Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) is a global mechanism being debated by the international community, aimed at mitigating dangerous climate change. It is a complex multilevel and multistakeholder process that tends to fulfill multiple goals beyond emission reduction. The lessons we are beginning to learn through a Global Comparative Study show that a cross-sectoral transformation is needed to change the course of sectoral drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. Sufficient capacity of government at all levels is crucial to guide the policy processes, benefit sharing, and technical support. Uncertainties around tenure issues and property rights may generate new problems that undermine the interests of society at large. The first generation of REDD+ activities also exhibited varying levels of capacity for monitoring REDD+ in non-Annex I countries. Large capacity gaps are found for developing reference levels and establishing measurement, reporting and verification systems.