Monitoring Governance Safeguards for REDD+
The UN-REDD Programme and Chatham House host a two-day expert workshop to set up a common understanding and framework on monitoring governance safeguards for REDD+.
Good and efficient governance of forest resources and the distribution of benefits will be central to the success of REDD+ strategies. This is notably recognized in the draft UNFCCC REDD+ text that came out of the negotiations last year in Copenhagen, where three of seven safeguards to be supported and promoted when undertaking REDD+ activities relate to governance, namely:
- Transparent and effective national forest governance structures
- Respect for the knowledge and rights of Indigenous Peoples and members of local communities
- Full and effective participation of relevant stakeholders, including, in particular, Indigenous Peoples and local communities
The importance of REDD+ governance interventions is increasingly being recognized, along with the need and demand for monitoring governance performance. This is part of a larger trend that seeks to include, beyond emission reductions, governance, livelihood and ecosystem services parameters as elements to measure, report and verify (MRV) REDD+ systems. Monitoring governance performance has also been described in the UN-REDD Programme document “Towards an MRV for Governance” scope of work, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s template for REDD Readiness Preparation Proposals, and is being discussed under the UNFCCC process. A number of initiatives and different methodologies exist for monitoring governance of forests, and some are now considering REDD+.
To advance thinking and coordination on this topic, the “Expert Workshop on Monitoring Governance Safeguards in REDD+”, convened by the UN-REDD Programme and Chatham House in collaboration with Global Witness and the World Resources Institute, gathered 40 governance practitioners from REDD+ partner countries and donor governments, civil society organizations and multilateral institutions.
After taking stock of what can be learned from existing initiatives that monitor elements of governance, participants discussed what could be key governance parameters as a starting point for designing monitoring systems, and draft guidance on participatory governance monitoring at the national level.
What to monitor?
A framework of three core governance parameters for REDD+ was presented at the meeting which provided the basis for discussion of the question of ‘what to monitor’. Although not all aspects were discussed, there was overall broad support for this framework and further inputs were provided. It was agreed that specific indicators need to be developed for each core parameter, along with country and context specific indicators and measures.
Among issues highlighted as crucial for successful REDD+ implementation were: the existence of clear institutional roles and responsibilities; the need for effective coordination between institutions and across sectors; institutional capacity to implement decisions; and transparent systems for the management of budgets and financial flows.
Another key aspect of governance recognized by workshop participants was the effective participation of all stakeholders. Participation needs to be broad and genuine, in particular ensuring that space is provided for vulnerable and marginalized groups. Transparency of and access to information, and the provision of information in a timely manner, are important to ensure effective participation. The need for sufficient capacity to implement genuine multi-stakeholder processes was noted.
Developing principles for effective monitoring
Fifteen practical principles for implementing monitoring derived from best practice and lessons learned from existing initiatives and case studies were developed as a basis for discussion at the workshop. Although consensus was neither sought nor reached, there was broad support for many of the elements presented. The group was notably supportive of the approach of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to revenue transparency and reconciliation and the potential application of a similar approach to REDD+ financial flows.
Next steps: broadening the discussion
This workshop was the first of a continuing dialogue, and more discussion and involvement of increasing numbers of stakeholders is intended. As initial steps in this broader engagement, a brief summary of the outcomes was presented in Bonn on 3 June, and will be shared during the next Chatham House illegal Logging Stakeholder consultation on 24-25 June.
The outcomes of this workshop will also serve to inform the support that the UN-REDD Programme provides to countries as they develop their monitoring systems in the current REDD+ readiness phase. The discussions during the workshop will indeed inform the upcoming nationally-owned, multi-stakeholder country‐led governance assessments supported by UNDP, and the development and incorporation of governance parameters in FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment.
For a full report, background documents and more information about the workshop, click here.