United Nations Headquarters, New York - 15 May 2014: Over 100 people attended an event on 15 May to celebrate the launch of Community-Based REDD+ (CBR+), a new partnership between the UN-REDD Programme and the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP).
Made possible through the generous contribution of US$ 4 million from the Government of Norway, and co-financed by SGP, CBR+ will provide grants of up to US$ 50,000 directly to indigenous peoples and local communities to empower them to fully engage in the design, implementation and monitoring of REDD+* readiness activities, and to develop experiences, lessons and recommendations at the local level that can feed into national REDD+ processes.
As UNDP Senior Policy Advisor Charles McNeill explained, CBR+ will support community-level projects that complement UN-REDD National Programmes, national REDD+ readiness processes and/or national REDD+ strategies. CBR+ is currently being piloted in six countries: Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay and Sri Lanka. The first grants are expected to be disbursed in late-2014.
In recognition of the strong role indigenous peoples played in driving the development of this new initiative, the launch was held during the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), and a number of prominent indigenous leaders took to the podium to applaud CBR+ and encourage indigenous peoples and communities to take full advantage of this opportunity to amplify their voice in REDD+ processes.
Joan Carling, Secretary General of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact, praised CBR+ as a way to bridge the gap between local communities and international level processes, and expressed her hope that CBR+ would facilitate greater involvement of indigenous peoples in REDD+ processes.
Kanyinke Sena, Former Chair of UNPFII, emphasized that indigenous peoples and forest communities should be at the frontline of REDD+, and called on indigenous peoples to take full advantage of the opportunity CBR+ presents. He also expressed his hope that the initiative could be expanded in the near future to serve a greater range of countries.
Rounding up the formal remarks, SGP Global Manager Delfin Ganapin emphasized that REDD+ needs to be supported from the grassroots as well as from the top, and pointed to CBR+ as a key element to ensure this is the case.
*REDD+ stands for tropical forest countries' efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation – and foster conservation, sustainable management of forest and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
For more information on the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme: www.sgp.undp.org