REDD+ is a mechanism proposed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to achieve significant reductions in anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, basically through avoiding deforestation and forest degradation, thus contributing to international efforts to mitigate the negative effects of climate change.

Developing countries, that voluntarily decide to participate, can receive REDD+ incentives from international sources for reducing CO2 emissions from land use and land use change including forestry by reducing deforestation or forest degradation, promoting the sustainable management of forests, the conservation of existing forests and the establishment of new forests. All these activities will mitigate climate change by either reducing emissions or by enhancing removals of greenhouse gases.

To qualify for results-based incentives under REDD+, Myanmar will need to develop the following four main building blocks/elements.

  1. National REDD+ Strategy (&/or Action Plan)
  2. National Forest Monitoring System
  3. Forest Reference Level
  4. Safeguards Information System

Myanmar is taking rapid steps to implement REDD+ readiness activities. The UN-REDD National Programme supports REDD+ “Readiness” activities by working with the Government of Myanmar, specifically the Myanmar REDD+ Taskforce, the Technical Working Groups, and the REDD+ Office.

A ”REDD+ Readiness Roadmap”, setting out how Myanmar will implement its REDD+ Readiness activities, was approved by the Government of Myanmar in July 2013. The implementation of the REDD+ Readiness Roadmap is preparing Myanmar to implement REDD+, which is divided into three phases;

Phase 1 (Readiness): Implementation of activities in the Roadmap, during which Myanmar will put in place the necessary framework, capacities and institutions to implement REDD+ at the national level. This phase also includes the identification of the possible actions (or ‘candidate strategies’) that may achieve net emission reductions from the land use, land use change and forestry sectors.

Phase 2 (Implementation): This phase will involve field testing of candidate strategies through demonstration activities, to establish which of the strategies may achieve efficient and cost-effective results on a national scale without undermining any of the REDD+ safeguards. Some demonstration activities may begin in specific areas of the country before all phase 1 activities are completed at the national level.

Phase 3 (Performance-based payments): Myanmar will be implementing REDD+ activities, through a national system consistent with decisions taken by the UNFCCC. Phase 3 will lead to international results-based finance.

Six components of Myanmar’s REDD+ Roadmap:

Component 1: Management of REDD+ Readiness

Myanmar will establish the institutional structures to manage the REDD+ Readiness process. Under the overall guidance of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC), a REDD+ Task Force (TF) will manage and coordinate the READINESS process supported by a REDD+ Task Force Office, located at the premises of the Forest Research Institute of Myanmar and a system of technical working groups (TWGs), which are composed of multiple government and non-government stakeholders and interest groups.

Component 2: Stakeholder Consultation & Participation

A stakeholder engagement structure with different levels of participation, which includes the TWGs, the TF, a REDD+ stakeholder network as well as national and subnational consultation and participation processes, will ensure appropriate involvement of all relevant interest groups in REDD+. These include national, regional and local government, Civil Society Organizations, private sector, local communities and the representation of women, youth and ethnic groups.

Component 3: Development & Selection of REDD+ Strategies

Myanmar will assess, select and pilot REDD+ strategies for the land use, land use change and forestry sector, based on a comprehensive analysis of present and future drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. A qualitative and quantitative assessment of carbon emissions form major drivers, including estimates of trends of future emissions for each of the main drivers identified, will help to identify appropriate policies and measures to reduce land use related carbon emissions and increase carbon sequestration. The REDD+ strategy will be consistent with the general economic and social development plans and expectations of Myanmar and be in line with international commitments ratified by the country.

Component 4: Implementation framework & safeguards

The Institutional, Legal and Financial Frameworks for REDD+ implementation will be developed either by establishing new administrative or managerial mechanisms or consolidating existing ones. An intensive capacity building and training programme will be established. A safeguards information system will be set up, which is intended to monitor and make sure that potential REDD+ actions are not harmful for the livelihoods of forest dependent communities, or for biodiversity or the conservation of natural forests, as well as avoiding the displacement of carbon emissions to other locations.

Component 5: National Forest Reference Emission Level and/or Forest Reference Level (FREL/FRL)

Myanmar will establish its forest (emissions) reference levels as a benchmark against which past and future forest carbon emissions and removals will be measured and reported. The emphasis of this component will be the collection and analysis of data on historical land use change, the projection of potential trends, and the analysis of relevant national circumstances which may introduce adjustment factors in the baseline definitions.

Component 6: National Forest Monitoring System

Myanmar will develop a national forest monitoring system (NFMS) composed of a land monitoring system and a national forest inventory based on existing national capacities and improvement over time depending on national circumstances and decisions. The NFMS will serve multiple functions including the assessment of performance of REDD+ actions and the reporting requirements to national and international bodies, as well as general strategic decision.