National REDD+ Strategy/Action Plan (NS/AP): The UN-REDD Programme supported Bangladesh to further develop its National REDD+ Strategy with the identification of deforestation and degradation drivers. PAMs, including those of a gender-sensitive nature, were identified and vetted through stakeholder consultations and are undergoing assessment for implementation benefits, costs and risks. The institutional arrangement for REDD+ management was also proposed to the Government.
Forest Reference Emission Level / Forest Reference Level (FREL/FRL): Technical capacity for FRELs/FRLs was strengthened through UN-REDD events and a national consultation on the proposed FREL/FRL. A revised version of the FREL/FRL report was submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, approved and submitted to the UNFCCC REDD+ Info Hub in January 2019.
National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS): With UN-REDD programme support, the structure and several modules of the Bangladesh Forest Information System (BFIS) were finalized and presented to the Forest Department. The BFIS was officially launched in December and has benefited from the creation of national land-cover maps for 2005 and 2010, as well as capacity development for database management. A draft data-sharing policy for the Forest Department has been submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
The official launch of the national programme encountered delays due to the formulation of the Project Steering Committee and the UN-REDD national Programme Executive Board. A no-cost extension to the national programme until June 2019 was approved by the UN-REDD Executive Board to accommodate these delays; however, several other activities scheduled for 2018 were also delayed. Preliminary approval for the budget revision was obtained and will be formalized in 2019.
A lack of IT and programming capacity in the Forest Department necessitated additional training and recruitment of more IT and database management consultants.
UN-REDD programme support is closely coordinated with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bangladesh NFI project. The programme supported the World Bank Forest Investment Program formulation team and the development of the US$ 175 million World Bank Sustainable Forests & Livelihoods project, approved in October 2018.