Strengthening Forest Related Frameworks to Support REDD+ Implementation
Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Peru move ahead in the revision of their legal frameworks for REDD+ implementation.
In Kenya, the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife, Kenya Forest Service and other forest sector stakeholders are undertaking a comprehensive gap analysis of the forest related legal framework focused on forest and land rights. This analysis is being undertaken with financial and technical support from FAO, through the UN-REDD Programme, and the Institute of Law and Environment Governance (ILEG). The assistance provided might be extended to include drafting REDD+ legislation related to forest, land and carbon rights as well as benefit sharing mechanisms. Ongoing land reforms and the revision of the Forests Act in light of the new Constitution (2010) are expected to impact positively on forest governance and REDD+ implementation in the country. In particular there is a need to generate responses to current gaps related to land ownership rights, protection of land rights (especially community rights), and to support the National Land Commission and county governments in formulating land legislation.
UNDP, through the UN-REDD Programme, is complementing this effort by supporting activities that seek to counter corruption risks in REDD+ and launching work towards the policy framework for carbon rights and benefit-sharing around carbon finance and REDD+, building on existing assessments, mechanisms and experiences.
A similar initiative has been taken by the REDD National Coordination in Democratic Republic of the Congo where the Legal Support Team composed by national lawyers is currently elaborating a legal diagnostic aiming to analyze legal elements contained in the seven pillars of the national REDD+ framework strategy, harmonize the different codes on land, forest, mines and agriculture and avoid that legal inconsistencies might impede REDD+ implementation. The UN-REDD Programme will support this process and contribute in identifying current legal reforms relevant for REDD+ related to the land and forest codes, focusing on the recognition of the autochthones populations’ customary rights. The Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism has also requested the assistance of FAO in revising the ministerial order fixing the certification procedure for REDD+ projects. Among other actors, UNEP, GLOBE and the World Bank provide valuable support to the country Legal Support Team, particularly in engaging parliamentarians to better understand REDD+ and advise them in law-making.
While in these two countries legal assistance is provided through the UN-REDD Programme’s targeted support, in Peru the support provided consisted in the revision of the draft forest regulation in the context of the implementation of a forestry project through FAO representation. In particular, a comparative analysis was developed between Mexican and Peruvian forest laws as well as the draft forest regulation, considering as a model the REDD+ provisions inserted in the Mexican reformed forest law, and the need to cover legal gaps such as the lack of definition of degradation.