UN-REDD Hosts First REDD+ Regional Information Exchange
Regional UN-REDD country programme teams from across Asia-Pacific met in Bangkok this month to exchange valuable REDD+ information and lessons learned.
In getting ready for REDD+, countries have the option of doing it alone, or they can learn from the lessons others have already made. The latter offers two clear advantages; it saves time and is more cost effective. The UN-REDD Programme team in the Asia-Pacific region wanted to realize opportunities for an interactive exchange of information, through which targeted information is provided to and discussed by teams responsible for REDD+ readiness – in and beyond the formal sessions.
This first regional information exchange meeting, which took place 8-10 November 2010 in Bangkok included discussions on administrative and technical aspects of the UN-REDD Programme, including establishing and managing broad-based multi-stakeholder networks, Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT), Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and international legal frameworks, MRV and participatory carbon monitoring, Reference Emission Level (REL) methodology, and guidelines/requirements of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Especially during the initial readiness phase of the UN-REDD Programme, there are substantial opportunities for cost savings through exchange of information and lessons learned. For example, the UN-REDD Viet Nam Programme has analyzed the policy implications of a REDD+ compliant benefit distribution system and REL methodologies. Many findings are of a generic nature, which also apply to other countries. Cambodia’s process of establishing an effective and participatory mechanism for managing the readiness process (roadmap) also provides valuable insights for the new UN-REDD countries.
Participants of the meeting included delegations from bilateral partners such as Norway, GTZ (Germany), JICA (Japan), and USAID, the national programme directors or their deputies, technical advisors and programme managers from national UN-REDD Programme teams, and country and regional representatives of the UN agencies. Representatives of some non-UN-REDD Programme countries were also invited to participate in the technical sessions.
The information exchange and lively discussions received high marks by the participants. Not surprisingly, they requested further information exchange. Proposals for future activities included annual regional meetings, smaller and more frequent targeted meetings on specific topics (e.g. FPIC, MRV), study tours and the establishment of regional UN-REDD Programme e-mail group.
Representatives of the UN-REDD Indonesia Programme offered to host the next regional meeting in Indonesia in 2011. In the meantime, UN-REDD Programme regional coordinators in Bangkok will continue to support information exchange in the region. Additional opportunities can also be realized under the UN-REDD Viet Nam Programme Phase II, which has, as an explicit outcome, the enhancement of cost-effectiveness through sharing of experiences.
All presentations given at the regional information exchange workshop can be found here.