REDD Early Movers – Tools and Instruments

Project description

Title: REDD Early Movers – Tools and Instruments
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Supraregional
Lead executing agencies: National and state administrations
Overall term: 2012 to 2019


Deforestation is one of the major sources of greenhouse gases, accounting for roughly twelve per cent of global emissions. It primarily occurs in the tropical regions of Latin America, Asia and Africa, releasing large quantities of CO2 within a very short period. Depending on the region, the chief causes of deforestation are the expansion of livestock breeding and agriculture – including soybean and palm oil plantations, mining of mineral resources, illegal logging and collection of fuelwood. Forest conservation therefore has a key role to play in climate change mitigation.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is the concept adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for climate change mitigation through forest conservation. It provides compensatory payments for measurable and verifiable CO2 emission reductions. The carbon stored in forests is thereby designated an economic value and forest conservation is factored into economic decision-making processes. REDD Early Movers (REM) contributes to the application of this approach in selected countries.


The provision of support for REDD bridging finance – in accordance with UNFCCC provisions – promotes forest conservation and thereby contributes to climate change mitigation.


REM supports REDD pioneers, also called Early Movers, who are already taking the initiative themselves in forest conservation for climate change mitigation. The programme rewards the climate change mitigation performance of Early Movers and promotes sustainable development for the benefit of small-scale farmers as well as forest-dependent and indigenous communities through fair benefit sharing.

REM works in accordance with international social and environmental safeguards, in particular the Cancun Safeguards and international standards for measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions. The programme is one of the first mechanisms for results-based REDD financing. It provides bridging finance until a REDD finance mechanism is agreed upon within the United Nations negotiation process.

REM is a global German development cooperation programme combining carbon finance from KfW Development Bank with operational support from GIZ.

Carbon finance:

KfW Development Bank makes payments for independently verified REDD emission reductions achieved by Early Movers. The REM partner countries make their own contribution in order to keep the complexity of risk management low. The calculations of carbon stored in forest ecosystems are also based on conservative estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Operational support:

GIZ provides technical and policy advice to Early Movers on the development of functional systems for carbon financing under REM. To this end, institutions are strengthened, instruments are made available and coordination mechanisms are created for comprehensive processes with interest groups. Advisory support is provided, for instance on gender-sensitive benefit sharing programmes to take women into account, on safeguards and their monitoring, and on the establishment and expansion of REDD registers, reference levels and MRV systems. Early Movers are supported in developing and implementing REDD strategies. Particular emphasis is to be placed on involving additional sectors such as agriculture and livestock breeding, which are considered drivers of deforestation. Actors in these sectors play a key role in halting deforestation. They must be included in benefit sharing, just like indigenous communities, which have traditionally conserved the forest.


REDD bridging finance for Early Movers has proved its worth. Both the UNFCCC and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank now place a higher value on results-based REDD financing.

Since the global REM programme was launched at the Rio+20 Conference in June 2012, it has received a series of requests for cooperation. It is a trailblazer when it comes to implementing results-based remuneration systems. It is also a central instrument of the joint initiative of Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom (GNU Initiative) to implement the 2014 New York Declaration on Forests as well as the joint GNU Declaration at the COP 21 in Paris in 2015.

Until now, REM has been active in three countries: in the state of Acre in Brazil, in Ecuador and in the Amazon region of Colombia. The Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative NICFI provides carbon finance for Ecuador and Colombia, while the United Kingdom also provides for Colombia. Carbon finance in Acre started in 2012, while the first payment took place in Colombia in June 2016. In both Ecuador and Colombia, operational support has strengthened carbon accounting (monitoring, registers, reference levels) and the safeguard systems . Advisory services have now been initiated on diversifying the benefit sharing programmes, allowing for the inclusion of a broader range of drivers of deforestation. Assessments are currently ongoing for further activities in other countries of Latin America and South East Asia.