November was an exciting month for the UN-REDD Programme. Our Policy Board approved US$15.2 million for five national Programmes, which means the UN-REDD Programme now provides direct support to 12 countries and has partnerships with 17 others. These developments underscore the growing strength of the UN-REDD Programme's community of practice, through which countries are learning from each other and sharing valuable lessons and experiences.
As we head into the end of the year, it's amazing to consider the inroads REDD+ has made this year. The Interim REDD+ Partnership, established at the Oslo Climate and Forest Conference in May, is now up and running. The UN-REDD Programme, in collaboration with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), is now supporting the Partnership's work plan, which includes establishing a voluntary REDD+ database and website, developing a gap analysis on the current funding situation for REDD+, organizing technical workshops on lessons learned, as well as providing logistical support to meetings.
Within the UN-REDD Programme, we've also seen encouraging progress. All nine initial pilot countries have now submitted National Programmes to the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board and have received funding allocations. Seven of these pilot countries are now in implementation (Bolivia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Panama, Tanzania, Viet Nam, Zambia). Three other UN-REDD partner countries have been allocated funds for either full or initial national programmes (Cambodia, the Philippines and Solomon Islands) and two more countries (Ecuador and Nigeria) are expected to present funding requests for their national programmes at the next UN-REDD Programme Policy Board meeting in March 2011.
This year, we've seen donor countries renew their commitment to REDD+ in a very significant way. In March, Norway committed an additional US$31 million to the UN-REDD Programme for 2010 and this month confirmed its intention to continue supporting the Programme in 2011. Denmark also announced US$6 million in new funding this month, as did Spain (US$1.4 million for 2010). The Programme was also pleased to hear Japan officially announced their consideration to contribute to the Programme at our recent Policy Board meeting.
Given all this momentum and advancement on REDD+, the UN-REDD Programme very much hopes for a positive outcome in the COP16 negotiations on REDD+, which will allow REDD+ countries to achieve even greater inroads in 2011.
Head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat