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8 New Countries Join the UN-REDD Programme

The UN-REDD Programme’s Policy Board agreed in an inter-sessional decision in February to extend formal invitations to Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, and Sudan to join as observer countries to the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board. This group of countries joins Argentina, Cambodia, Ecuador, Nepal and Sri Lanka that were granted similar status by the Policy Board in October 2009. The Programme currently supports nine pilot countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

*New UN-REDD observer countries as of February 2010

“We are encouraged to see the UN-REDD family grow in such a significant way,” says Dr. Yemi Katerere, Head of the UN-REDD Programme. “These eight new countries will undoubtedly enrich the Programme’s strong community of practice with valuable REDD+ inputs and contributions.”

Current UN-REDD funding is programmed for its nine pilot countries, but observer countries can take advantage of many other benefits of the UN-REDD Programme, such as networking, and knowledge sharing, which is facilitated by the UN-REDD Programme’s online community of practice through its dedicated workspace. Observer countries can also participate in global and regional workshops and have official observer status at UN-REDD Policy Board meetings, the next one scheduled for 17-19 February 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Despite the current funding gap, the UN-REDD Programme considers requests from all countries.  As more funding becomes available, the Programme hopes to extend full programme participation to observer countries.

“The UN-REDD Programme welcomes the participation of observer countries as a further sign of its engagement and commitment to the REDD+ agenda,” says Dr. Katerere.

The Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) recently requested that the UN-REDD Programme extend membership to all 10 of its African country members. One of its members, the Democratic Republic of Congo, is already a pilot country of the UN-REDD Programme. The Programme has responded to COMIFAC, encouraging the Commission to work with its member countries to formally apply for membership to the UN-REDD Programme in the coming months.