Solomon Islands and Pakistan Move Forward with their National REDD+ Roadmaps
Solomon Islands REDD+ Taskforce makes an appeal to its national cabinet for increased leadership and coordination; and Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change makes forests a major part of the country’s strategy to combat climate change.
Last month, the Solomon Islands’ National REDD+ Taskforce and Technical Working Groups held a meeting to discuss key approaches to the preparation of the country’s REDD+ roadmap. The meeting was attended by a wide range of stakeholder representatives from relevant national institutions, local civil society organizations and the private sector.
|Credit: Aki Kono
Solomon Islands' National REDD+ Taskforce and Technical Working Groups meeting in Honiara 18-19 February 2013
The two-day meeting, held on the 18-19 February in (Honiara), discussed the current baselines and potential strategies for addressing deforestation and forest degradation across the country by looking at the country’s experiences and existing capacities in stakeholder engagement, safeguards implementation and national forest monitoring.
Key discussions focused on three fundamental issues – national ownership, national approaches to REDD+ and coordination among land-use sectors. Taskforce members agreed to draft and submit a formal letter to the national cabinet requesting that:
- The Government takes full ownership of the development and implementation of a national approach to REDD+;
- Government leadership facilitates a multi-sectoral approach to implementation of REDD+; and
- The Government considers the establishment of an official mechanism for the review and approval of forest carbon initiatives and that adequate time is provided for the development of a full framework to guide implementation of REDD+ within the Solomon Islands.
The Taskforce and Technical Working Group members expressed that a stronger political-level commitment was necessary to ensure the overall sustainability and contribution of REDD+ to the national development agenda. Thus, the members requested better coordination and integration of policy formulation and implementation processes by key land-use sectors including forestry, agriculture, mining and rural development, which could mitigate risk in REDD+ implementation.
At the end of the meeting, stakeholders emphasized that because there is a lack of clear guidance on voluntary carbon activities at the national level, risks exist in the rapid development of an unregulated forest carbon market in the country. As such, participants stressed the urgency of establishing an official mechanism to ensure effective harmonization of forest carbon initiatives in the country, and for a strong national approach to REDD+.
Building on the momentum of the country’s the National REDD+ Taskforce and Technical Working Groups meeting, Solomon Islands’ Programme Executive Board (PEB) also met mid-February to reinforce the importance of informing and guiding the national government on REDD+ readiness, as it is a new and evolving concept to the country. Representatives from a range of government ministries concluded that the UN-REDD Programme will continue to support the work of the National Taskforce and Technical Working Groups during the course of 2013 to help establish an effective REDD+ implementation framework through the preparation of the National REDD+ roadmap and guidelines on issues relating to stakeholder engagement, safeguards and the measurement and monitoring of forest carbon.
Pakistan Launches its REDD+ Readiness Roadmap Process
In February, Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change (MOCC), with the support of the UN-REDD Programme and the United Nations Joint Programme on the Environment (JPE), took an important step towards making forests a major part of Pakistan’s strategy to combat climate change. More than 60 forestry experts and stakeholders gathered on 21 February in (Islamabad) to initiate a roadmap for improving forest protection and management.
|Credit: Ben Vickers
Some of the participants of Pakistan's REDD+ readiness roadmap workshop in Islamabad on 21 February 2013
The MOCC has already taken steps to introduce REDD+ to Pakistan by forming a national REDD+ Steering Committee under the chairmanship of the Office of the Inspector General of Forests (OIGF). The OIGF also secured support from the UN JPE in May 2012 for a project to initiate REDD+ readiness activities. As well as facilitating a REDD+ readiness roadmap process, this project aims to identify the key drivers of deforestation and degradation in each of the six provinces of Pakistan, and strategies to address them. This project is implemented by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and the World Wide Fund for Nature in Pakistan. Pilot activities related to REDD+ have also been initiated by the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan in the north of the country, where the majority of Pakistan’s forest cover is located.
The REDD+ roadmap process launched at the workshop in February drew on the UN-REDD Programme’s experience of similar processes in several other countries in Asia-Pacific. The UN-REDD Programme will provide additional financial support to the Pakistan REDD+ Roadmap process over the coming year, in coordination with the UN JPE project.