Launched in 2008, UN-REDD is the United Nations programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). UN-REDD supports countries around the world to develop national REDD+ programmes. As a UN agency, UN-REDD has adopted a rights-based approach in planning and implementing REDD+ programmes, via a set of guidance papers and guidelines related to stakeholder engagement called the Social and Environmental Principles Criteria. These provide a number of provisions related to indigenous peoples, including requirements for their full and effective participation, respect and promotion of their rights to land, and their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). However, implementation of these encouraging safeguards may be problematic. In February 2013, for example, indigenous peoples’ organisations in Panama withdrew from the national programme that is supported by UN-REDD due to lack of meaningful participation. Like many international agencies, UN-REDD has progressive standards on social issues and the environment, but lacks effective mechanisms and due diligence systems to apply agreed rules and commitments on human rights and sustainable development.

Indigenous peoples’ leaders lead the climate march in Cancun, Mexico, December 7, 2010
Francesco Martone, Forest Peoples Programme
Local and indigenous communities in Bikoro District, DRC, rely upon the forest for most of their livelihood
John Nelson, Forest Peoples Programme