Bolivia, DRC and Zambia Secure Critical Funding for their REDD+ Readiness
The three countries share their reactions and game plans after the UN-REDD Programme’s 4th Policy Board Meeting approved US$14.7 million for their national REDD+ programmes.
During its fourth policy board meeting in Nairobi mid-March, the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board approved US$4.7 million for Bolivia’s national programme, US$5.5 million for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and US$4.5 million for Zambia, bringing the total amount of funding for UN-REDD national programmes to-date to US$42.6 million.
|More than 100 participants attended the UN-REDD Programme’s 4th Policy Board meeting in Nairobi on 17-19 March.
Spirited applause from more than 100 meeting participants followed each of the three budget allocation decisions, underscoring the significance of this funding for REDD+ readiness efforts in the three countries.
“This is very good news, and it represents an important step towards effectively solidifying actions to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation,” said Edgar Arias Salvatierra, REDD team leader in Bolivia.
“The government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia has the firm intention of reducing deforestation and forest degradation, and has developed a strategy for Climate Change and Forests. Within this framework, the approval of funding for implementing the UN-REDD Programme in Bolivia represents a significant contribution to the process of preparing the country for implementing a future REDD+ mechanism,” Arias Salvatierra stated. With the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board’s recent budget allocation for Bolivia, the country has now entered the elaboration phase of its REDD+ readiness.
The DRC’s recent budget allocation brings total UN-REDD Programme funding in that country to US$7.4 million, representing over one quarter of all the DRC’s REDD readiness funding for 2010-12. In March 2009, the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board approved US$1.9 million in funding for the DRC’s initial UN-REDD National Programme strategy.
“Thanks to this budget, we will carry on preparing the country, including by financing national coordination organizations, by encouraging the involvement of sub-national players and stakeholder awareness, consultation and participation, and by authorizing the roll-out of technical arrangements, such as studies, reference level, and MRV,” said Léon Kanu Mbizi, REDD National Coordinator in the DRC.
|Léon Kanu Mbizi, DRC’s representative, listens to discussion after presenting his countries’ national programme document at the UN-REDD Programme’s 4th Policy Board meeting in Nairobi in March.
“Beyond purely financial considerations, this approval is also evidence of the acknowledgement by the international community involved in REDD, of the efforts, progress and encouraging prospects for REDD in the DRC. This signals a new technical and political credibility for the DRC and is a powerful call to sustain and support national involvement,” said Kanu Mbizi.
He added that, “The preparatory work wasn’t easy and large resources and energy were needed to reach this result, but we couldn’t afford to cut corners. REDD is both a unique opportunity and a considerable challenge for the DRC, and our readiness efforts must be comprehensive, rigorous and collective. (To this end) the support, review and approval process set up by the UN-REDD Programme was therefore experienced as a positive assistance.”
For Zambia, more than US$4.5 million will be needed to fully implement their national REDD+ strategy, but the country’s Director of Forestry, Anna Masinja, says their recent budget allocation will go a long way to kick-starting their REDD+ initiatives.
“I believe that with the approved funds, we will be able to build not only the capacity to analyze issues and be in a position to monitor forest or land cover change, but also capacity in the form of acquiring appropriate tools, instruments and systems to enable us be ready for the post 2012 Kyoto protocol climate change regime,” stated Masinja.
“The (Policy Board) funding means that the international community has the confidence that we can deliver and that our stakeholders in Zambia who participated in the process of developing the document have a vision to ensure that deforestation is reduced and hence contribute to the process of international action on mitigation against climate change,” said Masinja, adding that the new funds will help to enhance stakeholder engagement and consensus building on finding, “appropriate actions to tackle the drivers of deforestation, improving inter-sectoral actions and ensuring that functional long-term sustainable management structures and systems to deal with deforestation are put in place.”
The fourth UN-REDD Programme Policy Board meeting was attended by just over 100 participants from more than 25 countries, including representatives from the Programme’s nine pilot countries and 13 new countries, eight of which just joined the program in January (Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, and Sudan). Representatives from the Programme’s three donor countries—Norway, Denmark and Spain— were in attendance as well as permanent observers from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), three Indigenous Peoples representative and three CSO representatives. Guest observers included representatives from Finland, Japan, Commission des Forêts d'Afrique Centrale (COMIFAC), Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Secretariat joined the meeting.
The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Vincent Seya Makonga Kasulu, Director of Sustainable Development, Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ms. Veerle Vandeweerd, Director, Environment and Energy Group, Bureau for Development Policy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The meeting was held at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi.
All documents and presentations from the 4th UN-REDD Policy Board meeting are available on the Programme website.