During its fourth meeting in Nairobi, Kenya 18-19 March 2010, the UN-REDD Programme Policy Board approved US$14.7 million in funding for national UN-REDD programmes in Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia, bringing the total amount of funding for UN-REDD national programmes to-date to US$42.6 million. The Policy Board approved US$4.7 million for Bolivia, US$5.5 million for DRC and US$4.5 million for Zambia.
The meeting was attended by just over 100 participants from more than 25 countries, including representatives from the Programme’s nine pilot countries and 13 new countries, eight of which just joined the program in January (Costa Rica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, and Sudan). Representatives from the Programme’s three donor countries—Norway, Denmark and Spain— were in attendance as well as permanent observers from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), three Indigenous Peoples representative and three CSO representatives. Guest observers included representatives from Finland, Japan, Commission des Forêts d'Afrique Centrale (COMIFAC), Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) Secretariat joined the meeting.
“It was an honour to have the valued participation of so many REDD+ leaders and innovators from around the world. With their guidance and inputs, our national programmes continue to move in the right direction, supporting more and more countries to develop and galvanize their REDD+ strategies,” said Yemi Katerere, Head of the UN-REDD Programme Secretariat. During the first day of the meeting, the Policy Board welcomed the pledges by Norway of NOK 175 million, (approximately US$30 million) in funding for 2010, and €15 million (approximately US$20 million) from Spain for 2010-2012.
Other highlights from the first day included opening remarks from Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, during which he highlighted the importance of “learning by doing” and encouraged countries and stakeholders to “focus on recognizing and mitigating risk” when developing REDD+ strategies.
The UN-REDD Programme presented an overview of global and national programme progress since the last policy board meeting in October 2009, and received valuable feedback on its evolving strategy document. Acknowledging the calls from member countries for closer collaboration between the UN and World Bank systems, the Policy Board requested that the UN-REDD Programme and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Management Team integrate Policy Board meetings and FCPF Participant/Committee Assembly meetings and that moving forward, the UN and the World Bank systems would further coordinate delivery mechanisms to REDD+ countries.
In addition to the budget allocations for Bolivia, DRC and Zambia, highlights from the second day included the approval of an additional US$3.8 million for global programme activities which would fund measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) activities, and support IP/CSO engagement on REDD+. The Policy Board was honoured to have Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai deliver closing remarks, during which she expressed that she was happy to see the UN and the World Bank working together, and emphasized the need for resources from REDD+ to “benefit the people for whom they are intended.” She concluded by stating, “We really need to emphasis the need to manage these (REDD+) resources with a responsible and transparent approach.”
The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Vincent Seya Makonga Kasulu, Director of Sustainable Development, Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ms. Veerle Vandeweerd, Director, Environment and Energy Group, Bureau for Development Policy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The meeting was held at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi. All documents and presentations from the 4th UN-REDD Policy Board meeting are available on the Programme website and workspace.
The UN-REDD Programme Policy Board’s two-day meeting was preceded by a field trip on 17 March to sites at various forestry initiatives in Kijabe, Kinale and Naivasha in Kenya’s Rift Valley. The objective of the field trip was to enable members to exchange experiences from their own countries, using the Rift Valley landscape mosaic and the Mau Forest Complex issues as the context for a wider discussion about REDD+.
Kenya is a country with low forest cover and relatively high rates of deforestation. Resettlement and expansion of populations are visible throughout the valley. The effects of drought as a result of changes in the climate and pressures from the industries in the area can be seen in the region’s many lakes. The Mau Forest which is the largest forest ecosystem and the largest water catchment area in Kenya is also located in the Rift Valley.
The field visit provided an opportunity to look at a variety of issues related to REDD+, climate change, deforestation, ecosystems, and the need for regional and South-South cooperation.