Just yesterday in Santa Marta, Colombia, the UN-REDD Programme took an encouraging step forward in its commitment to supporting the needs of partner countries. The Programme hosted a workshop to present the preliminary findings of a country needs assessment to national REDD+ focal points from more than 20 partner countries, along with representatives from civil society, donor countries, the UNFCCC and the Programme's Independent Advisory Group.
This country needs assessment, being done jointly with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), is one of the UN-REDD Global Programme's most important priorities this year. Informed by survey results from 15 countries and six in depth case studies with country visits, the final version of this preliminary assessment will serve as the basis for the planning of future UN-REDD National and Global Programme support, to ensure resources are applied efficiently and effectively towards meeting the needs of countries in the readiness process.
While the needs of countries differ depending on their stages of readiness and national capacity, the preliminary findings of the country needs assessment identified the following common needs, among others, in a number of REDD+ countries:
- Strengthen national technical capacities for a more country-led national and international REDD+ agenda;
- Developing national legal frameworks for REDD+, including for REDD+ finance;
- Resolving land tenure issues in the REDD+ context;
- Demonstrating a strong "business cases" for REDD+ in relation to other competing land policies;
- Enhancing capacity building for establishing reference emission levels;
- Strengthening the role of local NGOs and community groups, and initiating REDD+ pilot projects to demonstrate examples for communities and local governments;
- Linking pilot projects to the REDD+ financial architecture, including carbon funds or markets, and setting minimum investment thresholds;
- Strengthening forestry administration, protecting fragile and high conservation value forests and enhancing the potential for the rural poor to share the benefits of legitimate investments.
I'd like to extend sincere thanks to all countries that participated in the assessment and to workshop participants who contributed their invaluable time and energy and experiences to reviewing the draft report. The Programme also extends its thanks and gratitude to the Government of Colombia for hosting this important workshop.
After the workshop, the UN-REDD Programme and the Facility Management Team of the FCPF will work closely with the consultants in order to have a more comprehensive analysis of the data and to incorporate views collected during the workshop as well as comments from UN-REDD Programme and FCPF stakeholders not present at the workshop. The UN-REDD Programme looks forward to continuing this important work with partner countries, donors and other stakeholders in order to meet the priority needs to complete readiness and move towards a results-based phase of REDD+.
Look for more details from the workshop in our July newsletter issue next month.
Head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat