NS/AP: Colombia strengthened the implementation of its REDD+ Strategy through the approval of the GCF RBP REDD+ proposal for $28.2 million, its inputs on deforestation to the National Council for Economic and Social Policy (CONPES), and the increased mitigation ambition from reducing deforestation in the updated NDC, with technical inputs and support from UN-REDD.
FREL/FRL: Colombia was in the assessment process of an enhanced FREL during 2020, technically supported by UN-REDD (FREL Convention), moving forward from subnational to national level. The assessment process will conclude in the first quarter of 2021. A South-South exchange between Colombia and Peru was organized under the title Forests Reference Emission Level (FREL): from subnational to national approaches”.
NFMS: Colombia continued to improve its NFMS, including the development of a proposal for monitoring restoration at the national level supported by UN-REDD, South-South exchange on restoration monitoring between Guatemala, and the strengthening of the institutional community monitoring board led by the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales, or IDEAM).
SIS: Colombia has strengthened the safeguards information currently available at its RENARE platform (Registro Nacional de Reducción de Emisiones de Gases Efecto Invernadero, or National Registry for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions) by developing a draft template for collecting safeguard information and a list of potential safeguards requirements for REDD+ projects and programs, supported by UN-REDD.
Colombia is progressing in the implementation of the REDD+ Strategy through several initiatives supported by UN-REDD:
- The CFM programme was initiated with a pilot phase in eight departments.
- Field actions in 35,964 hectares were identified and are being implemented in 11,626 of those. This process involved 349 families (including 354 women, 434 men, and 191 children). Publications, reports, and guides were generated.
- The national institutional roundtable on community forestry management, led by the Environment Ministry, was consolidated as a space for discussion and feedback with other institutions.
- The forest economy was strengthened by the establishment of supply chains of legal timber into a local community, in collaboration with the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme.
- The Environment Ministry updated its consultation and participation processes, especially with indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants, through virtual meetings.
- The country made progress in the Social and Institutional Characteristics of Deforestation Hotspots in Colombia.
- The Ministry’s Financing Fund for the Agriculture Sector (Fondo para el Financiamiento del Sector Agropecuario, or FINAGRO) strengthened its knowledge by exchanging experiences on land-use finance with other national development banks in the region.
- FINAGRO strengthened its capacities by reviewing and updating its environmental and social sustainability policy.
The COVID-19 health emergency has caused delays in participatory processes and related activities. The programme faced this challenge by restructuring its delivery to virtual modalities. As a consequence, the number of face-to-face meetings and consultations was drastically reduced and the Programme adopted a methodology to support communities through virtual meetings, phone calls, chats, and other online follow-ups.
More than 30 virtual dialogues between indigenous authorities and government personnel were organized, and a protocol of remote assistance for field actions was established. Also, several online pieces of training and webinars were held.
Another important challenge was the lack of sufficient funds to increase the scope or scale up the planned activities in the field. To address this issue, the programme reviewed and prioritized the activities and the use of financial resources to maximize the impact (e.g. improvements in NFMS, key issues in the social participation process, and linking SIS with RENARE). Many virtual meetings took place too and allowed the actor dialogues supported by UN-REDD.
Colombia’s capacities to implement community forest management were strengthened and articulation was promoted between actors in the process (FCPF, Global Green Growth Institute,
Probosques, the Andes and Central American office of French conservation organization Office National des Forêts ONF Andina, and others) and with the approval of the GCF RBPs REDD+ proposal for the Amazon Region. Furthermore, the technical capacities of indigenous leaders and authorities were strengthened by the formulation of three projects to be implemented with the third grant from the FCPF in 2021 (around $950,000).