On the heels of another successful UN-REDD Programme Policy Board meeting last month in Asuncion, Paraguay, it's encouraging to reflect on how far the Programme has come and what our partner countries have been able to achieve to date.
One intervention at the policy board meeting that stood out to me in particular, was made by the Executive Coordinator of the Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) Office under UNDP, which administers the UN-REDD Programme fund. He said that among the more than 50 funds the MPTF Office manages, the UN-REDD Programme fund is one of the most active and successful in terms of disbursement rates. He concluded that the UN-REDD Programme is a success story more people should know about.
Indeed, after three years in operation, the UN-REDD Programme does have real progress to report. From its nine initial pilot countries, the Programme has grown to support 42 partner countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean. With the recent approval of funding allocations to UN-REDD National Programmes in Republic of Congo and Sri Lanka, the UN-REDD Programme now provides financial and technical support to 16 National Programmes, of which 13 are in implementation. With this support, most of these countries are already actively engaged in setting up systems for measurement, reporting and verification (MRV); several among them are trailblazing systems for benefit sharing and participatory governance assessments; and all of them have engaged in robust processes of stakeholder engagement. Early lessons from all these activities are contributing the global advancement of the REDD+ mechanism. These early lessons have also revealed that establishing national coordination mechanisms for REDD+ is critical for progress, and the UN-REDD Programme continues to engage with partner countries to support these efforts.
As of March 2012, total UN-REDD Programme support to countries, through both National Programmes and activities under the seven integrated work areas of the UN-REDD Global Programme, totaled US$116.1 million. To date, the Programme has benefited from the generous donor contributions of Denmark, Japan, Norway and Spain, which now total US$118.3 million. But with so much of this donor funding already allocated, the Programme's significant progress stands to lose momentum if more funding cannot be raised this year and beyond.
The UN-REDD Programme has evolved to be an integral vehicle of multilateral support to REDD+ countries and the broader international REDD+ community. We look forward to sharing our progress and results with new and prospective donors in 2012, in order to mobilize the resources needed to continue contributing to the success of the REDD+ mechanism.
Head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat