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Features & Commentary

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Republic of South Sudan Embark on Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+ Initiatives

The implementation of these initiatives will spearhead joint development of tools and methodology, collaboration and gathering of common lessons.
By: Anne Martinussen

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Republic of South Sudan share specific commonalities in that in both countries natural forests and woodlands cover around 30% of their land areas and that both are politically committed to protecting their forests and halting deforestation. South Sudan has an estimated 192,000 km2 of forest and Cote d’Ivoire around 97,000 km2. South Sudan has been a partner to UN-REDD since 2011, and the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire since 2010. Some of the forests of South Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire are biodiversity hotspots of high ecological value and are particularly under threat.

Côte d’Ivoire and the Republic of South Sudan are now embarking on two separate but similar stakeholder engagements in REDD+ initiatives, through targeted support from the UN-REDD Programme. The aim is to raise awareness and stimulate multi-stakeholder policy dialogue about the importance of forests; the ways to address deforestation and protect existing forests; and the approach to build a REDD+ mechanism at the national level. The focus area for the support is engagement of stakeholders in the REDD+ process, with emphasis on the involvement of civil society, indigenous peoples, forest-dependent communities, development practitioners, and local and national non-governmental organizations.

For the nascent Republic of South Sudan, the policy framework for the management of natural resources is currently in a transition and construction phase. As the government is developing its own policy and legislative framework, the country has the unique advantage that it can incorporate approaches, initiatives and priorities for sustainable forest management that are in coherence with economic growth challenges while safeguarding ecosystems.

For Côte d’Ivoire, one of the largest producers of cocoa and palm oil in the world, the challenge will be to protect natural forests while developing and transitioning to a green economy based on the sustainable use of natural resources. Furthermore, the EU-initiated FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) process has been underway for some time in the country, and ensuring coordination between the REDD+ and the FLEGT process is of particular importance.

The main activities of the initiatives comprise stakeholder mapping, providing information and openly discussing the opportunities and challenges of REDD+, facilitating platforms and structures for stakeholder engagement, building capacity on technical aspects, strengthening national coordinating mechanisms, and raising general public awareness on deforestation and forest degradation issues. Special emphasis is placed on the dissemination, understanding and commitment to the two UN-REDD Programme guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement, and on the principle of Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC), respectively.

These targeted support initiatives were developed, and will be implemented in close collaboration between the three Participating UN Agencies of the UN-REDD Programme (FAO, UNDP and UNEP) and in coordination with major partners such as the European Union, the European Forest Institute and USAID. Implementation will take place over the course of next few months and provide the countries with a good basis and understanding of the concept, methodology and necessary steps in REDD+, hence preparing the ground for full-fledged REDD+ processes by creating interest, ownership, critical thinking and channels for dialogue. These bottom-up activities will be catalysts in preparing the countries for national REDD+ processes that will then be more transparent, participatory and inclusive of all relevant stakeholders.

The two parallel projects also mark the beginning of a second generation of initiatives within stakeholder engagement. They will utilize a more systematic approach to the subject, piloting new tools and methodologies, and aim at ensuring the necessary participation and inclusion from the start. The approach draws on experience and lessons learned from the Congo Basin and Nigeria, and will be further developed and refined for broader use in the region in the years to come.

Anne Martinussen is a member of the UN-REDD Programme team based at UNDP in Nairobi, Kenya, and supports the UN-REDD Programme's work in the area of stakeholder engagement.







In this issue


UN-REDD Hosts Regional Workshop on Social and Environmental Safeguards

Strengthening Forest Related Frameworks to Support REDD+ Implementation

Bangladesh Paves the Way in Climate Financing Sector

Cambodian National REDD+ Taskforce Established

Zambia Steps up Efforts on Stakeholder Engagement Ahead of REDD+ Strategy

CBFP-COMIFAC Strengthens Gender Equality Considerations

UNEP, CIFOR and UN-REDD to Host “Forests Africa: Opportunities for a Green Economy” Conference

Features & Commentary

UN-REDD Hosts Regional Lessons Learned Workshop on Social and Environmental Safeguards
By: Kanwar Muhammad Javed Iqbal and Pasang Sherpa

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the Republic of South Sudan Embark on Stakeholder Engagement in REDD+ Initiatives
By: Anne Martinussen

Reports & Analysis

Launch of “Legal Analysis of Cross-cutting Issues for REDD+ Implementation: Lessons Learned from Mexico, Viet Nam and Zambia” Publication

New Go-REDD+ Issue Looks at the Evolution of REDD+

Looking ahead

International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition
13-15 May, 2013: Rome, Italy

12th Session of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
20-31 May 2013: NY, USA

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