Paraguay has experienced important changes in its forest cover over the last several decades that are mainly due to land use change. Forest cover in the eastern region has been reduced from 55 per cent of the surface area in the 1940s to 24 per cent in the 2000s, eliminating some 6.7 million hectares of forest. The National Programme for Paraguay will support the government in its efforts to overcome the drivers of deforestation and degradation of forests, ensuring that the country is ready for REDD+.
Paraguay will pursue three outcomes to meet this objective:
Improved institutional and technical capacity of government and civil society organizations to manage REDD+ activities in Paraguay
Capacity established to implement REDD+ at the local level
Increased knowledge and capacity building on REDD+ for forest dependent communities, especially indigenous peoples and other relevant stakeholders
Progress against the Warsaw Framework for REDD+
Complementary to Paraguay’s NP, approved in 2011, targeted support was provided to the development of the NFMS web dissemination platform. The country is also one of the pilot countries of the CBR+ initiative.
National REDD+ Strategy/Action Plan
In 2015, the NP supported the formulation of a preliminary draft of the National REDD+ Strategy (NRS), which is linked to the 2030 National Development Plan for Paraguay. The NRS takes into account results from a number of different studies including the direct and indirect drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. These studies have also identified further actions and activities that will need to be completed and incorporated into the NRS (e.g. incorporation of the private sector). A final consultation and validation process including additional sectoral stakeholders will be initiated in 2016.
National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS)
In 2015, Paraguay has made good progress in defining the design of the NFMS with support from the NP. Achievements include the development of a management framework for the design and implementation process as well as a strategy to expand work on the National Forest Inventory (NFI), the National GHG inventory and the national satellite systems. It should me mentioned that there are little financial resources available at this point to institutionalize the inventories and services mentioned above. In the past, targeted support was provided which led to enhanced capacity on development of methodologies and techniques for mapping forest coverage and forest cover changes tailored to the country’s national situation and built on existing remote satellite data, technology and cartography in the country and using free and open source tools. The national web portal for the dissemination of the geospatial data is fully operational.
Forest Reference Emission Level / Forest Reference Level (FREL/FRL)
Supported by the NP, Paraguay completed a draft FREL in 2015, which was validated by national authorities and the national REDD+ technical team (ETN). The proposed FREL is in line with the National GHG inventory for the LULUCF sector, and will be submitted to the UNFCCC in January 2016. The completion of this pillar of the Warsaw Framework is a renewed commitment to the REDD+ process in the country.
Safeguards and Safeguards Information System (SIS)
During the reporting period, the NP supported Paraguay in the development of a roadmap outlining the design of the SIS. The roadmap was shared and explained to all relevant stakeholders; however some challenges emerged in the understanding of what was required to identify safeguard related activities in the country. Focus on the SIS in 2015 has been on setting up key working groups that are familiar with REDD+ related issues including a working group specifically on safeguards which was established within the national technical team for the NP. The working group has received significant support from the NP and associated UN agencies to facilitate a process of consultative discussion for all stakeholders.
In addition, following Paraguay’s CBR+ Country Plan approval, stakeholder consultations, trainings on proposal writing and other capacity-building activities for 47 communities, and the call for proposals, 13 CBR+ projects were selected by the CBR+ National Steering Committee. This first round of CBR+ projects includes activities to support sustainable agroforestry initiatives; community restoration of degraded forests; and strengthening of indigenous organizations to participate in REDD+. Once grants are disbursed, at least three participatory workshops are planned with the beneficiary organizations to monitor their projects and provide feedback and ongoing support.