Consultations on REDD+ Readiness Roadmap begin in Bangladesh
Bangladesh recently took its first steps on the road to REDD+ Readiness by holding national and sub-national REDD+ consultations. The national multi-stakeholder workshop in Dhaka on 25 October was followed by a regional workshop in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. These events brought together more than 70 participants to engage in active discussions on Bangladesh's REDD+ Roadmap process and issues in its forest sector. The national workshop last month, which included participants from the government, civil society, academics, donor partners and the media, was designed for those with at least a basic familiarity with the concept of REDD+.
|Bangladesh's national workshop last month included participants from the government, civil society, academics, donor partners and the media. |
Its objective was to establish three voluntary, multi-stakeholder working groups to contribute to focus on the following aspects of the country's Roadmap development:
1) Methods: Monitoring, MRV and REL/RL
2) Strategy: Drivers, Policies and Measures
3) Safeguards: Consultation process, Social and Environmental Safeguards
Follow-up work to ensure that these working groups are fully operational will include the identification of focal points for each group, both within the country's REDD+ operational unit (also known as the 'REDD Cell') and within the technical advisory team.
The regional workshop in Rangamati, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, focused on the region of Bangladesh with the highest concentration of Indigenous Peoples and a recent history of conflict. The event brought together officials of the Forest Department with media and civil society groups, Indigenous Peoples and their elected representatives to discuss the underlying causes of forest loss and degradation in this remote and beautiful area. The focus of this workshop touched on sensitive, unresolved issues from the recent conflict and marked the first time that these groups have openly discussed their respective opinions.
“I am surprised at how much we all agree on,” noted one divisional Forestry Officer. Similar consultation workshops will be conducted in other regions of Bangladesh over the coming months.
Since being accepted into the UN-REDD Programme as a partner country in August 2010, the Bangladeshi government has been keen to make swift progress towards developing a full REDD+ Readiness Programme. The Ministry of Environment and Forests moved quickly to establish a national REDD+ Steering Committee and the REDD Cell. Although the UN-REDD Programme is not currently supporting a National Programme in the country, the UNDP country office in Bangladesh supported a preliminary scoping visit in August of this year, which has been followed by a joint mission with FAO to initiate the Roadmap process. The national REDD+ Steering Committee has endorsed a joint technical advisory team of FAO and UNDP consultants and the national REDD+ focal point.
|Regional consultation with villagers in Rangamati, Bangladesh |