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So farewell then, UN-REDD

Launched in 2008, the UN-REDD programme is slipping slowly into retirement. In May 2015, UN-REDD produced a “Strategic Framework 2016-20”. Few funders stepped forward.

On its website, UN-REDD lists the donors that funded the UN-REDD Programme’s 2008-2015 phase: Norway, the European Commission, Denmark, Japan, Luxembourg, and Spain. This is followed by the following forlorn note:

The Government of Switzerland joined the Programme’s group of supportive donors in 2016 with a contribution to the 2016-2020 phase of the UN-REDD Programme.

And below that is a subheading: “Become a Donor”.

UN-REDD was hoping for between US$200 and US$300 million for its 2016-2020 phase. In June 2016, UN-REDD admitted that it had only received US$15 million:

At this junction, (June 2016), the Fund has not been able to capitalize funding that would allow full deployment and operation of the Programme with its full‐fledged infrastructure for the delivery of both financial flows as well as technical assistance to countries. The future capitalization is estimated in the range of 65 Million US$ for 2017‐2020, out of which confirmation from Norway on 50 Million USD is still pending.

As a result of the reduced funding, the number of staff in the secretariat has shrunk.

UN-REDD was supposed to hold a new executive board meeting in July 2016. The meeting did not take place.

On its website, UN-REDD outlines its Theory of Change:

Theory of Change

So UN-REDD’s theory of change involves three massive, whopping “ifs”, with no mechanism for addressing illegal logging, corruption, expansion of mining, dam-building, industrial tree plantations, palm oil plantations, soy plantations, or cattle ranching. (The relevance of a photograph of two giraffes in a non-forested landscape next to the Theory of Change completely escapes me. Click on the image for the full version.)

The UN-REDD programme leaves behind a huge number of reports, more workshops than anyone cares to think about, and numerous Panglossian videos. After eight years, and US$280 million, UN-REDD has utterly failed to reduce deforestation.

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  1. Not only has UN-REDD ‘utterly failed to reduce deforestation’ it has fueled other destruction, doing nothing about shoring up the customary commons, in fact, the reverse.

  2. UN-REDD has updated its website. The slightly odd picture of the giraffes illustrating the “Theory of Change” has been replaced with a Coquerel’s Sifaka, an endangered lemur that lives in dry deciduous forests in the northwest of Madagascar.

    UN-REDD’s “Theory of Change” remains as it was.

  3. It’s a proofed of a massive global corrupted minds on forest conservation.