A four-day training for facilitators on the steps and procedures necessary for developing a District REDD+ Action Plan (DRAP) was conducted in Biratnagar, Nepal, from 31 January to 3 February 2017. The event was organized by the REDD Implementation Centre (REDD IC) under the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC), Nepal, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/UN-REDD.
A DRAP is a sub-national plan designed to help implement the national REDD strategy by addressing local drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in a given district, and finding opportunities for carbon enhancement at the local landscape level through a multi-stakeholder consultative process.
Under the technical assistance of UN-REDD, ICIMOD is working towards developing a DRAP for Ilam district. A DRAP for Chitwan has already been developed, and was endorsed in 2016. A DRAP approach was also partially replicated in the Terai Arc Landscape while developing the proposal for the Emission Reduction Programme document. ICIMOD is now working to support the implementation of the Chitwan DRAP.
The training in Biratnagar was targeted at government officials from REDD IC/MoFSC; Chitwan National Park (CNP); the District Forest Office, Ilam; the District Development Committee, Ilam, and Red Panda Network – key stakeholders who will lead the DRAP process in Chitwan. Michael Richards, representing FAO, facilitated the training. Some sessions were co-facilitated by Bhaskar Karky, Nabin Bhattarai, and Niroj Timalsina from ICIMOD; Ben Vickers from FAO UN-REDD; and Mohan Paudel from REDD IC. Sixteen participants, including ICIMOD co-trainers, attended the full training course.
The DRAP approach, which was piloted in Chitwan district from 2014-2015, takes cues from the Vietnam experience on developing a PRAP (Provincial REDD+ Action Plan), undertaken under the Vietnam UN-REDD Phase II Programme. In 2016, it was agreed with RIC that FAO/UN-REDD funds would be used to assist the development of a second DRAP in Ilam district, following appropriate training for facilitators. Assistant Forest Officer of the District Forest Office, Ilam, Binod Singh said that the concept of DRAP, which primarily uses a participatory approach, is new for the district. Participants are excited to initiate the DRAP formulation for Ilam. Similarly, Planning Officer of the District Development Committee, Ilam, Chhabilal Khatiwada, indicated that the training was an important step towards operationalizing REDD+ at the sub-national level.
In the long run, if the adjacent districts also develop their own DRAPs, they could all be bundled into one REDD proposal that could be submitted for REDD+ financing.