Panama Organizes its First REDD+ National Working Committee Workshop
The first REDD+ National Working Committee workshop took place in Panama to kick start the preparation of the country's REDD+ National Strategy.
The recent REDD+ National Working Committee workshop in Panama was an innovative solution to address the lack of viable consultative and participatory structures for stakeholders to engage with REDD+ issues. The organization of the workshop, which took place on 14 September, 2012, was undertaken by the National Environmental Authority (ANAM in Spanish) with support from the UN-REDD National Programme in Panama. As this was the first ever Committee workshop organized in Panama, there were several barriers that were overcome to host the event, from getting commitments from participants, to logistical issues, and the design and organization of sub-groups. Countless hours were spent in multiple meetings in order to closely coordinate every single aspect of the workshops in order to ensure the success of the event.
The objective of the workshop was to start the ground work for the preparation of the REDD+ National Strategy in a participative and inclusive fashion. Among workshop participants were representatives from the public and private sector, non-governmental institutions, indigenous peoples, Darien afro-descendants and forest-dependent communities all related to the environmental and forestry sector in Panama.
Key outcomes from this first workshop included:
- Providing basic knowledge about the REDD+ mechanism and progress made in Panama
- Organization of the five sub-working groups, with commitments from the participants to continue working in thesegroups
- Commitment to organize the next REDD+ National Working Committee in November 2012
- Strengthened capacities in ANAM to organize such events
To set the stage, relevant presentations were made including concepts about REDD+ and its links with the UNFCCC, advances in REDD+ in Panama, experiences in the formulation of national strategies and policies related to REDD+, design and implementation of the REDD+ National Working Committee meeting in Panama. After presentations, participants were then divided into sub- working groups to address the following key issues related to REDD+:
- Early actions and pilot projects;
- Economic and social aspects;
- Capacity development, dissemination and communication;
- Legal and institutional arrangements.
Each sub-working group was assigned the following objectives:
- Identify the importance or relevance of the issue assigned to the sub-working group for the REDD+ National Strategy;
- Develop proposals that will contribute to the progress of the assigned issues at the short, medium and long term within the REDD+ National Strategy;
- Identify and contact other key actors for their active participation in the elaboration of the REDD+ National Strategy;
- Gain commitments from all stakeholders involved in the preparation of the REDD+ National Strategy.
Each group was then asked to present their recommendations, work methodologies and dates for future meetings.
The next REDD+ National Working Committee workshop is expected to take place mid-November 2012, with plans for the Working Committee to convene workshops every two months afterwards. The challenge now is to build on the momentum of the REDD+ National Working Committee workshop and keep the sub-working groups motivated to continue working toward the development of the REDD+ National Strategy. This will require even more additional efforts from all involved in Panama's REDD+ programme.