International Law (UNFCCC)

REDD+ under the UNFCCC

Reducing emissions from deforestation, reducing emissions from forest degradation, conservation of forest carbon stocks, sustainable management of forests, enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

Kyoto Protocol Land use, Land-use Change and Forestry

Accounting for forest-related activities are mandatory and include: afforestation, reforestation, deforestation, and forest management.  In addition, under LULUCF rules, the following activities may be voluntarily chosen: cropland management, grazing land management, revegetation, and for the second commitment period wetland drainage and rewetting. 

Joint Implementation (JI) Kyoto Protocol

Forest management, afforestation and reforestation. The Project Design Document form appears to limit the definition of a LULUCF project to one that aims at enhancing removals by sinks. However, there has been one project (Bikin Tiger Carbon Project) approved that focuses on the protection of an otherwise logged forest in Russia, or an avoided forest degradation project. 

Social and Environmental Standards


SocialCarbon has been designed as a complementary (add-on) standard for co-benefits of any GHG mitigation project and has no criteria regarding project type.

Climate, Community, & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards

CCB Standards have been designed, and can be applied to, any land management project that delivers net positive benefits for climate change mitigation, for local communities and for biodiversity. This includes projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through avoided deforestation and forest degradation or from avoided degradation of other ecosystems (e.g. REDD), or those that remove carbon from the atmosphere (e.g. afforestation, reforestation, revegetation, forest restoration, agroforestry and sustainable agriculture) or other land management projects.

Donor Financed Initiatives

Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s Carbon Fund

The Carbon Fund will strive to be consistent with existing and evolving UNFCCC decisions. The eligible scope of activities/categories is therefore consistent with the set of REDD+ activities explicitly named in the Cancun Decision, i.e. reduced emissions from deforestation, reduced emissions from forest degradation, conservation, sustainable forest management, and the enhancement of forest carbon stock. ER Programs must account for emissions from deforestation and emissions from forest degradation also should be accounted for where emissions are significant (i.e. more than 10% of total forest-related emissions in the accounting area). Programs can choose to include the other REDD+ activities.

Developing Country Programmes

Guyana | The Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund and Norway Partnership

Guyana’s “Combined incentives” reference level is based on rates of deforestation only (see Reference Levels). The calculation of payments, however, is discounted on a ton-by-ton basis of emissions from forest degradation, using an agreed set of indicators and a conservative estimate of carbon density to calculate emissions from degradation. Forest degradation may be added to the reference level and measurement of performance as MRV systems improve.

Voluntary Carbon Standards

Verified Carbon Standard

REDD+ projects fall into 3 categories: Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR), Improved Forest Management (IFM), Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).

The Gold Standard Land Use and Forests Framework

The A/R requirements of the Gold Standard Land Use and Forests Framework currently apply to afforestation, reforestation, natural re-vegetation and agroforestry projects and do not apply to avoided deforestation (RED) projects. New rules and requirements are being developed under the Land Use and Forestry Framework to include improved forest management (IFM) and Agriculture (Agr.) projects.

Plan Vivo Standard

A number of activities are eligible under Plan Vivo, including afforestation/reforestation (only non-commercial plantations), agroforestry, avoided deforestation, forest conservation and restoration. The Plan Vivo Standard can be used in a range of PES schemes that provide benefits to people. These include payments for: carbon sequestration or greenhouse gas emission reductions - ‘climate services’; watershed services; biodiversity conservation or enhancement; other ecosystem services including for preservation of scenic beauty or other cultural services (e.g. as part of ecotourism); ‘bundled services’ in the event that more than one service is being quantified and monitored, or, if one service e.g. carbon sequestration, is being used as a proxy to demonstrate performance in delivery of other ecosystem services. 

Natural Forest Standard

The requirements of the Natural Forest Standard specifically apply to avoided deforestation projects that protect and conserve areas of natural forests at risk of deforestation and forest degradation. The standard is specific to natural forest projects and excludes commercial resource extraction. It focuses equally on the biodiversity and social values of these projects, and carbon.

Developed Country Programmes