The government of Ethiopia and the UN-REDD Programme have joined forces to support the region of Benishangul Gumuz to benefit from REDD+. On 2 September 2015, the regional authorities in the region's capital, Asosa, hosted a REDD+ inception workshop with the aim of building capacities and getting ready for REDD+.

Through targeted support, the UN-REDD Programme supports the region and the federal government to enter the REDD+ mechanism under the UNFCCC which means strengthening the coordination with the national REDD+ process and architecture to provide local experience and perspective, and to rely on centralized capacities and instruments to monitor forests and activities, formulate a forest reference level, implement safeguards, and eventually access and redistribute result-based payments. At the regional level, the focus is on a) building stakeholders’ awareness and capacity through a participatory and transparent process to understand the drivers of deforestation, b) designing policies and measures to tackle deforestation and c) enhancing forest carbon removals. Equally essential is the focus on strengthening the coordination of the national REDD+ process whilst relying on centralized capacities and instruments to monitor forests and activities.

Benishangul Gumuz is a 50.000 square kilometer region of Ethiopia, the size of countries like Slovakia or Costa-Rica. It stretches along the border with Sudan with 50% of the region covered with dry forest and woodland that produces the world famous Boswellia incense and offers a natural barrier to the Sahara desert. The livelihoods of almost 1 million inhabitants of this region derives from small-scale agriculture. Deforestation is low, an annual average of 0,13%, but increasing threats are apparent, notably as agricultural expansion is a key pillar of national development strategy, and the region offers large and low density land areas for industrial agriculture.

 

 

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