Zambia Steps up Efforts on Stakeholder Engagement Ahead of REDD+ Strategy
National consultations with civil society organizations, cooperation partners and research institutions have increased.
Zambia has increased efforts to implement its stakeholder assessment and engagement plan (SAEP). Significantly, a CSO consultative meeting was held in March 2013 to provide updates on the UN-REDD National Programme in Zambia and to discuss areas of cooperation. Zambia is also engaging with bilateral and multilateral cooperating partners in agriculture, environment and the energy sector. A meeting was held with agriculture cooperating partners in April 2013. Furthermore, a validation workshop for three studies in April 2013 led to the provision of inputs into commissioned studies by a variety of actors. These efforts are part the implementation of Zambia SAEP developed in 2012, which identified key REDD+ stakeholders and assessed the degree and scope of their engagement. It also paved the way for information sharing, consultations, joint decision-making, empowerment and national dialogue processes.
Participants at a civil society consultation meeting on 26 March 2013
The process of engaging stakeholders in REDD+ readiness in Zambia has been commended by the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Kanni Wignaraja, who hopes that “this larger circle around REDD also translates now into a sustained engagement in REDD+ activities and influences the course of the results of the Programme.”
The stakeholder engagement efforts in the past months have yielded a number of notable outcomes, including strengthening REDD’ readiness process; broadening scope of stakeholder engagement; promoting partnerships; decentralizing REDD+ stakeholder engagement and developing information and advocacy tools.
Specifically the CSO consultative meeting assessed that the significant representation and inclusiveness of non-governmental actors in the National REDD+ process allows for greater transparency, and co-operation in organizing specific activities and awareness campaigns.
In the coming months, preparations are underway to hold meetings with private sector, media and youth. The upcoming workshops will include strong capacity-building components and will stimulate linkages and coordination among stakeholders. Evans Tembo, Chairperson of the Zambia Youth Climate Change Forum has applauded the idea of a Youth Forum, “It is indeed our greatest pleasure for us as youths to be part of the UN-REDD deliberations through our National Network ZCCN. We are looking forward to learn more about the upcoming UN-REDD youth dialogue!”
Additionally, a partners’ forum on REDD+ will be established to ensure that all the key players in REDD+ issues are brought together to facilitate information exchange and knowledge management on REDD+. This will bring together key partners working on REDD+ including Biocarbon Partners, CIFOR, Finland, Norway, USAID and the UN system, amongst others.
Finally, an abridged version of the SEAP is currently being finalized for publication and dissemination. In order to influence decision-making at the highest levels, a policy brief on stakeholder engagement is also being developed. The UN-REDD National Programme is about to launch newsletters, publications and social media tools to broaden and deepen engagement. All in all stakeholder engagement has become more imperative as part of efforts towards REDD+ strategy development.
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