Asia-Pacific forestry information

UNEP Publishes REDD+ Implementation Manual for National Legal Practitioners

November 2015, IISD news - Developed by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in  cooperation with UN-REDD, the implementation manual on reducing emissions from  deforestation and forest degradation, and promoting the conservation,  sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks  (REDD+) aims to provide legal practitioners in REDD+ countries, particularly  partner countries of the UN-REDD Programme, with information on assessing  national legal frameworks and associated gaps as well as suggestions on options  to address key REDD+ legal issues.

As a necessary part of preparing and scaling up for REDD+ activities,  countries will need to assess the extent to which national legal frameworks are  consistent with applicable international law and guidance, and how they best  support the successful implementation of REDD+. Effective REDD+ implementation  could well require changes to laws, regulations, policies and institutions in  REDD+ implementing countries. The purpose of this manual is thus to provide  information on assessing national legal frameworks and associated gaps, as well  as suggestions on options to address key REDD+ legal issues. The intended  audience of the manual includes national REDD+ programme coordinators, experts  involved in REDD+ readiness legal and regulatory framework review and reform, as  well as forest, land and carbon use rights.

The review of policies and suggestions for assessing national legal  frameworks broadly focus on two phases: gathering information on laws,  regulations, policies and institutions related to forests and forest governance;  and assessing whether the existing national legal framework is consistent with  international law and best practice related to REDD+ readiness experiences.  Suggestions are based on decisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties to  the UNFCCC, and guidance developed by the UN-REDD Programme's participating UN  agencies; and broadly consider needs to ensure consistency between national  legislation and international law.

Individual chapters provide suggestions on the steps that practitioners  should consider in assessing national legal frameworks, bearing in mind that the  appropriate legal responses addressed in each chapter will vary depending on  national circumstances and on the REDD+ technical issue being addressed.  Overall, the chapters recommend the following steps for successful REDD+  implementation: identify and understand the body of international law and  guidance that applies to a country; identify relevant REDD+ stakeholders;  identify and assess the laws, regulations, policies and institutions that are  involved in forest governance and land-use planning at the national level;  assess the existing legal framework governing legally significant aspects of  REDD+ implementation; and identify the legal responses or legislative measures  that are most appropriate in a country.