Office launched to monitor REDD in Nepal through community forest management

16 Jul 2010

   TwitCount

Kathmandu

A Project Management Unit (PMU), an office within the premises of the Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bio-resources (ANSAB), has been launched in Kathmandu to coordinate and manage the project for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in community forests. The PMU was launched amidst a small ceremony on 16 July 2010. It was inaugurated by Mr Berend de Groot, Director of Programme Operations of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). This four-year project (2009-2013) is funded by NORAD’s Forest and Climate Initiative, and carries out demonstrations on developing a REDD payment mechanism and related activities with the aim of  strengthening the capacity of  civil societies to take part in the REDD process.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and REDD+ are global policies under the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These policies, through incentive mechanisms, reward the forestry and land-use sector by paying for the conservation and maintenance of forest cover in an effort to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Nepal has 1.2 m ha of community forest (CF) managed by over 15,000 community forestry user groups (CFUGs). According to published figures,  Nepal’s deforestation rate is around 1.6% per annum, and REDD should be seen as an additional incentive for reducing deforestation and forest degradation and assisting communities in promoting sustainable management of forests.

Developing a REDD payment mechanism is a new area of work in Nepal and requires the involvement of government and civil society organisations working in collaboration and cooperation with each other. ICIMOD, with ANSAB and the Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN), is involved in this process. ICIMOD coordinates the overall project and provides technical guidance to ANSAB and FECOFUN. Lessons learned from this pilot project will enable local communities dependent on forest resources to decide whether to take part in the REDD programme.
 
The PMU will be the focal point for FECOFUN, ANSAB, and civil societies to take it further in terms of continuing with REDD and REDD+ activities. The project will facilitate the establishment of a Forest Carbon Trust Fund that will be sustainable, equitable, and credible in the long term for community forest users. Demonstration of the benefits of  REDD  is  carried out  through mobilising seed money in a carbon trust fund which is channelled to local forest users. Individual CFUGs will receive REDD benefits from seed money based on the amount of carbon they increase.

Community forests of three watersheds have been selected for the study as the demonstration pilot sites in the mid-hills of Nepal; namely, the Charnawati Watershed in Dolakha district, the Ludikhola Watershed in Gorkha district, and the Kayarkhola Watershed in Chitwan district. The entire project covers about 10,266 hectares of community forest area. In each watershed, there is a ‘watershed level REDD Network Office’ to coordinate REDD activities with different groups of forest users within the watershed. Local forest users learn how to carry out forest inventories; monitor carbon flux; establish equitable and transparent REDD mechanisms for sharing revenue; and to understand and actively participate in the overall REDD process.  
 

For further information contact:

Mr Eak Rana Magar
Coordinator, Project Management Unit for REDD Office Nepal
Tel: 9841448173, 4497547, 4478412
email: erana@icimod.org

Ms Nira Gurung
Communications Officer
email: info@icimod.org, ngurung@icimod.org