Engaging Stakeholders Early in the REDD+ Process: Approaches from the Republic of South Sudan
The UN-REDD Programme has been providing direct support to the Republic of South Sudan to support early stakeholder engagement to build greater awareness and improved capacity of all stakeholders to participate in REDD+.
The Republic of South Sudan has been a UN-REDD Programme partner country since 2011. Early activities have included the establishment of a national multi-stakeholder platform called the Forest Governance and REDD+ Task Force and the development of a broad work plan on forest governance. The UN-REDD Programme has been supporting this national process through a Targeted Support initiative and through the provision of technical and policy support on forest conservation, climate finance and green development, in collaboration with the UNDP Country Office.
The overall objective of the initiative is to raise awareness and inform national stakeholders of REDD+, the main features and principles of the mechanism, and the importance of stakeholder engagement in the development and implementation of the REDD+ process.
The initiative is now in the process of being implemented and two awareness raising workshops were held to engage key stakeholders: one national-level event was held on 17-18 October 2013 in the capital, Juba, and another State-level workshop held during 21-23 October 2013 in the city of Torit. These focus on building understanding and capacity on the importance of forests in the fight against climate change; the REDD+ mechanism and its challenges and opportunities for South Sudan; assessing opportunities and interest in involvement of national stakeholders in the development of the REDD+ process in South Sudan, and informing stakeholders on the joint FCPF/UN-REDD Programme Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement and the role of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in REDD+. The workshops are well attended and include a balanced number of stakeholders from the various sectors.
Various learning tools on REDD+ have been developed and adapted to local context, and were presented at the workshops and will be broadly disseminated to stakeholders. These activities build on an earlier stakeholder mapping assessment and efforts to build strong relationships with key actors in civil society, government, academia and the private sector.
There is strong enthusiasm and support for the development of a national REDD+ process in South Sudan, and the country will continue its readiness efforts for REDD+. This Targeted Support initiative is notable in that it focuses on involvement and information to stakeholders as the first step in the process of getting ready for REDD+. South Sudan is also in the process of developing national policies on forest governance and related issues, presenting an opportune time to hold discussions around REDD+ with strong stakeholder involvement.