Women gathering to discuss a CBR+ project in Nigeria (credit: UN-REDD Programme)
In 2013, the UN-REDD Programme established the Community-based REDD+ initiative (CBR+) as a pioneering scheme for community action in the REDD+ domain. Its main objective was to enhance the engagement and inclusion of indigenous peoples and forest communities in national REDD+ processes, thus providing grassroots experiences and perspectives for REDD+ national policies. The pilot phase of CBR+ was implemented from 2014 to 2017 and has received praise from a wide-range of stakeholders, from indigenous organizations to national governments and the UN-REDD Executive Board whose members have proposed and discussed a potential new phase.
In its first phase, the CBR+ initiative was conducted in 6 pilot countries, all UN-REDD partner countries with full-fledged national REDD+ processes, including Cambodia, DRC, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay and Sri Lanka. It was financed with $4 million US from the government of Norway through the UN-REDD Programme. It was implemented by UNDP, combining the technical support of its Climate & Forests Team and the existing operational architecture of the UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), which also provided matching grant funds. In total, CBR+ financed and helped to implement over 120 community projects, as well as to support policy dialogue, capacity building and knowledge management towards inclusive and rights-responsive REDD+ actions in beneficiary countries.
CBR+ delivered its commitments, results and funding within the planned 4 years, with neither delays nor extensions required. The efficient and effective delivery was the result of a combination of factors: focused design, realistic planning, national governance arrangements based on multi-stakeholder platforms, the use of an existing grant mechanism (the SGP) and a clear purpose. Following this success, representatives of indigenous and local communities, REDD+ countries and UN-REDD Executive Board members have called for a new phase, seeking the same aim for CBR+ to be a catalyst for community-government partnerships for REDD+.
The UN-REDD Programme and the GEF Small Grants Programme launched an e-consultation on a new phase of the Community-based REDD+ initiative in September and October, 2019, seeking input from stakeholders on the design and focus of a potential second phase that would build on the success of the first phase of CBR+.
The UN-REDD Programme is grateful for the valuable comments and perspectives shared by the contributors to the e-consultation. Contributions were received from civil society organizations, government representatives, former CBR+ country stakeholders, partner organizations and academia. Key messages conveyed include:
Expressions of support and continued interest from CBR+ country stakeholders who participated in the first phase of the CBR+ initiative (Nigeria, Paraguay, Cambodia and DRC), emphasizing important lessons and offering suggestions to improve CBR+ in the second phase.
Recommendations to fine-tune the overall objective and policy focus of CBR+, moving forward with reference, in particular, to the recognition of land and tenure rights for indigenous peoples and local communities, demonstrating the potential of nature-based solutions to climate change, supporting the work of the UNFCCC LCIP platform and linking community action to the fulfillment of Nationally Determined Contributions.
Suggestions of how to define country selection criteria, considering a combination of: positive legal frameworks on rights, including an analysis of the implementation for the Cancun Safeguards for REDD+; working and thriving CSO and community-led initiatives around forests, rural-urban infrastructure and food-water-biodiversity; and, an open engagement with national or local government ,or select private sector, or other relevant institutions, to model management of integrated landscapes.
Suggestions to improve the implementation and measurement of results from CBR+, including the use of community-driven standards to promote local community empowerment, poverty alleviation and emissions reductions and the development of specific indicators to measure how reports and consultations are incorporated into national policies and legislation.
The proposal will be revised to reflect these important contributions. Continued engagement is welcomed and encouraged as the proposal moves towards implementation.
In addition to comments received through the e-consultation, the proposal for CBR+ was presented at an FCPF Global Dialogue with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in November, 2019 in Washington, DC. The dialogue included 50 IP/CSO participants from around the world.
A more detailed summary of input received via this e-consultation is available here.
UNDP Climate and Forests Team & SGP