What is REDD+?

Reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is an international initiative emphasizing the role of forests in mitigating climate change. It aims to generate environmental and social benefits, including sustainable management of forests, increase in forest carbon sequestration, and improvement of local livelihoods. This means that, REDD+ as a mechanism to mitigate climate change makes forests more valuable standing than cut down, by creating a financial value for the carbon stored in trees. When integrated into existing forest planning, and carried out with the robust engagement of forest-dependent communities, REDD+ holds the potential of being an effective climate change mitigation solution- a nature-based solution that goes beyond carbon to address the needs of the poor.
In Developing Countries, REDD+ plays major roles in Conservation, sustainable management of forests and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks leading to generating financial benefits for the stakeholders especially, forest-dependent ethnic minority groups involved in the mechanism.

Phases of implementation of REDD+

The decisions on REDD+ enumerate three phases namely: readiness, implementation and results-based and five eligible activities that developing countries and institutions may implement to reduce emissions and enhance removals of greenhouse gases:
  1. Reducing emissions from deforestation.
  2. Reducing emissions from forest degradation.
  3. Conservation of forest carbon stocks.
  4. Sustainable management of forests.
  5. Enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

ECREEE’s Programme of REDD+ activities

The REDD+ programme of activities being implemented by ECREEE with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Austria are all at the ‘‘readiness phase’’ which relates to the efforts a country or institution has to undertake with the support of multilateral or bilateral partners, to build its capacity to be ready for a REDD+ mechanism. This phase also focuses on capacity building and stakeholder engagement as part of a process based on learning. During this first phase, a country or institution needs to build a national or institutional strategy that tackles drivers of deforestation that are specific to the situation of the country.
In line with these, ECOWAS Biomass Actions being developed into REDD+ by ECREEE has seen the implementation of the following activities in-line with the activity template of the project proposal document:
  • An Inception period that saw the establishment of Program Management structure, the detailed plan of activities and the Steering Committee;
  • Stock Taking Analysis on the state of the art of forest management in the ECOWAS region;
  • Formulation of an action plan, capacity and sensitization program for sustainable management of forests in relation to energy use for ECOWAS Region;
  • Conducting of workshops on sustainable management of forests (SMF) with a focus on REDD+.
  • Study tours and workshops for sensitization and on the spot training purposes.
Activities to be implemented in 2016 include but not limited to:
  • Conduct national capacity enhancement and sensitization activities in collaboration with ECREEE Focal Institutions and the respective Ministries of Environment and Forestry in five (5) ECOWAS countries to focus on targeting the local communities;
  • Develop Training manuals based on the REDD+ scheme and adapted for the specific situations in the respective 5 selected ECOWAS countries;
  • Develop a website providing all training manuals and information material in all three ECOWAS languages.

See more information under resources.