Spotlight on the journey and implementation of REDD+ across the tropics

This plenary session, co-hosted by CIFOR and the UN-REDD Programme, provides an opportunity to discuss the vital role of forests in mitigating climate change through the international mechanism of REDD+, which came into existence over a decade ago.

Forests offer the most immediate and cost-effective solution to curb climate change at scale, since halting and reversing deforestation could deliver up to 30 per cent of the climate solution. Under the Paris Agreement, starting in 2020, all countries have agreed to reduce their emissions according to national targets they’ve set for themselves, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs). REDD+ is one avenue to help them fulfill their NDCs.

The first part of this joint session will explore the trajectory of REDD+ over the past 10 years (from theory to implementation) and discuss how different stakeholders are working together now to implement REDD+ across different scales (national, subnational, local levels). It will discuss how best to enable policymakers, experts and civil society groups, including indigenous rights organizations, to scale up their actions in forest protection and restoration. This work, along with restoration of degraded ecosystems on a massive scale, is among the commitments from the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration that begins in 2021.

Launched in 2008, the UN-REDD Programme supports 65 partner countries with technical assistance, capacity-building and policy advice to help them access REDD+ financing. It is the first joint global initiative of the United Nations on climate change and builds on the convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment). The first panel discussion in this joint session will feature the voices of some of its key partner countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Viet Nam, Myanmar, and Malaysia. A prominent youth voice from Indonesia will open this segment with a personal testimony of the importance of forests for planet and people.

In the second part of this joint session, we will zoom in on the subnational level where, across the tropics, many provincial- and district-level governments are advancing jurisdictional approaches to REDD+ and low emissions development. A recent study by Earth Innovation Institute, CIFOR and the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force on jurisdictional approaches by 39 states and provinces in 12 tropical countries highlights the clear need for further private investment to support progress underway. Although the jurisdictional approach concept is increasingly being adopted by key supply chain companies (e.g., Unilever, Mars), platforms (Consumer Goods Forum/Tropical Forest Alliance), and initiatives (e.g., Cocoa and Forests Initiative), there are still barriers to private-public partnerships that must be resolved, including questions about cultivating meaningful partnerships with subnational stakeholders and operationalizing preferential sourcing and investment at jurisdictional scales. The second panel in the joint session will feature sustainability professionals, private sector representatives and researchers working to advance public-private partnerships through jurisdictional approaches in the tropics.

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Opening Plenary

  • Director General, CIFOR on behalf of the GLF Charter members, Robert Nasi
  • Mayor of Kyoto, Mr. Daisaku Kadokawa
  • Video address by Mary Robinson
  • Hiroto Mitsugi
  • Toru Hayami
  • Mie Asaoka
  • Kosuke Mizuno
  • Komal Kumar (youth representative)
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Closing Plenary with climate experts: It’s not too late

In this closing plenary session, speakers will offer their outlooks on climate actions to date and explore concrete political, economic, socio-cultural and practical actions that will help to make change become reality in different landscapes across the globe.

This will also bring a focus onto forest ecosystems, mountains and seascapes as landscapes that are both sensitive to climate change as well as part of the land based climate solution. Inspired by success stories from across the globe, it’s apparent that it is not too late for transformative change!

Delegates to this session will discuss the critical role that changing our patterns of production and consumption will play in achieving future climate-smart landscapes, including lifestyle changes that anyone can make – whether in nutrition, fashion, mobility, plastic or cutting food waste.

Further, discussions will introduce innovations and smart solutions in business, finance, policy and technology that can support life-changing transformations in different landscapes.

Finally, the session will officially launch the digital conference to be broadcast live on the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) channel immediately after the conclusion of the GLF Kyoto conference. Subjects to be broadcast are:

  • integrated landscapes approach
  • mountains
  • oceans/seascapes, mangroves
  • lifestyle and consumption
  • youth


Related Publications

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Renewable Energy and Indigenous Peoples in Landscapes: Challenges and Solutions

This panel discussion will consider challenges and solutions concerning renewable energy, climate change, and initiatives presented by indigenous peoples, including community-based renewable energy developments.

These both empower indigenous peoples and enhance their contributions, through climate changes solutions, to sustainable landscapes. However, to pursue appropriate solutions to climate change, a rights-based approach to renewable energy development must be ensured and the interests of indigenous peoples fairly represented.

As global leaders seek climate change solutions, indigenous peoples should be at the center of decision-making – because of their vulnerability, but also due to their critical role and contributions in combating climate change and achieving sustainable development.

