World-first REDD+ Academy launched in Indonesia
The world's first REDD+ Academy designed to energise efforts and strengthen the capacity of developing countries to combat deforestation and harness related financial, social and environmental benefits, was launched in Indonesia. The event brought together 83 representatives from Asia-Pacific governments, Indonesian parliamentarians and members of the media.
The REDD+ Academy is a new initiative of the UN-REDD Programme that aims to bolster the progress that many governments are making towards reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). In addition to building the capacity of developing countries to implement REDD+, it seeks to integrating environmental sustainability and economic development.
The REDD+ Academy is made up of a series of technical REDD+ courses and was developed by UN-REDD Programme experts and Yale University. It provides participants with a comprehensive and hands-on understanding of both what REDD+ is and what it means for national development. The four-day training program in Indonesia was co-hosted by UNORCID (UN Office for REDD+ Coordination in Indonesia) and is the first in a series of global REDD+ Academy events. The next REDD+ Academy will be held in early 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for Latin American countries; with a third REDD+ Academy also to be held in 2015 in the Africa region.
Speaking at the opening ceremony in Indonesia, the head of Indonesia's national REDD+ agency, H.E. Heru Prasetyo, emphasised the need to continue coming together to work on REDD+ issues into the future. “This is a catalyst to action within and throughout national societies. It aims to equip all of you with the tools to understand what sustainability means in relation to forests, and the costs of not pursuing it,” he said.
His words were echoed by Satya Tripathi, Director of UNORCID, who added that “Indonesia is a REDD+ pioneer that inspires and motivates other REDD+ countries by example.”
Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, addressed delegates via video message and highlighted that Indonesia is now part of an expanding global effort to combat deforestation.
“With well over 50 countries now engaged in the UN-REDD partnership, we have a unique opportunity to do something that perhaps has never been attempted in this form and with this ambition before,” said Steiner, adding that REDD+ is the “single-largest effort to address the issue of deforestation and to address the question of how we will secure the vital role that forest ecosystems play.”
Indonesia, home to the third-largest area of tropical rainforest in the world, has an ambitious vision of sustainable development. Central to this effort are policies and incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and conserve and enhance carbon stocks.
“For me it’s very positive to attend this event and get more information about REDD+,” said H.E. Desmond Junaidi Mahesa, Member of Parliament and a member of House of Representatives Commission III on law, human rights and security, in his speech to the delegates. “I want to get more involved, with the hope that in the future we can manage to make frameworks and regulations which will be useful for the community.”
Learn more about the REDD+ Academy: bit.ly/1FPUHIl