Acknowledging the critical role of forests in mitigating climate change and their value as producers and hosts of biodiversity, water and cultural heritage, among others, Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have agreed to collectively slow, halt and reverse forest cover and carbon loss, in accordance with national circumstances to achieve the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

In the context of the provision of adequate and predictable support to developing country Parties, including through results-based payments, the COP has encouraged developing country Parties to contribute to mitigation actions in the forest sector by undertaking the following activities, as deemed appropriate by each Party and in accordance with their respective capabilities and national circumstances:

(a) Reducing emissions from deforestation;

(b) Reducing emissions from forest degradation;

(c) Conservation of forest carbon stocks;

(d) Sustainable management of forests;

(e) Enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

The acronym “REDD+” is often used to informally refer to these 5 activities.

In order to obtain and receive results-based finance for results from the implementation of REDD+ activities, developing countries should have the following elements in place:

  • A national strategy or action plan
  • An assessed forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level
  • A national forest monitoring system
  • A system for providing information on how the safeguards are being addressed and respected.

Additionally, the results-based actions should be fully measured, reported and verified (MRV) following the technical assessments established by the Warsaw Framework to this end.

As a result of these UNFCCC decisions, a number of initiatives have been established internationally to build the capacities needed to implement REDD+ activities in developing countries, including UN-REDD and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Readiness Fund.

Within the context of the UNFCCC, support for REDD+ is provided through the two operational entities of its financial mechanism, the GEF and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) (including support for readiness, implementation of activities and results-based payments). Programs for results-based payments for REDD+ have also been established outside the UNFCCC. The main examples of these are the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility´s Carbon Fund (FCPF-CF), Germany´s KfW REDD Early Movers Program (REM) and Norway´s  International Climate and Forests Initiative (NICFI).

Consultancy services offered:

My areas of expertise in REDD+ include the following:

  • REDD+ readiness assessments: Assessment of the capacities of REDD+ countries  against the requirements of results-based payments programs. In addition to the identification of needs, the assessments are complemented, as required, by proposals on how to address the identified gaps.
  • Financial architecture: Design of schemes for the reception, management, distribution and application of results-based payments in recipient countries taking into account the existing funding sources and mechanisms relevant to the forest sector, their legal frameworks, REDD+ strategies and related policies and programs, and their capacities and national and local circumstances. Design of national or subnational funds to act as REDD+ funds or climate change funds, or adaptation of the operation rules of existing funds to carry out the functions associated to the reception and distribution of REDD+ payments.
  • Benefit distribution plans: Design of rules and procedures for the distribution of results-based payments among national, subnational and local actors taking into account criteria determined by the national government and other relevant actors, for instance, the contribution of each of them to the emission reductions for which payments have been received, their specific circumstances, overall performance and capacities.
  • REDD+ registries: Design of registries to record projects, programs, emission reduction units generated in a given time period, and to track their movements within different registry accounts and accross registries so as to avoid double counting, double payment and double claiming and to allow for the transaction of emission reductions. This registries may also record payments received and transactions, and are usually a requirement to take part in results-based payments programs.
  • Methods and mechanisms  to identify, estimate and account for reversals and displacement of emissions: Design (or identification) and application of methods and mechanisms to limit and, where needed, estimate and account for reversals (i.e. the lack of permanence of mitigation benefits) and emissions displacement (leakage), taking into account the requirements of results-based payments programs such as the FCPF Carbon Fund.
  • “Nested” REDD+: Development and application of nested approaches to conciliate project, jurisdictional and regional-level accounting of emission reductions arising from REDD+ activities.
  • REDD+ Forest Reference Emission Levels/Forest Reference Levels (FREL/FRL): Development of national or subnational FREL/FRL based on existing activity data and emission factors, using internationally recognized methods and taking into account national circumstances. Identification of areas of  improvement and elaboration of plans on how to address them for the continuous evolution of the FREL/FRL.
  • REDD+ Technical Annexes: Elaboration of the RED+ Technical Annex to the Biennial Update Report (BUR) required by the Warsaw Framework to obtain results-based payments.
  • REDD+ technical assessments: Assessment and peer review of FREL/FRL, REDD+ Technical Annexes, including results (emission reductions) estimates.
  • Development of Concept Notes and Funding Proposals for the Green Climate Fund: Elaboration of the documentation required to access funding from the GCF, including the Fund´s pilot programme for REDD+ results-based payments, the  Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme or GCF’s regular project cycle.