Some 60 to 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity lies in indigenous peoples’ territories, primarily due to their customary practices of sustainable landscape management. This is based on their intrinsic relationship with their lands, territories and resources. But too often, indigenous peoples live on the frontlines of climate change impacts and their existing capacities and resilience face serious challenges because of the severity, intensity and unpredictability of climate-related disasters.

Delegates at this panel discussion will discuss how to increase access for indigenous peoples to renewable energy, equitable benefit-sharing, and enhance their roles and contributions to sustainable landscape management. That work will also contribute to achieving other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including reducing poverty, providing food security, empowering women, offering decent work and livelihoods, and conservation of forest and biodiversity.

A majority of indigenous peoples in rural areas do not have access to energy even as indigenous territories host a significant number of renewable energy projects. Although they represent just five percent of the global population, indigenous peoples comprise fully one-third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people.

Indigenous peoples are also being displaced by large hydro-electric dam projects, windmill and solar farms, and geothermal developments. Too often, these result in conflicts, destruction of livelihoods and sacred sites, and violations of the rights of indigenous peoples to lands, territories and resources.

A short video illustrating the ‘Right Energy Partnership with Indigenous Peoples’ will be presented during the session.

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Achieving Transformational Change through integrated Landscape Approaches

This panel discussion will bring together representatives of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), indigenous peoples, civil society, representatives from governments and the U.N., as well as scientists to review developments concerning integrated landscape approaches to sustainable development.

Delegates to this panel will consider the fact that a strong emphasis, particularly by the GCF, is being placed on policies and measures to fulfil the Paris Agreement goals on climate change and to achieve progress on Agenda 2030, the U.N. development agenda including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, initiatives like REDD+, corporate pledges on zero deforestation, and large-scale restoration efforts show potential to be catalysts for change. Efforts by developing countries on these fronts have progressed and continue to be key to sustainable and long-lasting sectoral and cross-sectoral change.

To scale up this work, and achieve the Paris Agreement target – holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees C over pre-industrial levels and limiting the rise to 1.5 degree C – barriers to transformational change across complex landscapes must be identified. Doing so will help to support countries’ efforts in developing climate strategies and implementing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Delegates to this session will also discuss the results of a recent FAO/CIFOR study. It analyses how change is achieved across multiple sectors, including climate, forestry (including REDD+), agriculture, health, education, management and public administration. It will also provide insights into how GCF is approaching, measuring and evaluating change.

Indigenous peoples, scientists and civil society organizations will discuss how rights, conservation and restoration of ecosystems and agricultural practices can make very significant contributions to mitigating and adapting to climate change, while achieving multiple SDGs.

Great emphasis is currently being placed on achieving transformational change and paradigm shift through policies and measures to fulfill the Paris Agreement goals and progressing on the UN 2030 development agenda, particularly by the world’s largest climate mitigation and adaptation facility, the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Initiatives to achieve corporate zero deforestation, restore large areas of forest and reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through activities such as REDD+ are showing some potential to be catalysts for the much needed paradigm shift. Engagement in such efforts by developing countries will be key for ensuring sustainable and long-lasting sectoral and cross-sectoral transformational change that is indispensable for sustainable development as well as economic growth, whilst mitigating and adapting to climate change.

This Discussion Forum will bring together diverse voices to identify how developing countries can implement transformational integrated landscape approaches to achieve their sustainable development goals and fulfill their Paris Agreement pledges through climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. It will include representatives from the GCF, as well as indigenous peoples, civil society, UN, Government and scientists to provide important new developments to understand transformational change in the context of integrated landscape approaches to sustainable development. It will present on results from a recent FAO/CIFOR study, which analyses how transformational change is achieved in practice across multiple sectors, including climate change, forestry and agriculture.

The dialogue will explore:
– What are the key elements of a definition of transformational change in the context of climate change and land use?
– What are the key triggers, barriers and challenges in achieving scaled up and sustainable transformational change across complex landscapes?
– How can the necessary transformations in the landscape be achieved within short timeframes and contribute to meeting the Paris Agreement temperature goal of well below 2 or 1.5 degrees?
– How is the GCF approaching measurement and evaluation of transformational change and its paradigm shift objective?
– What should be measured to evidence that transformational change is achieved or on its way in the land use? What indicators to measure transformational change could be used?

The session will also explore how the lessons learned in the research can be practically applied in project and programme formulation.

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Climate Strategy in Peatlands Conservation: Managing Competing Demands from Food, Energy and the Environment

This panel session will explore engagement with a wider range of partners and countries for more effective South-South co-operative efforts to tackle challenges around peatland conservation and restoration.

