Features & Commentary
UN-REDD and FCPF Joint Mission in The Republic of the Congo
Civil Society representative to the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board, Pacifique Mukumba Isumbisho, reports on stakeholder consultation and engagement in Republic of Congo’s REDD+ readiness efforts.
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The environmental civil society of both theThe Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently joined forces with the joint mission set up by the UN-REDD Programme and Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), in Brazzaville from 18 to 20 August 2010 in support of the national REDD+ process in Congo Brazzaville.
The mission aimed, among other things, to strengthen the mechanisms fostering stakeholder coordination, dialogue and engagement in REDD+, including organizations representing the civil society and forest peoples, to make the REDD+ process more participatory and transparent.
The government of the The Republic of the Congo had received US$200,000 from the FCPF to draft a Readiness Preparation Plan (R-PP), which was submitted in July 2010 for consideration to the FCPF Participants Committee. The Committee authorized the World Bank to proceed with the preparation of a US$3.4 million grant for the implementation of activities identified in the readiness plan, subject to certain conditions, including enhancing consultation with local and indigenous populations.
The UN-REDD Programme stated its willingness to provide support to The Republic of the Congo with a view to strengthen the participatory aspect of the process and to improve the engagement and organization of stakeholders.
Experience sharing between civil societies
|Meeting between civil society representatives (from the Republic of the Congo and DRC) and the UN-REDD-FCPF delegation in Brazzaville, as part of the joint UN-REDD-FCPF mission to Republic of Congo in August.
A delegation of the Climate and REDD working group from the DRC was invited to share its experience as an interface and an advocate of communities' issues and interests in the REDD+ process in DRC. The delegation also provided insights on how it played a role in drafting DRC’s R-PP and its current role in implementing a national REDD+ strategy, including consultations with communities, awareness-raising based on a Information-Education-Communication plan, and involvement of the civil society in the R-PP. To that end, the DRC delegation worked with the government of the DRC while remaining autonomous in the development of national REDD+ strategies.
The sharing of experiences during the joint mission was enhanced by informal meetings between civil societies, and between representatives of the environmental civil society and the delegation of the mission, including participants from the UN-REDD Programme, FCPF, and the Congo Basin Forest Fund. The main goal of these informal meetings was to develop strategies for improved dialogue between all stakeholders in the REDD+ process.
Outcomes of the mission
At the end of the open and constructive discussions between civil societies and government representatives under the auspices of UN-REDD Programme and FCPF mission, an inclusive commission was set up that brings together organizations representing forest-dependant communities and indigenous peoples, and of environmental and human right NGO networks.
The commission has set out not only to develop an action plan for REDD+ consultation and participation, but also to add elements and comments to the The Republic of the Congo’s R-PP. Cooperation between stakeholders focusing on constructive experience sharing and open discussions will be key to the success of REDD+ process in the Republic of Congo.
|Pacifique Mukumba Isumbisho
Pacifique Mukumba Isumbisho is the Executive Director of the Support Center for Vulnerable Indigenous Pygmy and Minority Indigenous Peoples (CAMV) in Democratic Republic of Congo and is also the Civil Society Representative from Africa on the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board.