The R-PP Validation Workshop in Colombia Exceeds Expectations
The validation workshop for the Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) and progress towards the preparation of the UN-REDD Programme in Colombia was held from 9-10 May in Bogota, Colombia. The workshop was attended by 107 representatives from the government sector, indigenous peoples’ representatives, local councils, afro-descendant organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other donors.
In late October 2012, Colombia received an invitation from the UN-REDD Programme requesting the country present its proposal for a National Programme during the Tenth Policy Board Meeting taking place in Indonesia in June 2013. The first joint mission between the three UN-REDD agencies was organized in January 2013. This mission provided the opportunity to present the UN-REDD Programme and define a roadmap in order to have all required documentation on time and ensure compliance with Programme guidelines.
During this time, Colombia already boasted of a very advanced R-PP thanks to the support of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and other initiatives. The financial support from the UN-REDD Programme’s targeted support and the UNDP regional programme enabled the sharing of this document with key stakeholders, receiving their feedback and finalizing it before the presentation at the Policy Board in June 2013.
During the validation workshop, the contributions and concerns from the participants focused primarily on: the necessity to strengthen the mechanisms for participation, allocation of resources for the development of dissemination activities for the preparation process, need for greater recognition of afro-Colombian communities as a relevant group in the process of building a REDD+ national strategy and further involvement of agricultural communities through dissemination and capacity building processes. It was requested to continue with the regulation of REDD+ early initiatives in order to protect the rights of communities and collective territories.
Gerardo Jumi Tapias, an indigenous people’s observer to the UN-REDD Policy Board, noted that indigenous communities value this space organized by MADS and the UN agencies, as well as the flexibility of the methodology used to build a scenario for dialogue and knowledge sharing. Emphasis was made on the necessity to build a formal space on this issue with all key stakeholders enabling a space with each one and complying with international standards, rulings and regulations of the country. In the case of Colombia, indigenous communities highlighted the Permanent Consensus Committee, as the space to define how the REDD+ strategy will be implemented in their territories.
Towards the end of the workshop organized by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the participants called for the conclusion of the development phase of the RPP, considering the existing inputs and making adjustments as agreed during the workshop. They also indicated their support to the national government to continue with the process of submitting their application for support from the UN-REDD Programme.
In addition to giving the green light for the presentation of the R-PP at the UN-REDD Programme’s Policy Board meeting in June, it was agreed during this workshop to: reactivate the inter-ethnic committee for REDD+ as an autonomous space; create a platform for inter-ethnic women; as well as organize an ad hoc technical committee with representatives from indigenous people, afro-Colombians communities, farmers, NGOs, government entities and unions, for the revision and verification of adjustments to the R-PP proposed during the workshop.
On 26 June 2013, during the UN-REDD Programme’s Policy Board meeting, Colombia presented their R-PP and National Programme. Both were approved for a total of US$4 million. The Policy Board also noted the high quality of the proposal and presentation. Furthermore, it recognized the efforts and progress made related to participation.