The UN-REDD Programme has been active over the past few months, in convening and engaging with partners from around in the world to advance ideas and common understandings of governance issues related to REDD+.
Rarely a day passes without a new conversation, study or report on REDD+ and good governance. International and domestic NGOs, government practitioners and negotiators, and multilateral partners alike are preparing for the governance challenges and opportunities emerging with the REDD+ mechanism, and the UN-REDD programme is taking active part in discussions and debates at the global level.
In May, the UN-REDD Programme and Chatham House kicked off a series of discussions with a Workshop on monitoring governance safeguards in REDD +in London,where a framework was presented for discussion on what and how to monitor governance safeguards. This conversation continued at the UNFCCC Climate talks in Bonn, where the Programme organized a side event on 5 August, “Investing in Good Governance for REDD+ : Seeking common Ground”. Here participants from governments, civil society and indigenous peoples organizations and multilateral platforms took stock of specific governance elements necessary for the success of REDD+, and engaged in a dialogue about how countries are undertaking governance initiatives that relate to REDD+ readiness and how to enhance country ownership of REDD+ governance. This series on governance will continue with the UN-REDD Programme’s roundtable at the Workshop on Forest Governance, REDD and Decentralization in Latin America, happening in Oaxaca at the end of August, and at the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Bangkok in November in a roundtable organized with Germany’s GTZ.
In June, the UN-REDD Programme also organized a workshop on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and recourse mechanisms in Hanoi, Viet Nam, the first of a series of three regional dialogues that will take place this year, the next one being planned in Panama for the end of September. The UN-REDD Programme has also actively engaged in discussions convened by partners and experts over the last months. At the Transparency International workshop on climate governance on 12-14 June in Berlin the discussions encompassed a number of climate change mechanisms, with particular interest focused on transparency and accountability risks in the REDD+ context. Risks associated with decision-making within multilateral platforms, such as the UN-REDD Programme, were openly discussed, as were risks related to the REDD+ mechanism themselves, both at the global and national levels.
The issuance of permits and fraud in forest carbon accounting were identified as particular risks, as were issues associated with unresolved land tenure and new property and user rights. Yet REDD+ also presents opportunities for engagement and improved governance. Investing in the capacity of developing countries to handle large funds and in stakeholder participation and oversight, catalyzed by access to information and robust monitoring and feedback mechanisms, was widely seen as necessary to tackle governance deficits.
At the Transparency International and Inwent Conference, held on 15 June in Berlin, the UN-REDD Programme contributed to a panel on equity in climate governance, highlighting emerging questions on equity in the REDD+ context and defining elements of equitable benefit distribution systems at the national and local level. At the Rights and Forest Initiative’s Fifth Dialogue on Rights, Forests and Climate Change held in Washington, D.C. on 22 June, the UN-REDD Programme presented a risk-based approach to minimum social standards, articulated around three interlinked components of good governance, livelihoods and policy coherence.