Sharing Workshop on ‘Developing interventions of District REDD+ Action Plan’

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Actively involved in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) development since Conference of the Parties 13 (COP 13), Nepal is the recipient of international assistance to prepare for the implementation of REDD+, Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP), piloting REDD+ activities, and setting stakeholder forums for policy planning. 

Under the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), Nepal has initiated programs to strengthen its readiness for REDD+. Nepal submitted its Readiness-Project Idea Note (R-PIN) during early 2008 and R-PP in 2010. As envisioned by the R-PP, Nepal has completed the first phase of REDD+ readiness activities including capacity building, REDD+ strategy preparation, and the development of forest monitoring/MRV system and Forest Reference Level (FRL). Several studies complementing REDD+ safeguard policies have also been completed namely Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM), Institutional Framework, Carbon Ownership, Policy, Laws and Regulations (PLRs) review, Customary Rights, Economic Modelling, Identification of Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Tenure Rights and Cost Benefit Sharing Arrangements.

Nepal has made significant progress in setting up a basic institutional framework for REDD readiness. The Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MFSC) developed a three-tiered framework consisting of the REDD Implementation Centre; a multi-stakeholder REDD Working Group (RWG) with representation from government, experts, donors, and civil society organisations (CSOs), and a high-level, inter-ministerial REDD Apex Body. The REDD IC is responsible for coordinating the REDD+ readiness process under FCPF, as well as other REDD+ project initiatives in Nepal.

Despite significant progress on readiness process, Nepal is not yet fully prepared for REDD+implementation. REDD+ stakeholders including local communities, women and government agencies particularly at the local level, have yet to be capacitated  in terms of their understanding, governance and skills to engage in REDD+ process. REDD+ policies, laws and regulations have yet to be developed and put in place with appropriate institutional arrangements. Working guidelines for different REDD+ activities like MRV, safeguard, multi-stakeholder mobilisation, monitoring of carbon and non-carbon benefits and scientific management of forests are lacking.

Considering these gaps and the urgency to address them, the World Bank has recently agreed to provide additional $5 million in grant support. In addition, Nepal is also accessing the World Bank's Carbon Fund for Emissions Reduction Program (ERP) to be implemented in Terai Arc Landscape covering 12 districts. REDD Implementation Center is currently preparing Emissions Reduction Program Document (ERPD) aiming at an Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) by the end of 2017. Nepal is also one of the pipeline countries for the Forest Investment Programme. Nepal has also been receiving supports for REDD+ process from different agencies like UN REDD, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) , Ministry of Foreign Affairs Norway, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department for International Development (DFID), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Finnish International Development Agency (FINIDA).

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has been one of the major development partners supporting REDD IC technically and financially.The REDD+ Himalaya project is one of the key initiatives by ICIMOD for developing and sharing REDD+ experiences in Nepal. As support to RIC, RIC-ICIMOD-FA  collaborated to develop a District REDD Action Plan in order to make a favourable condition to implement REDD at the district level.

Objectives and purpose of this meeting

Through a consultative process in 2014-2015 and with the support of UNREDD TA; RIC,  ICIMOD and Forest Action have been able to draft a REDD District Action Plan for Chitwan District. This is the first plan at the district level which shows how REDD strategies and intervention activities can be implemented at a subnational level, supporting the implementation of National REDD Strategy and in sync with District Forest Plans and District Development Plans.

With a prepared draft, there are policy-level questions that need to be answered on how to utilise DRAP  to support the National REDD Strategy. The workshop will answer the following questions:

  1. Who should own DRAP and who should implement it?
  2. How can DRAP activities be supported at the district level for its implementation?
  3. How can DRAP be harmonised with district development plans, in particular, the district forestry sector development plan?
  4. How can DRAP be financed and how can it be linked with ERPD?
  5. What is the way forward for Chitwan DRAP?
  6. What are priority districts for DRAP?

Participants

The workshop will be attended by Government of Nepal officials, Forest Action and ICIMOD. ICIMOD will support the costs for all the participants according to the policy of ICIMOD. There will be around 25 participants in two-days workshop.

Expected outcomes

By the end of this workshop, there will be a clear guidance from Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC)  on the future course of DRAP that will be acceptable to Government of Nepal (GoN).