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With the mandate of ensuring the full and active engagement of national Ethnic Minorities (EMs)/Indigenous People (IP) institutions and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the programme management structures, UN-REDD Bangladesh National Programme facilitated back to back meetings with the respective representative institutions on 22 - 23 March 2016.The management structures targeted are - the Programme Executive Board (PEB) and the REDD Stakeholder Forum (RSF), a proposed national multi-stakeholder platform.

bangladeshThe EM/IP meeting on 22 March 2016 was graced by the Chakma Circle Chief and self-selected focal point for EM/IP on REDD+ in Bangladesh, Barrister Raja Devasish Roy and representatives of EM/IP organizations from different parts of the country. Ms. Pauline Tamesis, Country Director of UNDP Bangladesh, welcome the EM/IP participants to select organizations that can raise voice of majorities and minorities in policies and procedures to be developed under thepreparatory phase of REDD+ implementation. In her welcome remarks she highlighted “It is the communities who are affected the most and therefore, policies designed should involve their input. So, the selection of IP/EM representative institutions in the PEB is one of the mandates of the NP”. Raja Devasish Roy emphasized on a win-win approach where the interest of forest dependent communities and EM/IP will be preserved through formulating and amending forest governance laws and policies.

Mr. Nick Beresford, Deputy Country Director, represented UNDP Bangladesh at the CSOs meeting on 23 March 2016. He pointed out that the success of UN-REDD Programme is the political weight it coalesces from different actors globally, regionally and nationally. On behalf of the implementing agency, Mr. Rakibul Hasan Mukul, Assistant Chief Conservator of Forests, Forest Department and National Programme Director (NPD) of the UN-REDD Bangladesh National Programme welcomed the participants to both events and expressed willingness of the Department to closely work together towards having green coverage in the country’s forested areas. Mr. Md. Mozaharul Islam, Conservator of Forests, Administration and Finance,Forest Department and REDD+ Focal Point in Bangladesh joined both events and provided historical context and development of REDD+ internationally and in Bangladesh.

The selection criteria for representatives from EM/IP institutions and CSOs are: a) National-level CSO and IP/EM representative organizations; b) National network(s) with effective and functional mechanisms to share information; enable consultations and solicit feedback; c) Time commitment because the role as PEB members is voluntary. 

Addressing these criteria, the selected EM/IP representative institutions are Mr Goutam Dewan, Ex-chair of Rangamati Hill District (Member) and Mr Shaktipada Tripura, Bangladesh Adivasi Forum (Alternate). Additionally, the EM/IP also identified Mr Ajay A Mree, Chair Adivasi Cultural Development Forum and Mr Gidison Pradhan, Member, BIPNet and Greater Sylhet Indigenous Peoples’ Forum as members of the RSF.

Arannayk Foundation represented by its Executive Director, Dr. Farid Uddin Ahmed, was selected unanimously to represent the CSOs. The CSO meeting participants referredto the Foundation’s ability to ensure representation of key forest based local organisations, notably, Co-management committees/councils (CMC). Ms. Celina Yong, UN-REDD Asia Pacific Regional Stakeholder Engagement Specialist, led the mission with Mr. Tek Vannara, the CSO representative for the Asia-Pacific region in the UN-REDD Policy Board. 

 

Read original article via UNDP here.

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