Sri Lanka

Country Area : 65,610 km2

Forested Area (1000 ha) : 2,070

UN-REDD Programme Partner Country : Yes

Type of UN-REDD Programme Support Received : National Programme, Targeted support

FCPF Member : Yes

Active FCPF Grant Holder: No

Readiness Grant Holder: No

Carbon Fund: No

Sri Lanka’s 2 million ha of forests are rich in endemic species of flora and fauna. The country’s forests, unique among its land-use sectors, can make a significant contribution to both adaptation and mitigation. However, they are particularly vulnerable as roads and other infrastructure expand to boost national development and economic growth after the country emerges from a debilitating 30-year internal conflict. Moreover, ‘forest analogues’, or home garden systems, cover 22% of the land area and provide the majority of the country’s timber and fuelwood supply. As the tea and rubber industries continue to grow, it is essential that this crucial aspect of the rural economy is preserved.

Sri Lanka became a UN-REDD Programme partner in 2009. Sri Lanka’s UN-REDD National Programme was approved for funding at the 8th meeting of the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board, with a request for some minor changes. The document was resubmitted in September 2012. The National Programme is expected to start in early 2013.

The proposed national REDD+ roadmap is designed to achieve the following five Outcomes:

Outcome 1: National consensus reached on the Sri Lanka REDD + programme
Outcome 2: Management Arrangements contributing to the National REDD+ process
Outcome 3: Improved stakeholder awareness and effective engagement
Outcome 4: National REDD+ Strategy and implementation framework
Outcome 5: Monitoring and MRV results for REDD+ activities provided

Progress against the Warsaw Framework for REDD+

Initial targeted support assisted Sri Lanka to finalize its REDD+ Readiness preparation and helped preparing the MRV action plan.
After the NP was approved, supplementary targeted support has assisted Sri Lanka in the context of gender considerations in REDD+ policy processes. The country is also benefitting from the CBR+ initiative.

National REDD+ Strategy/Action Plan
A roadmap for the National REDD+ strategy development was formulated in 2015 through which Sri Lanka’s vision for REDD+ in Sri Lanka was developed with representatives of key national and sub-national stakeholder groups. Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation, identified in 2014, were analyzed in 2015 to identify options for potential strategic REDD+ Policies and Measures (PAMs) for addressing the drivers. The PAMs were then prioritized through a stakeholder-defined multi- criteria process. A financial mechanism was designed to access and manage potential REDD+ funds from international sources. A study on fund management was completed with recommendations for designing a financial mechanism to access and manage potential REDD+ funds from external sources, which will be incorporated into the National REDD+ strategy. Ongoing support is being provided to analyze the tenure implications of prioritized PAMs. High-level support for REDD+ was further strengthened through the dialogue with key government policy makers including the Secretary of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (MMDE).

A new multi-stakeholder task force on national policies and strategy was formed to provide and coordinate inputs to the strategy development process. To strengthen women’s inclusion and integrate gender considerations into Sri Lanka’s work on enhancing stakeholder engagement in REDD+ readiness a policy brief was developed which identified key gender equality messages and entry points for action; awareness raised and capacity developed among CSO Platform and policy makers to strengthen gender sensitivity in providing policy feedback; and gender sensitive forest experiences and good practices were collected and documented to inform the REDD+ policy process.

National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS)
Throughout 2015, the MRV task force continued to meet regularly and provide guidance and support for the development of the NFMS development. Major achievements for 2015 include the development and validation of the parameters for the National Forest Inventory (NFI) and Satellite Forest Monitoring System (SLMS), trainings on the principles of NFMS, Google Earth for forest cover mapping, Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) and the update of 1985 land cover/use data to 2000 and 2010. Over 45 personnel from about 15 different institutions including government and academia benefited from these events. Other important maps like agro-ecological map, soil map, environmental protection areas, administrative boundaries (country, province and districts), rail, road, river, contour map to prepare digital elevation models were collected from departments represented on the MRV Task Force and provided to the NFMS development team in FAO HQ Rome. The beta version of the web portal is ready and will be launched in 2016.

Forest Reference Emission Level / Forest Reference Level (FREL/FRL)
A training session on the development of the FREL/FRL was held in September 2015 with 22 participants from 11 stakeholder institutions. A FREL/FRL action plan was developed and a FREL/FRL Technical Working Group (TWG) initiated. The NP is supporting the government to resolve data gaps on forest cover for years 2005 and 2015 to obtain a complete forest cover data time series (1992, 1996, 2005, 2010 and 2015) for the development of the FREL/FRL. The forest cover map for 2015 is in preparation by the Forestry Department.

Safeguards and Safeguards Information System (SIS)
As part of the work on safeguards, a study on a grievance redress mechanism for REDD+ reviewed the potential PAMs to identify potential grievances. Also, through TS a study on gender mainstreaming and women’s inclusion in REDD+ was conducted to make policy recommendations for greater women’s inclusion in REDD+ policy processes. The results from these initial assessments will be taken into consideration when the safeguards and SIS activities commence in 2016.

Following Sri Lanka’s approval of its CBR+ Country Plan with consultation with communities and indigenous peoples presentation to the CSO platform for REDD+ and a call for proposals, eight CBR+ projects have been funded to date. In addition, two grants to civil society organizations to provide knowledge management and capacity building support to the CBR+ initiative were approved. The projects are focusing on supporting communities’ sustainable management of forests through strengthening community conservation networks and management committees, providing legal support and advice, establishing participatory monitoring systems and supporting alternative livelihoods to reduce pressure on community forests. Also, 37 communities and local NGOs have received training on REDD+ themes through the CBR+ initiative through a series of workshops.



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Key Country Documents

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Events Calendar

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Partner Organizations

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Country Focal Points

Find up-to-date contact information for all UN-REDD Programme Country Focal Points here.


Key Contacts

Regional Programme Officer, Food and Agriculture Organizaton of the United Nations (FAO)
Regional Technical Specialist in Stakeholder Engagement Focus area: Stakeholder Engagement, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (PNUD)
Regional Technical Advisor, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (PNUD)

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Community Groups

Total Approved Targeted Support Amount (US$) 43,900
#   Timeline   Financial Information   Work Area (SNA Outcome)
Date of Request 01.02.2012
Date of Approval 02.02.2012
Implementation Period (Months) 1
Status Completed
Amount Requested US$ 4,000
Amount Approved US$ 4,000
UN Agency Providing Support
MRV and Monitoring


Lead National Institution: Forest Department of the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy.


REDD+ preparation proposal finalised.

#   Timeline   Financial Information   Work Area (SNA Outcome)
Date of Request 15.05.2012
Date of Approval 01.06.2012
Implementation Period (Months) 12
Status Completed
Amount Requested US$ 9,900
Amount Approved US$ 9,900
UN Agency Providing Support
MRV and Monitoring


Lead National Institution: Forest Department of the Ministry of Environment and Renewable Energy


 MRV action plan developed.

#   Timeline   Financial Information   Work Area (SNA Outcome)
Date of Request 23.09.2014
Date of Approval 17.10.2014
Implementation Period (Months) 12
Status Completed
Amount Requested US$ 0
Amount Approved US$ 30,000
UN Agency Providing Support
Stakeholder Engagement


Lead National Institution: Forest Department



Women’s inclusion strengthened and gender considerations in REDD+ policy processes addressed by establishing a gender sub-group within Sri Lanka’s REDD+ CSO Forum.