Africa is mobilizing in Kinshasa around the theme “Model Forests and REDD+ Local Implementation Strategies in the Congo Basin”
The final report of the AMFN on "Model Forests and REDD+ Local Implementation Strategies in the Congo Basin" is now available HERE
Participants were enlightened with over 25 communications on various aspects of REDD+ in its interface with Model Forests. At the end, participants formulated 12 pertinent recommendations concerning “land tenure, Indigenous People, building technical and institutional capacities, valorizing Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP), valorizing fast-growing forest tree species, managing REDD-related uncertainties and risks, capitalizing workshop results”.
23 to 25 February 2011, RAFM Secretariat, supported by the Canadian Government and UN-REDD and FOGRN-BC, organized at Invest de Presse in Kinshasa, a regional information and communication workshop on Model Forests and local REDD+ implementation in the Congo Basin. This event, placed under the patronage of the Minister for the Environment, Conservation of the Nature and Tourism, COMIFAC serving President, gathered over 80 participants including REDD+ and Model Forest experts and other institutional actors: public administrations and institutions, university scholars in charge of scientific research, the Forest Industry Federation of DRC, civil society organizations, the Great customary Chief Ma-Tsundi representing North Kivu local communities and Indigenous People. Also attending was the North Kivu Provincial Minister for the Environment and the President of Bas-Congo Provincial Assembly.
For three days, experts from the DRC (host country), Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, CAR, Senegal, Kenya, Gabon, and Canada, led thinking over REDD+ and the best approach for its implementation in Model Forests and other forest landscape in the Congo Basin. About 25 communications were thus delivered on four main themes: i) REDD+ foundations and Strategies; ii) its understanding; iii) Model Forest process in the world and iv) REDD+ implementation at local level. Small expert Buzz Groups, panels and round-tables enlivened exchanges and enabled participants to draw lessons from communications and at the close of the day respectively.
Participants were enlightened with over 25 communications on various aspects of REDD+ in its interface with Model Forests. In terms of sustainable development implementation at local level, they pointed out REDD+ challenges and perspectives with regards to its implementation in Model Forests. They also communicated on the impact of climate change and opportunities offered by REDD+. In the same line, they examined the relevance of CLIP (Free, Informed and Prior Consent) for the respect of the natural dynamics of Indigenous People and other forest-dependent communities (customs, practices and life style), the clear, prior, transparent and coherent dissemination of information at all social levels. Moreover, they evaluated the risks, uncertainties and opportunities related to REDD+ local implementation; establish the difference between adaptation and mitigation and understood the stakes of climate, on adaptation and mitigation.
They noted that the concept of model forests refers to a “voluntary partnership between local development actors for the implementation of sustainable development, integrated development and good practices on an institutional forest territory”. It was reminded that Model Forests remain a tool for local governance, sustainable development, integrated development and “good practice” for the management of a diversity of values on a forest territory. The dialogue and inter-partner synergy framework at the centre of Model Forests make it a mine for capacities and initiatives development in terms of alternative projects.
Communications and debates emphasized the major concerns of participants, thus identifying clues to REDD+ success at local level:
♦Commitment of the civil society to which aspect and what for?
♦Need for involving local communities and Indigenous People at all the stages of this process;
♦Accompaniment by the facilitation of CBFP partners involved in negotiations on climate, including REDD+;
♦The problem of property in relation to carbon market;
♦The putting in place of REDD+ provincial coordinations;
♦The reference scenario and the basis of the compensation process;
♦Matters relating to mines in carbon credit markets;
♦Using carbon benefits for poverty eradication and food security;
♦Strategic evaluation of risks and opportunities related to REDD+ strategy;
♦Taking animal biomass into consideration in carbon sequestration approach.
At the end of the workshop, the following actions were recommended:
♦ To clarify tenure over trees and land;
♦ To involve local communities and Indigenous People at all stages in order to mitigate existing conflict
♦ To talk of REDD+ with a simplified terminology in order to disseminate the local plan message;
♦To build the technical and institutional capacities (transparency in the public management system to fight against corruption) of forestry administrations at national and provincial levels, especially public administration actors who accompany local populations in all ongoing social dynamics (e.g. Community forests) (in DRC, provinces are larger than a great number of African countries. I think one should take into consideration the national level in other countries)
♦To network women organizations involved in the valorization of NTFPs in the sub-region, including those of Model Forest platforms; not forgetting about targeting key NTFPs such as Allanblakia, Gnetum, and gum Arabic.
♦To create mechanisms for the valorization of adaptation and mitigation endogenous knowledge concerning climate change;
♦To help farmers in valorizing fast-growing and multipurpose forest and agro-forestry tree species such as Moringa Oleifera to control destructive farming practices (N.B. Moringa is sometimes used as an agro-forest tree/bush).
♦To foster efforts for the information and development of organizational capacities of stakeholders in view of the implementation of REDD in Model Forests;
♦To innovate in the management of REDD related uncertainties and risks in order to mobilize the countries concerned by REDD+ initiative;
♦To invest in mitigation and adaptation activities in order to improve agro-pastoral production systems.
♦To establish a commission to examine all the problems identified;
♦To present the results of the workshop at the next Regional Consultative Committee meeting for CBFP partners.
First left: Participants captivated by the exposés - Photograph by Patrick Nyemeck
Second right: Group Photograph - Photographer: Patrick Nyemeck
♦Julie Gagoé (Partnership Development and Follow-up agent at the Secretary of the African Model Forest Network)
♦Théophile Bouki (Consultant at the Secretariat)
♦Dr Dany Dogmo Pokem (Communication officer for the Congo Basin Forest Partnership).
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