Solomon Islands Focuses on REDD+ Awareness Raising and National Forest Monitoring
The UN-REDD National Programme in Solomon Islands recently brought together a broad range of stakeholders to raise REDD+ awareness and begin work on the country's national forest monitoring system.
The Solomon Islands' UN-REDD National Programme advanced its implementation in September with the delivery of a multi-stakeholder national REDD+ awareness-raising workshop and training on National Forest Monitoring Systems.
The National REDD+ Awareness-Raising workshop, held on 21 September 2012 in the capital Honiara, brought together a wide range of government and non-government stakeholders, including local civil society organizations, international and national NGOs, the private sector, international development agencies and ministries of forestry and environment. The event served to highlight how REDD+ has been taken from the international policy level down to the national and local levels, and the range of REDD+ efforts being undertaken by a number of organizations in the Solomon Islands.
The event began with an overview of REDD+ in the context of the national development agenda given by Mr. Chanel Iroi, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment. This was followed by a presentation on the international context of REDD+ and the interpretation of UNFCCC decisions for national implementation, given by Joel Scriven of the UN-REDD Programme. The organization World Fish gave a presentation on blue carbon; the Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC) gave a presentation on their pilot REDD+ activities in Choiseul Province; and Mr. Fred Patison, manager of the country's UN-REDD National Programme presented the work plan of the Solomon Islands' UN-REDD National Programme.
The workshop ended with a robust discussion and dialogue among participants as they improved their understanding of REDD+, the UN-REDD Programme, and requirements in implementing national REDD+ activities. More REDD+ awareness raising events from the higher political to community level were suggested.
National Forest Monitoring Training
Between 25-26 September 2012, in Honiara, the Solomon Islands UN-REDD National Programme organized a training on national forest monitoring systems for REDD+, facilitated by FAO, which brought together 30 participants from forestry research organizations, civil society organizations, development agencies and government.
On the first day, participants were led through the background of REDD+ under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and its emergence as a prominent climate change mitigation opportunity for developing countries. This was followed by a review of UNFCCC decisions on national forest monitoring systems and the functions of monitoring and Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) that these are required to fulfil. Guidance and methodologies of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were reviewed to guide participants through the processes of national greenhouse gas inventory compilation and reporting to the UNFCCC Secretariat.
The second day of training included the practical implications of UNFCCC guidance for implementation of a national forest monitoring system in the Solomon Islands. This included discussions on institutional arrangements for REDD+ and issues surrounding voluntary market REDD+ projects sitting within a national REDD+ framework. Next, the training reviewed current UNFCCC guidance on forest reference emission levels and forest reference levels (RELs/RLs). Finally, the next steps for the UN-REDD National Programme were outlined, specifying how the UN-REDD Programme would support the government’s REDD+ implementation process.
The training helped the participants to better understand MRV and its importance in REDD+ implementation, as it involves broader needs of sustainable forest management, environmental conservation and land use planning. Participants suggested that more MRV training events should be held for stakeholders at the provincial level and those involved in the forestry sector.