Publicly available articles, documents and books related to this topic:


financing land use mitigation


Financing Land Use Mitigation: A Practical Guide for Decision-Makers

Streck, C., Murray, B., Aquino, A., Durschinger, L., Estrada, M., Parker C., and Zeleke, A. 2015.  Prepared with support from cooperative agreement # S-LMAQM-13-CA-1128 with U.S. Department of State.

Executive summary  in English, Spanish and French


wwf REDD+ rbp GCF



WWF FCP Discussion Paper: How the Green Climate Fund (GCF) can operationalise the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ 2015




status of climate finance and REDD+ in the UNFCCC



Status of Climate Finance and REDD+ under the UNFCCC

Estrada, M. and O’Sullivan R. (2014). USAID-supported Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities Program.



land use in a future climate agreement



Land Use in a Future Climate Agreement

Estrada, M., Lee, D., Murray, B., O’Sullivan, R., Penman, J., and Streck, C. 2014.




analyzing REDD+ CIFOR



Analysing REDD+: Challenges and choices

Editor Arild Angelsen, co-editors Maria Brockhaus, William D. Sunderlin and Louis V. Verchot. CIFOR, 2012.




comparative study on redd+ silvestrum



Comparative study on REDD: Recommendations for action

Estrada, M. and Trines, E. Silvestrum report with conceptual input and financial support of GIZ. June, 2012.




pathways for implementing REDD+



Pathways for Implementing REDD+
Experiences from Carbon Markets and Communities

Xianli Zhu, Lea Ravnkilde Møller, Thanakvaro De Lopez, Mauricio Zaballa Romero, Editors.
UNEP Risø Centre.


cifor info brief rights to forest carbon



 Rights to forests and carbon under REDD+ initiatives in Latin America

Anne M Larson, Esteve Corbera, Peter Cronkleton, Chris van Dam, David Bray, Manuel Estrada, Peter May, Gabriel Medina, Guillermo Navarro and Pablo Pacheco. Cifor Info Brief, November 2010.



rights to forests and carbon insights from mexico, costa rica



Rights to land, forests and carbon in REDD+: insights from Mexico, Brazil and Costa Rica

Corbera, E., Estrada, M., May, P., Navarro, G. and Pacheco, P. (2011). Forests, 2(1): 301-342.







Creating incentives for avoiding further deforestation: the nested approach

Lucio Pedroni, Michael Dutschke, Charlotte Streck & Manuel Estrada. Climate Policy volume 9, 2009, issue 2. Pages 207-220 | Published online: 15 Jun 2011.



usaid mx assessment


Forests, Land Use, and Climate Change
Assessment for USAID/Mexico. Final Report

Prepared by the CIFOR team
April 15, 2010.




redd forest governance and livelihoods



REDD, forest governance and rural livelihoods: The emerging agenda

Edited by Oliver Springate-Baginsky and Eva Wollenberg. CIFOR, 2010.




redd revisiting the assumptions climatic change



Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries: revisiting the assumptions 

Esteve Corbera,  Manuel Estrada, Katrina Brown.  Climatic Change, 2010.




climate change and forests book



Climate Change and Forests – Emerging Policy and Market Opportunities

Edited by Charlotte Streck, Robert O´Sullivan, Toby Jason-Smith and Richard Tarasofsky and published by Brookings Institution Press and Chatham House. 2008.




A full list of publications is available here.