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UN-REDD Programme Approves US$4 million in Critical Funding for REDD+ in Nigeria

Blog | Mon, 17 Oct, 2011 · 8 min read

At the Programme's recent Policy Board meeting, UN-REDD partner countries share valuable lessons learned in implementing their National REDD+ Programmes.

[BERLIN, GERMANY, 17 October, 2011] During its seventh Policy Board meeting 13-14 October 2011, the UN-REDD Programme approved US$4 million in funding for Nigeria's National Programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), bringing the total amount of approved funding for UN-REDD National Programmes to US$59.3 million.

These critical funds support the capacity of national governments to prepare and implement REDD+ strategies with the active involvement of local stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities. The ultimate goal of these country-led REDD+ efforts is to contribute to the global fight against climate change. With this most recent funding allocation to Nigeria, the UN-REDD Programme is now providing direct support to 14 countries while also working with 21 other partner countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean (see full list of all 35 partner countries below).

"The UN-REDD Programme's support is invaluable because climate change is a global problem and the issues of REDD+, sustainable forest management and sustainable livelihoods cannot be handled by the country alone," said Mr. Salisu Dahiru, National Coordinator for REDD+ in Nigeria.

"There is the need to get together, collaborate and learn from the experiences of other countries as well as from the depth of information and technical expertise which is available in the UN system. For us, the UN-REDD Programme is the ideal vehicle, and we call it the friend of Nigeria's forest dependent communities," said Dahiru.

The UN-REDD Programme Policy Board's co-chairs, Mr. Alexander Müller, Assistant Director-General of the Natural Resources Management and Environment Department (FAO) and Ms. Yetti Rusli, Senior Adviser to the Minister of Forestry on Environment and Climate Change, Indonesia, began the meeting with statements expressing sympathy and condolences to the Government and people of Norway and Nigeria over the senseless bombings this past summer and loss of so many lives. The co-chairs also expressed sadness for the recent passing of Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Prize laureate and distinguished partner of the UN-REDD Programme. The co-chairs reaffirmed the Programme's commitment to honouring her life's work by continuing to support the advancement of REDD+ in order to preserve tropical forests in Africa and around the world.

Other Policy Board highlights

At the start of the first day of the meeting, the Policy Board welcomed introductory comments from Mr. Heiko Warnken, Head of Division for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Mr. Warnken stressed the need for the REDD+ mechanism and urged Policy Board members to "simplify rather than mystify" the ways in which the mechanism is explained and promoted moving forward.

Also on the first day, Cambodia, Paraguay and Tanzania—three partner countries that have already begun implementing their UN-REDD National Programmes—engaged in an interactive panel to share the lessons emerging from their REDD+ implementation phases. Policy Board participants discussed progress, opportunities and challenges facing the 13 countries implementing National Programmes. The Policy Board also heard updates on REDD+ readiness efforts in Colombia, Guatemala, Republic of Congo and Sri Lanka. On the second day of the meeting, participants were updated on the UN-REDD Global Programme, which is designed to support REDD+ country actions. Participants also discussed: the Programme’s approach to monitoring and information for REDD+; progress on the Programme's guidelines for free, prior and informed consent; progress updates on the development of social and environmental principles and criteria; as well as the Programme's approach and work on monitoring and measurement, reporting and verification (MRV), governance and on REDD+ as a catalyst for transformations to a Green Economy.

The Policy Board meeting was attended by 109 participants from more than 30 countries, including representatives from the Programme’s partner countries. Representatives from donor countries—Denmark, Japan, Norway and Spain— as well as the European Commission, were in attendance along with permanent observers from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Global Environment Facility, the Forest Investment Program, and Indigenous Peoples representatives and civil society organization representatives from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean. Guest observers included representatives from New Zealand, the newly-founded nation of South Sudan and Uganda. The meeting was held at the Steigenberger Hotel in Berlin, Germany.

All documents and presentations from the seventh UN-REDD Programme Policy Board meeting are available on the Programme website, and additional photos can be seen on the UN-REDD Programme's Facebook page. The eighth policy board meeting will be held in Paraguay in March 2012.