Addressing Corruption Risks in REDD+ in Asia-Pacific
The UN-REDD Programme recently co-organized two regional workshops in Nepal and Thailand to identify practical recommendations in tackling corruption risks for REDD+.
The Asia-Pacific region is characterized overall by both advances in REDD+ readiness – with six countries currently implementing national UN-REDD Programmes1 - and the emergence of national anti-corruption strategies following broad ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (link to Sam’s presentation). Last year's publication "Staying on track – Tackling Corruption Risks in Climate Change" identified broad corruption risks for REDD+ and risk mitigation actions. Building on this primer and on recent reports by UN-REDD Programme partners2, the UN-REDD Programme and UNDP's Democratic Governance Group3, organized two regional workshops to raise awareness on this issue and initiate discussions on tailored risk mitigation measures.
The Nepal workshop, held in Kathmandu on 10-11 October 2011, as part of the Asia-Pacific "Integrity in Action" week, targeted anti-corruption experts from anti-corruption commissions, UNDP anti-corruption focal points and non-governmental organizations working on increasing transparency and integrity. Prior to the workshop, participants were invited to share views on the Asia-Pacific "Integrity in Action" (INTACT) network and on their experiences on anti-corruption efforts in the forestry sector. The workshop was an opportunity for participants to draw from their experiences - for example in tackling corruption in the forestry sector (e.g. in Bhutan, Indonesia and Malaysia), from the Global Fund and in activities in the health and education sectors - to provide concrete recommendations. These recommendations will build on the ongoing governance support provided by UNDP and UN-REDD in Asia and the Pacific (such as the draft social and environmental principles and criteria, FPIC and benefit distribution and participatory governance assessments for REDD+). At the conclusion of the workshop, participants identified different but coordinated roles for different actors.
|Kathmandu workshop participants
Messages and recommendations from the Nepal workshop were then taken to participants in the Thailand workshop, held in Bangkok 20-21 October. This workshop gathered REDD+ government, civil society and UNDP practitioners. An online survey held prior to the meeting acted as a starting point to identify the relevance of each risk. Participants were tasked with discussng actions to tackle identified risks, based on the developing REDD+ institutions, framework and progress and on existing anti- corruption frameworks and instruments available in their countries. In an afternoon co-hosted with Transparency International (TI), civil society participants received a hands-on training on using TI’s upcoming Manual for Assessing Integrity in REDD+ and Forest Carbon projects.
Highlights from the Kathmandu and Bangkok Anti-Corruption & REDD+ Workshops
- The workshops were attended by over 120 participants from 12 REDD+ countries.
- A poster and notes summarizing the findings and proposals of the Kathmandu workshop was prepared to inform participants in the Bangkok workshop.
- Summaries of country-specific measures to address corruption risks in REDD+, based on participants' inputs, are being elaborated for participating countries.
- Civil society participants were offered a hands-on training on using Transparency International’s Manual for Assessing Integrity in REDD+ and forest carbon projects.
- Virtual engagement prior to the workshops facilitated constructive face-to-face discussions.
The specific corruption risks identified and the associated mitigation measures that participants suggested will inform the 2012 integrated work plan of UN-REDD Programme and UNDP’s Thematic Programme on Anti-corruption for Aid Effectiveness (PACDE).
Corruption may take many shapes and forms, and preventive anti-corruption measures must be identified as early as the REDD+ readiness phase. Taken together, the workshops clearly demonstrated that tapping into the expertise of anti-corruption and REDD+ experts can facilitate constructive discussions between a range of stakeholders. Building on the success and lessons from these events, UNDP and the UN-REDD Programme are planning to organize a similar capacity development exercise for stakeholders from UN-REDD Programme partner countries in Africa early next year.
All workshop presentations are available here.
1Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Viet Nam.
2See for example Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report on Climate Change and Global Witness ‘s “Forest Carbon, Cash and Crime” brief
3Through its Programme on Anti-Corruption for Development Effectiveness