The International Tropical Peatlands Centre (ITPC) and the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto are co-organizers of this session, which aims to provide a platform for exchanges among stakeholders concerned with the sustainability of tropical peatlands.

Over the past five decades, the global population has doubled, accelerating demand for food and other natural resources. Peat swamp forests have been cleared, drained and turned into oil palm plantations and agricultural cropland, triggering social concerns related to climate change and land tenure.

Meanwhile, accelerated extraction and processing of natural resources over the last 20 years accounts for more than 90 percent of global biodiversity loss and water stress, and approximately half of global climate change impacts as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have increased.

Delegates to this discussion will share ideas on peatland conservation and restoration, and progress and challenges for restoration activities on degraded peatlands, such as blocking canals, cultivating vegetation and growing bioenergy crops. They will also discuss regulatory frameworks around the Paris Agreement and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), and relating peatland restoration to the NDC processes.

Delegates will review advances in science and innovations applied to assessing GHG emissions from peatlands, peat hydrology, fire risks and provision of ecosystem services. These will also consider engagement with the private sector and local communities concerning peatland conservation and restoration, in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Efforts by Indonesia’s government to reduce GHG emissions, and to prevent and control fires on peatlands will be reviewed during the session, which will also discuss potential for an emission reduction strategy, based on identification of responsible peatland management options. That should include synchronization of national plans at regional levels to attract business investment.

Discussions will turn to the need for restoration of degraded peatlands and re-wetting of peatland areas, with contributions to local livelihoods, bringing economic benefits for communities. Bioenergy crops grown on degraded and under-utilized peatlands presents a promising solution for energy security. Joint research by Indonesia’s government and Kyoto University on peatland restoration seeks a promising solution to meet requirements for food and energy security and land restoration.

Update for peatlands session as follows. Could you please also update the info at GLF page?

Keynote address:
Dr. Agus Justianto
Head, Forestry and Environmental Research Development and Innovation Agency (FOERDIA)

Dr. Daniel Murdiyarso, CIFOR


1. Kristell Hergoualc’h, Scientist, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
→ Climate change impacts of agriculture, pastoralism and forestry in peatlands with examples from Indonesia and Peru
2. Nyoman Iswarayoga, Director of External Affairs, Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER)
→ Peatlands landscape approach
3. Maria Nuutinen, Forestry Officer, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
→ Paludiculture – sustainable food and biomass production on peatlands and how to enhance local livelihood benefits from peatland (via internet)
4. Haris Gunawan, Deputy of Research and Development, Peat Restoration Agency (BRG)
→ Managing peat water to serve community livelihood
5. Mitsuru Osaki, Professor Emeritus Research Faculty of Agriculture, Hokkaido University
6. Private sector from Japan (TBC)
→ Technology to rehabilitate degraded peatlands

Climate Strategy in Peatlands Conservation: Managing Competing Demands from Food, Energy and the Environment

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From Climate and Sustainable Development Goal Commitments to Action on the Ground: Scaling up the contribution of forests, sustainable forest products and climate-resilient land use

This panel session offers an opportunity to share experiences on initiatives to increase the contribution of forests and forest products to help meet the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets established by the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Delegates will discuss the importance of building capacity to ensure forest and land management are sustainable. They will also focus on the role of productive forests in economic and social development, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The key role of forests in achieving environmental sustainability is recognized throughout international development targets and climate targets established by the U.N., including the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. Forests and other land-use sectors are also critical to delivering on food security, while contributing to poverty alleviation, job creation and biodiversity conservation.

Particularly important to these transformations are efforts to build institutions and capacities in the Asia Pacific region to support the sustainable production and consumption of forest products, as well as for management of sustainable and multifunctional landscapes.

Both enhanced and sustainable production and consumption from forests and creation of multiple value chains are essential to meet the increasing demands of a rapidly growing global population sustainably. However, enabling policies and institutional frameworks for sustainable production requires greater investment and cooperation, enhanced research and development, taking into account rapid changes in trends in international markets.

Initiatives to promote sustainable production and consumption must be accompanied by efforts to strengthen institutions and capacities for forest and land management at local levels. Important aspects of natural resource management have been decentralized over the past several decades, but local governments with limited resources and capacities still struggle to manage the many competing demands that are placed on lands and forests.

Climate change adds to these challenges, making investments in institutions and capacities at local levels even more critical. The cooperation of public and private sectors as well as research and development are also essential.

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