REDD+ Progress in Bhutan and Cambodia
Over the past few months, UN-REDD Programme partner countries Bhutan and Cambodia have taken important steps forward in their REDD+ readiness efforts.
Bhutan's REDD+ Updates
In November, the Watershed Management Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of Bhutan collaborated with the UN-REDD Programme to organize a two-day training workshop in Phuentsholing, Bhutan. The workshop highlighted the unique position that Bhutan is in, with considerable national technical capacities and existing legal mandates to conserve and sustainably manage their forests.
The workshop began with an overview of the international context of REDD+, including a review of the UNFCCC negotiation process and how REDD+ has evolved to focus on mitigating emissions from the forestry sector. Bhutan’s National REDD+ Focal Point, Mr. Tashi Samdrup, set out how Bhutan has engaged in REDD+ since 2010, including joining and receiving support from the UN-REDD Programme.
The workshop provided participants with an overview of the elements involved in the development and implementation of Bhutan's national forest monitoring system for REDD+ and potential options for the development of forest reference emission levels and reference levels (RELs/RLs). The event also presented how Bhutan planned to build on its existing technical systems and capacities, with presentations from government officials on the status of their national forest inventory, remote sensing/Geographical Information Systems (GIS) capacities and their national communications (including the national GHG inventory) to the UNFCCC.
Break-out discussion groups presented on the following topics:
Next steps for Bhutan's REDD+-readiness efforts will focus on strengthening institutional arrangements, and building and linking technical capacities to develop and implement their national forest monitoring system. The workshop was funded through target support from the UN-REDD "Support to National Actions" Global Programme.
- National circumstances and capacities relevant to the implementation of REDD+;
- Institutional arrangements for the implementation of Bhutan’s national forest monitoring system;
- Moving towards the design of policies and measures to implement REDD+ activities in Bhutan, including the roles and responsibilities of specific stakeholders.
Multiple benefits and REDD+ environmental safeguards workshop held in Bhutan
In October, the UN-REDD Programme also supported a workshop in Paro, Bhutan, to build awareness about the multiple benefits of REDD+, and build capacities for implementing REDD+ safeguards. Participants used the UN-REDD Programme Benefits and Risks Tool at the workshop to identify policies, laws and regulations that could contribute to the country’s national approach to safeguards. There was strong and vocal representation from those working on environmental issues in the field from different districts. It is hoped that the workshop will make a substantive contribution to the development of the Bhutan’s national REDD+ strategy, in particular those parts which refer to safeguards.
This workshop was also organized by the Watershed Management Division of the Department of Forest and Park Services, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of the Royal Government of Bhutan.
Click here to download workshop presentations.
Cambodia's REDD+ Updates
The UN-REDD Programme in Cambodia recently hosted two events aimed at bolstering engagement with civil society organizations and Indigenous Peoples in REDD+, as well as identifying next steps for the country's broad range of REDD+ activities.
Cambodia's national consultation workshop on engagement with Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and Indigenous Peoples (IP) was held to raise awareness of REDD+ within CSOs and IPs, gain feedback and inputs into a consultation plan for the Programme, and select CSO and IP representatives for Cambodia’s UN-REDD Programme Executive Board (PEB). The workshop brought together with more than 130 participants from Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and CSOs, IP networks and organizations and government authorities. The participation of stakeholders is an essential element for the success of REDD+ initiatives including representation on the Board and the development of a National REDD+ Strategy. Prior to this workshop, an initial discussion was held earlier in 2012, where key CSOs and IPs members agreed to use a self-selection process for representative selection.
During a number of meetings and discussions held in 2012, CSOs and IP groups developed a self-selection process, creating an effective model for stakeholder engagement for REDD+ activities in Cambodia. As a result of the self-selection process, Mr. Chhith Sam Ath from the NGO forum and Mr. Nok Ven, from Mondulkiri were elected as representatives from CSOs and IP groups respectively. Through this process, they also developed relationships with other organizations in Cambodia that are interested in REDD+ activities, and built a network of relevant organizations. Two of the important recommendations of the workshop were the need to establish technical teams on a formal or informal basis, and the need to clarify a modality to formalize consultation structures at national level.
In October 2012, Cambodia’s second UN-REDD Programme Executive Board (PEB) meeting was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and welcomed the self-selected CSO and IP representatives for the first time. Together with delegates from the Forestry Administration, the General Directorate for Administration of Nature Conservation and Protection, the Fisheries Administration, United Nations agencies, the European Union, Embassy of Japan and Cambodia REDD+ Taskforce, CSO and IP representatives participated in the discussion on progress and changes to the work plan of the Programme. The main progress included the establishment of Cambodia’s REDD+ Taskforce Secretariat and training in forest monitoring. The work plan focused on the establishment of operational structures of Cambodia's UN-REDD National Programme, capacity building on measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) and reference emission levels (REL), awareness-raising activities, a cost-benefit analysis of existing forest management and its approaches, and the integration of REDD+ into natural resource planning.
The PEB meeting concluded that significant progress had been made in the fall of 2012, despite a delay in the beginning of the Programme. The next step for Cambodia’s UN-REDD Programme is to have technical teams, advisors and consultation groups onboard, followed by the implementation of activities in the work plan.