Features & Commentary
REDD+ Orientation Workshop in Zambia– Enhancing Awareness and Stakeholder Dialogue
The first REDD+ Orientation Workshop was recently held in Zambia with the goal to enhance understanding of the REDD+ mechanism and the challenges for its design in Zambia.
By: Katri Kallio-Koski
The workshop which was held in Lusaka on 27-29 June 2011, brought together more than 75 participants from all over the country, from different stakeholder groups and organizations, including different governmental departments, non-governmental organisations, forest officers representing all Zambia’s nine provinces, donors and representatives from different United Nations organizations that are engaged in the implementation of the REDD+ programme in Zambia. In addition to enhancing understanding of the REDD+ mechanism, another goal of the workshop was to foster multi-stakeholder engagement and dialogue on REDD+.
The UN-REDD Programme in Zambia began in September 2010 with the signing of the National Programme document. Zambia is one of the initial nine pilot countries of the UN-REDD Programme. In line with the UN-REDD Programme’s spirit of addressing the multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder nature of REDD+ readiness, the workshop served to build the foundations for the challenging REDD+ readiness process by providing awareness raising, information, technical knowledge, and open discussions on REDD+. It also responded to the country’s priority for 2011 in its REDD+ work of focusing on public awareness raising and multi-stakeholder engagement.
Participants openly stated that the intense, three-day workshop, with its presentations and discussions, served to augment awareness and understanding of REDD+, as well as excitement to moving ahead. At the same time, stakeholders became more aware of the challenges and risks that lie ahead in crafting the REDD+ mechanism, and thus the need to work openly and constructively. In view of the value of the event, participants and government officials requested similar workshops to be conducted at provincial-level during the next months.
An interesting insight emerged out of the presentations and discussions: that in effect REDD+ is not a new concept to Zambia, since different initiatives for sustainable forestry, forest-sensitive rural livelihoods, forest assessment and monitoring, and the like have been conducted before and are ongoing. This provides a vital force to build REDD+ on existing knowledge and practices.
More on the workshop
This first orientation workshop was structured in nine working sessions, which showcased about 20 specialized presentations and included two highly participatory sessions, in addition to questions-and-comments slots in which participants were particularly eager to intervene. The first day of the workshop dealt with climate change and the role of forests in climate change. The origin, evolution and concept of REDD+ was also introduced to kick-start the many different discussions held during the three days. The second day consisted mainly of presentations on the core REDD+ readiness components as well as on REDD+ initiatives and insights from around the world. This included the basics of REDD+ MRV, the lessons from REDD+ in Brazil, the scope of stakeholder engagement and participation, and the social and environmental safeguards required for REDD+ to function properly, among others. The third day of the workshop revolved around REDD+ in Zambia, including Zambia's initiatives related to REDD+ and its REDD+ process.
|Katri Kallio-Koski is a Programme Analyst and advisor to the UN-REDD Zambia Programme in the Energy and Environment Unit of the UNDP Country Office in Lusaka, Zambia.