In 1992, countries adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a response to the problem of global warming. In 1997, they adopted the Kyoto Protocol, which strengthens the Convention by setting legally binding emission reduction requirements for 37 industrialized countries. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

The UNFCCC agenda item on “Reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries and approaches to stimulate action” was first introduced into the Conference of the Parties (COP) agenda at its 11th session in Montreal (December 2005).This received wide support from Parties and there was general agreement on the importance of the issue in the context of climate change mitigation, particularly in light of the large contribution of emissions from deforestation in developing countries to global greenhouse gas emissions. The COP established a contact group on this item which drafted conclusions on initiating a process to address the issue of reducing emissions from deforestation


REDD Plus Malaysia

Following the developments above, the COP has adopted a number of decisions on REDD Plus. In particular, countries a reencouraged to meet the requirements of the Warsaw Framework for REDD Plus, a series of seven decisions adopted by the 19thConference of the Parties (COP19) that build on previous UNFCCC-COP decisions. The core elements stemming from the Decision 1/CP 16 requested all developing countries, including Malaysia, to undertake the following in order to implement the REDD Plus mechanism:

  1. A national strategy or action plan;
  2. A national forest reference emission level (NFRL) and/or forest reference level (FRL);
  3. A robust and transparent national forest monitoring system (NFMS) for the monitoring and reporting on REDD Plus activities;
  4. A system for providing information on how the social and environmental safeguards (included in an appendix to the decision) are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of REDD Plus.

It further requests developing countries, when developing and implementing their national REDD Plus strategies or action plans, to address, among other issues, the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, land tenure issues, forest governance issues, gender considerations and the social and environmental safeguards, ensuring the full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, inter alia indigenous peoples and local communities.

In response to these, Malaysia has so far achieved the following:

  1. A National REDD Plus Strategy (2017)
  2. A National Forest Reference Level (NFRL)
  3. A National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS)
  4. Malaysia’s Safeguards Information System (MY-SIS)

See full list of Malaysia’s submission to UNFCCC related to REDD Plus here Download Handbook on “Implementing REDD Plus in Malaysia

Warsaw Framework on REDD Plus

In December 2013, during COP 19, seven important decisions have been adopted on REDD Plus, which are jointly known as the “Warsaw Framework on REDD-plus“. These decisions address a work program on:

  • Results-based payment (RBP);
  • Coordination of support for implementation;
  • Modalities for national forest monitoring systems;
  • Presenting information on safeguards;
  • Technical assessment of reference (emission) levels;
  • Modalities for measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV); and
  • Information on addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.

In addition, the modalities for institutional arrangements at the national level for REDD Plus implementation and results-based payments were also agreed.

Eligible activities
for REDD Plus implementation

Actions which achieve the following outcomes are eligible to apply for REDD Plus financing in Malaysia:

  1. Reducing emissions from deforestation
  2. Reducing emissions from forest degradation
  3. Conservation of forest carbon stocks
  4. Sustainable management of forests.
  5. Enhancement of forest carbon stocks

In essence, all these efforts are linking REDD Plus back to Article 5 of the Paris Agreement, which spell out as follows:

  1. Parties should take action to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases as referred to in Article 4, paragraph 1 (d), of the Convention, including forests.
  1. Parties are encouraged to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments, the existing framework as set out in related guidance and decisions already agreed under the Convention for: policy approaches and positive incentives for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries; and alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, while reaffirming the importance of incentivizing, as appropriate, non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches.