLs to the UNFCCC secretariat by January 2020, around 60 per cent (29 countries) had received UN-REDD support. UN-REDD material was used to support Argentina, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Solomon Islands in 2018, all of which subsequently submitted their FRELs/ FRLs to the UNFCCC secretariat in early 2019.

The support of the Programme, either through direct work under the Programme in 2019 or building on previously provided assistance, also enabled five countries – Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Kenya and Mexico – to finalize their FRELs/FRLs for submission in early 2020.

Several countries received support to assess and report REDD+ results to the UNFCCC secretariat (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Papua New Guinea). This support was provided through methodological work and consultations with a range of stakeholders from Government ministries, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector. The Programme built in-country capacity and understanding of FRELs/FRLs through training on the UNFCCC requirements and information on the policy and technical implications of FREL/FRL construction. The critical value of FRELs/FRLs is that they allow countries to publicly demonstrate and be rewarded for REDD+ results. To date, REDD+ results have been submitted by a total of 10 countries around the world, 4 of which have received support from UN-REDD to prepare and submit their REDD+ results, helping them to gain international recognition and mobilize financial rewards.

As countries continue to make progress against the pillars of the Warsaw Framework, technical assistance and capacity-building on FRELs/FRLs remain fundamental components of UN-REDD. The support of the Programme responds to countries’ changing circumstances, and as they move closer to receiving results-based payments, more work has been carried out in 2019 on managing emission reductions at different scales.

In Cambodia, Indonesia and Zambia, the Programme contributed strategic advice on how to bring together forest monitoring systems, registries for mitigation activities and applicable regulations in a coherent system for managing REDD+ emission reductions.

UN-REDD also supported the improvement of FRELs for Colombia and Mexico; both countries will submit their improved FRELs in early 2020. Indonesia received support on nesting and considering strategies to reconcile REDD+ at multiple scales. With UN-REDD support, several countries are moving beyond the REDD+ readiness phase. UN-REDD also supported Viet Nam in the elaboration of the REDD+ technical annex to the biennial update report (BUR), the submission of which is planned in 2020.

This report is made possible through support from Denmark, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the European Union.