National REDD+ Strategy/Action Plan (NS/AP):The UN-REDD National Programme was completed in December 2017. A terminal evaluation will be undertaken in April/May 2018. An advanced draft of the national REDD+ strategy was launched at the UNFCCC COP23 to garner international recognition and to mobilize support for the investment phase. Some final revisions of the strategy are programmed for 2018 with FCPF support. The national strategy was designed in a manner respectful of REDD+ readiness principles, with robust technical backstopping and in coordination with the overall Uganda REDD+ process. In 2017, a SWOT analysis for reforestation potential and a study on community-based approaches to REDD+ in Uganda were completed.
Each of these provided evidence-based inputs into the national strategy. A total of 10 high-level dialogues were conducted with stakeholders, including media, civil society, the private sector, technical experts, authorities and parliamentarians. The consultations were linked to reference emissions levels, national strategy, options and implementation arrangements (benefit-sharing arrangements and feedback on grievances and redress mechanisms). This also ensured that the national REDD+ strategy is fully embedded in and directly contributes to the national development planning and budgeting processes.
Forest Reference Emission Level / Forest Reference Level (FREL/FRL): With UN-REDD Programme support, Uganda submitted its initial FRL to the UNFCCC in January 2017. A plan for omitted significant pools, activities and gases is in place. Uganda used time series data for the years 1990, 2000, 2005 and 2015 to identify hot spots and trends of land conversions over the last 25 years. Data from 2000 and 2015 were used to construct the FRL. Emission factors were estimated for three out of four identified forest strata, and a Forest Inventory is being used to fine-tune the identified UGANDA NP FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE, NATIONAL PROGRAMME 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 Oct 2015 Dec 2015 Dec 2016 Dec 2017 START DATE END DATE US$ (thousands) EXPENDITURE Matthew Essman on Unsplash 61 2017 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE UN-REDD PROGRAMME FUND emission factors. The information generated during the construction of FREL was shared with key stakeholders and used to inform the policy dialogues and the development of strategic options for REDD+ implementation.
National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS): The UN-REDD Programme has strengthened the capacity of the National Forestry Authority (NFA) to systematically monitor forest and land cover/use change (REDD+ activity data), and to store, update and disseminate REDD+ information. The development of a forest and land use monitoring web-portal to display REDD+ information started in 2016 and was completed in 2017. Database management capacities were strengthened through external support and training of NFA staff. Institutionalization of the NFMS (with monitoring, reporting and verification functionality) will continue with additional support from FCPF.
The Government of Uganda has the capacity to report on its GHG emissions from the forestry sector, and the NFA plays a key role in the provision of the data needed for the national greenhouse gas inventory. UN-REDD is building the capacity of the NFA to develop a greenhouse gas inventory for the AFOLU/ LULUCF sector that meets UNFCCC standards through trainings and focused group discussions with key sectors.
Safeguard Information System (SIS): Development of the SIS is being supported by funds from the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC).
Many elements are still required before Uganda is ready to start its REDD+ implementation. However, the institutional arrangements are in place and functioning, there is broad support for REDD+ and many actors are interested in developing activities and supporting implementation. The production of a National Forest Accounting System, which will ensure support from national policy and decision-makers, and a road map for subnational implementation, was finalized in 2017 and will further enable implementation.
The main challenges in 2017 were linked to the complexities of operating in a multi-donor context with several ongoing initiatives. Coordination and communication have been key to avoid overlapping and repetitive efforts, and ensure efficiency. Limited capacity at the country level and a heavy workload have led to some delays throughout the Programme. Delays in the delivery of certain FCPF components, on which the UN-REDD Programme depends, have also led to some delays. These challenges have been addressed through close collaboration and coordination of work plans to find joint solutions. A no-cost extension of two months was granted the UN-REDD Programme to allow completion by end 2017.
Uganda’s REDD+ Readiness Preparation is supported by the FCPF REDD+ Readiness grant, the UN-REDD National Programme and the ADC. The UN-REDD National Programme was designed to cover gaps in the FCPF programme, and deliverables in the two initiatives compliment and build on each other. UNDP as the lead agency has played a key role in ensuring coordination and synergies of these initiatives, exchange of information and joint missions whenever possible.