By Elsie G. Attafuah, Senior Regional Technical Advisor, REDD+

 

The UN-REDD Programme has supported Zambia’s REDD+ related activities since 2010. This has included strategic policy and technical support for analysis of drivers of deforestation and degradation; assessment of financing, incentives and benefit sharing opportunities; review of policy, legal and regulatory frameworks; capacity building of relevant actors and sectors in REDD+ processes; and stakeholder engagement. This support helped to realize the development of Zambia’s National REDD+ Strategy which has been endorsed at the highest ministerial level of government.Zambia has also become one of the first African countries to submit its forest reference emission level to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); developed a measurement, reporting and verification system; and established a country approach to addressing and respecting safeguards.

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On the heels of these significant achievements, the question now being addressed by Zambia is, “how does the country transition from readiness to implementation in a systematic and strategic manner, and how can it fill in the missing gap of investments into REDD+?”.

In this regard,theUN-REDD Programme has provided technical advice and support to Zambia to secure US$ 40 million in funding from the BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (BioCF) leading to the development of the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Program (ZILF-P). ZILF-P also integrates additional US$ 9 million in financing from Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and builds on the US$ 14 million USAID-supported jurisdictional REDD+ programme in the Eastern Province. ZILF-P aims to achieve an average emissions reduction of 3.5 million tCO2e/year (35 million tCO2e in total) in addition to other co-benefits. ZILF-P benefits from REDD+ readiness activities in place at the country-level by the UN-REDD Programme.

Therefore, by building on the foundation laid through UN-REDD Programme support, including partnership brokering, Zambia has mobilized and leveraged approximately US$ 80 million from the Biocarbon Fund, the GEF, the Government of Finland and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). 

Janet the minister and Elsie rt sm

In addition to the above, the UN-REDD Programme is supporting the Government of Zambia’s coordinated approach on REDD+ in the country leading to Zambia’s REDD+ Investment Plan development – in joint partnership with the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) – perhaps the first of its kind to be developed jointly by the two programmes. In February 2016, a joint mission was conducted by the UN-REDD Programme and the FIP to Zambia, during which both technical discussions with the government and stakeholder meetings were held to inform the design of the REDD+ Investment Plan. As an outcome, the UN-REDD Programme and the multilateral development banks supporting FIP, notably the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation, have developed a joint work plan and budget to coordinate and integrate resources towards the REDD+ Investment Plan as well as to develop a common conceptual and analytical approach for the Investment Plan development. A follow-up joint mission is planned for June 2016.

It is expected that the joint development of the REDD+ Investment Plan by the UN-REDD Programme and FIP will not only be seen as unique in nature but lay a solid foundation for additional investments into REDD+ and concurrently position the country to attract potential results-based finance.