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1. Improve national and local (pre)conditions for the implementation of REDD+ measures to mitigate climate change in the four Himalayan states.
Scoping studies, the determination of forest reference emission levels (FREL), forest inventories, gap analyses as well as framework assessments are the first step towards determining the state of institutions managing forests. Developing standards for socially and environmentally sound measures such as financial incentives, non-carbon benefits like the protection of biodiversity, increased participation in forest management, and the development of non-forest related livelihood options and plantations are in the focus of the initiative.
2. Build capacity of different stakeholders for the implementation of REDD+ at different levels.
Currently, all partner countries are in the REDD readiness phase, working on establishing National Strategy/Action Plans, National Forest Monitoring Systems, Forest Reference/Emission Levels, Monitoring Reporting and Verification, and Safeguard Information Systems at different levels. On the community level, capacity building mainly focuses on the communication of good forest management principles and practices involving institutions such as community forest user groups in Nepal and India. Beyond that, government officials, researchers, and practitioners are being trained in establishing REDD+ desks at sub-national levels. Trainings in safeguards, in approaches such as free prior informed consent (FPIC) or monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV), as well as on remote sensing (RS) and the geographic information system (GIS) ensure the capacity development of the different types of stakeholders.
3. Support partners in developing methods for the calculation, modeling, and forecasting of forest carbon
Partner institutions and countries receive conceptual and operational assistance by the initiative. Bhutan, for example, has developed an allometry equation of Himalayan tree species, and Nepal is working on developing a forest reference level at the national level.
4. Establish regional cooperation through a South-South learning platform to facilitate experience exchange between partner countries, and enhance REDD+ implementation capacity in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH)
Besides the establishment of extensive regional networks and the facilitation of workshops and meetings concerning a diverse set of topics, regional cooperation in sharing and learning related to different technical aspects of REDD is being carried out per the need of the RMCs.