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Features & Commentary

Sudan's REDD+ Progress

Sudan is now working with a range of international partners to actively explore how REDD+ can play a critical role in reducing the country's rates of deforestation and forest degradation.

By: Dr. Patrick Van Laake

Sudan is facing challenges in the sustainable management of its natural resources, with the management of forest resources emerging as one of the priorities. Household biomass energy consumption is one of the major sources of deforestation. The Forests National Corporation (FNC) estimates that firewood consumption in 2011 will exceed 22.1 million cubic metres, a figure which is projected to increase to 24.2 million by 2015. Africover data of Sudan shows that forest cover reduced from 11.6 per cent in 2000 to 10.05 per cent in 2011. Reversing the high rate of deforestation is a challenge. FNC is dependent on revenues from forest exploitation which exacerbates the challenge of making the investment to reduce deforestation. To this end, Sudan acknowledges the contribution that external funding from such initiatives as the UN-REDD Programme and Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) can make, and has been actively working with both initiatives over the past two years to achieve their REDD+ goals.

The Abu Galfa forest in Sudan
Photo credit: H. Abdel-Nour

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) is also providing support for the Sudan Integrated Environment Programme , with technical support from UNEP. This Programme provides on-going support to FNC and the High Council on Environment and Natural Resources (HCENR) on sustainable environmental management and governance, with reference to REDD+ as well. FNC, with HCENR, have established a REDD+ Desk with the mandate to develop the framework for a National REDD+ Programme. Early in 2012 the British Embassy in Khartoum provided additional funds, specifically for the preparation of early actions in support of the first phase of implementation of the National REDD+ Programme, as called for in the Cancun Agreements. With experience in working for Viet Nam's UN-REDD National Programme, I recently led a team of international and national experts, tasked with developing a framework for Sudan's National REDD+ Strategy and Action Plan and an approach for capacity building. Other senior team members included Dr. Graham Floater, Director of The Climate Centre in Brussels and former Deputy Director at the UK Treasury, Prof. Hassan Osman Abdel-Nour, founder of FNC and former Senior Forestry Officer at the FAO Near-East Regional Office, and Dr. Sayeda Ali Ahmed Khalil, Department Head at FNC and coordinator of the REDD+ Desk. The team was completed by staff from FNC and HCENR and the climate change Focal Point at UNEP.

In March of this year, the team visited senior officials in five ministries and several governmental agencies in Khartoum, to discuss the REDD+ mechanism and the possible role of the various offices in defining the National REDD+ Strategy and implementing the Programme. The FAO and UNEP offices were visited, as well the Sudan Environment Conservation Society – a leading national NGO on environmental protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation – and two private companies interested in participating in the National REDD+ Programme. The States of Al Gazira, Gadarif, Sennar and White Nile were visited to gain first-hand experience with forest conditions and forestry management schemes, including some highly successful community-managed forest protection schemes along the banks of the Blue and White Nile, irrigated forest plantations, and tree planting for combating desertification, among many other examples of forest management. The State Minister of Agriculture in Sennar and the State Minister of Animal Husbandry in White Nile received the team to discuss the potential of integrating REDD+ with existing programmes for natural resources management and poverty reduction.

In Khartoum, senior officials of FNC and HCENR presided over a workshop to brief participants on REDD+ activities and the Sudan REDD+ initiative (by HCENR and UNEP). Prof. Abdel-Nour and myself presented the early findings of the expert team to about 80 people from central agencies, four states, academia, NGOs and the private sector attended. The framework National REDD+ Strategy was generally well-received and much interest was demonstrated in participating in the consultation process towards the final Strategy. Additionally, two technical seminars were organized in March for about 20 technical staff from FNC and State forestry offices on technical issues, such as general requirements for measurement, reporting and verification (MRV), land-use category mapping and reference (emission) levels, and on aspects related to implementation, such as securing Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), gender issues and benefit distribution.

FNC and HCENR are preparing for follow-up activities in the form of a consultation process for the further development of the Sudan REDD+ Strategy and a capacity-building needs assessment for three priority areas of development. It is expected that a draft of the Sudan REDD+ Strategy and a UN-REDD National Programme document will be submitted to at the next UN-REDD Programme Policy Board meeting in October 2012.

Dr. Patrick Van Laake is an independent REDD+ consultant, who formerly worked on the UN-REDD National Programme in Viet Nam.











In this issue


Highlights from UN-REDD's 8th Policy Board Meeting

Update on Paraguay's REDD+ Progress

Nigeria Hosts Innovative "REDD+ University"

Clarifying Forest Governance in Viet Nam

The Philippines Seeks Inputs from UN-REDD on REDD+ Safeguards
Features & Commentary

Sudan's REDD+ Progress
By: Dr. Patrick Van Laake

Panama Focuses on the Multiple Benefits of REDD+
By: Gabriel Labbate
Reports & Analysis

UN-REDD Launches its 2011 Year in Review Report

UN-REDD Gender and REDD+ Report Now Available French and Spanish

Two New UN-REDD Workshop Reports now Available

New Go-REDD+ Issue Explores How to Become a "Forest Adding" Country
Looking ahead

Indonesia REDD+ Workshops on Participatory Governance Assessments and Free, Prior and Informed Consent
11-21 April, 2012: Bogor, Indonesia

Indigenous Peoples Dialogue for Africa
19-24 April, 2012: Arusha, Tanzania

Strengthening Accountability and Transparency in REDD+ in Africa Workshop
24-26 April, 2012: Lusaka, Zambia

FIP Sub-Committee Meeting
30 April-4 May, 2012: Wahsington, D.C., USA
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