REDD Early Movers – International Initiatives

Project description

Project title: REDD-Programm für Early Movers – Internationale Initiativen
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Supraregional
Lead executing agency: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2016 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.

International donors support REDD+ through bilateral and multilateral initiatives in more than 50 countries. Internationally, the leading donors are:

  • Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank
    With 18 donors and 47 REDD+ partner countries, the FCPF is the largest multilateral REDD+ programme. It is shaping the development of the international REDD+ standards. Germany was an initiator of the Facility and now provides 25 per cent of its funding as the third largest contributor after Norway and the UK.

  • GNU Initiative of Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom
    Key elements of this initiative include the GNU Declaration, a contribution to implementing the 2014 New York Declaration on Forests, and the Paris Pledge issued in December 2015. The latter is a commitment to provide over USD 5 billion for REDD+ and forest and climate protection activities between 2015 and 2020, with results-based financing to make up an increasing share.


German positions on the design and implementation of international REDD+ initiatives have been incorporated in international programmes, in the GNU Initiative, and in development cooperation projects.


Through international REDD+ programmes and initiatives such as the FCPF and the GNU Initiative, and in bilateral and regional development cooperation programmes, the German Government promotes the conservation of forests and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation. In so doing, it also supports climate protection.

The REDD Early Movers – International Initiatives programme supports decision makers in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as well as the staff of development cooperation projects, in incorporating German positions into the design and implementation of those programmes and initiatives. In this way, the large financial contributions from Germany gain increased policy relevance. The programme provides specific know-how, for example in the fields of REDD+ standards, financing mechanisms, important human rights principles and potentials for improving gender equality, the positions of other donors and donor countries, and the REDD+ process in selected partner countries.

The REDD+ programmes are intended to avoid further deforestation and forest degradation so that valuable forest ecosystem functions are maintained, above all the conservation of biological diversity and safeguarding of food and income security for the people living in and from the forests. The programme contributes indirectly to these objectives.


In a new concept paper for the GNU decision makers, the REDD Early Movers – International Initiatives programme has outlined options for achieving the commitments of the Paris Pledge. In this respect it was able to draw on experiences gained in its country programmes, through bilateral cooperation and from its support for the FCPF.

BMZ has successfully incorporated its positions into the selection of emission reduction programmes for the FCPF Carbon Fund. With the support of the programme, it will now also take on a coordinating role and act as spokesperson in the donor community of the FCPF.

The programme maintains a comprehensive overview of the approaches and experiences of results-based REDD+ financing to date, and it promotes related exchanges within German development cooperation.