Table of Contents

Research Handbook on REDD-Plus and International Law

Research Handbook on REDD-Plus and International Law

Research Handbooks in Climate Law series

Edited by Christina Voigt

The REDD+ initiative for Reducing Emissions of greenhouse gases from Deforestation and Forest Degradation is an important tool, established under the UNFCCC, for incentivizing developing countries to adopt and scale up climate mitigation actions in the forest sector and for capturing and channeling the financial resources to do so. With contributions from legal experts, international relations scholars, climate change negotiators and activists, this Handbook eloquently examines the emerging governance arrangements for REDD+, analysing how and to what extent it is embedded in the international legal framework.

Chapter 1: History and future of REDD+ in the UNFCCC: issues and challenges

Antonio G.M. La Viña, Alaya de Leon and Reginald Rex Barrer

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law


One of the most complex issues that the Parties to the UNFCCC had to address since the UNFCCC entered into force is how to approach the land-use sector, including forestry and agriculture. The land-use sector adds a major contribution to global emissions, and climate change will have serious impacts on the sector. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that emissions from land-use change, primarily deforestation, are estimated to contribute up to 17 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (IPCC, 2007). While there is still debate and uncertainty about how big the contribution of land-use processes to GHG emissions is in general, the land-use sector – particularly forestry and agriculture activities in both developed and developing countries – “provides opportunities for quick and meaningful gains in both adaptation and mitigation.” After initial resistance by some Parties, there is now broad agreement that the regulation of activities in the land-use sector, both as mitigation and adaptation, needs to be included in the global regime on climate change. But disagreement remains as to exactly what activities should be included, methodological issues, concerns regarding safeguards, and the implications for climate finance in the case of developing countries.