NFMS: In 2020, the UN-REDD Programme supported the Republic of the Congo with the consolidation of its NFMS and the revision of the activity data at the national level. With UN-REDD technical support, the country finalized its 2016-2018 change map including data on deforestation and forest degradation. The validation of this change map has been delayed for few months but, thanks to the high-resolution data acquired by Norway’s International Forest and Climate Initiative (NICFI) at the end of 2020, the exercise will be completed in 2021.
FRL/FREL: The preparation of the activity data and the publication of the NFI, both supported by the Programme, has positioned Congo to be ready to rapidly update its FREL, including forest degradation information, once the GCF publishes the new scorecard and guidelines.
Congo also showed increased technical autonomy by designing an ambitious data-collection project for the GHG inventory (for the Third National Communication). The methodology will be decisive for a swift integration of the activity data validation in 2021.
The Programme supported content-related work (analysis of the forest, fuelwood, main agricultural value chains, and rural finance sectors) to support securing additional finance for the REDD+ Investment Plan and focusing on reducing pressure on forests from small-scale agriculture and fuelwood collection. The results were used to develop a proposal to the GCF (fuelwood energy supply) along with a project submitted to CAFI (fuelwood energy demand). Both proposals are fully aligned with the national REDD+ Investment Plan and the CAFI Theory of Change and look at supporting the country to achieve economic diversification alongside low-emission, climate-resilient development.
The main challenge in 2020 was the impossibility of traveling internationally or organizing in-person events (e.g. validation workshops or capacity building sessions). The Programme has adapted to the circumstances by translating all technical backstopping into online modalities (output 3.26), including the collection of activity data for degradation monitoring. However, the conditions of internet access from personal connections during the lockdown were difficult and produced delays in the collection of activity data (deforestation and forest degradation mapping in SEPAL3 ) (output 2.4).
REDD+ partners in the Republic of the Congo are well-coordinated, thanks to the long-established coordination between the UN-REDD Programme, the FCPF, the French Development Agency AFD (Agence Française de Développement), CAFI and the European Forest Institute REDD Facility. The UN-REDD Programme has provided key elements in the development of the Letter of Intent of Congo with CAFI.
The challenges associated with in-person meetings also reduced the opportunities to strengthen partnerships. However, technical coordination with the United States Forest Service USFS, the Silvacarbon programme and the Coalition for Rainforest Nations was maintained, in particular with the common development of the GHG inventory methodology and data collection plan.