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Four Ministers and high-level representatives from Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda came together to officially launch their National REDD+ Strategies at a COP 23 Side-Event in Bonn on 16th November 2017.

The solidarity and leadership expressed by these three countries through this joint initiative reflect the great strides being made on REDD+ in Africa and the strong co-operation amongst countries over the years.

The session highlighted national REDD+ processes and reaffirmed the political commitment and meaningful partnerships needed to advance REDD+ strategy implementation.  Participants who graced the event included UNDP’s Assistant Secretary-General, Mr. Magdy Martinez-Solimán and other senior management from the UN family, representatives from bilateral and multilateral development agencies, private sector and civil society. The meeting was facilitated by UNDP under the auspices of the UN-REDD programme and in partnership with the FCPF and other key development partners.

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A joint presentation from country representatives demonstrated the accomplishments made towards  robust and comprehensive fulfillment of the Warsaw Framework and the strategic partnerships established with UN-REDD, FCPF, private sector, civil society and key development partners for the effective and sustained implementation of REDD+ activities. The National REDD+ Strategies in Ghana and Uganda, a sub-National REDD+ Strategy in Nigeria’s Cross River State, and a National REDD+ Framework Strategy in Nigeria have been completed. Ghana and Uganda have submitted a Forest Reference Level to the UNFCCC, whilst Nigeria is in the process of submitting theirs.  All three countries have developed a Country Approach to Safeguards and are designing their Safeguards Information Systems, and are also in the process of developing National Forest Monitoring Systems.  As these countries transition towards implementation, the three representatives emphasized the importance of investment programming to make their national REDD+ Strategies operational.

The high-level meeting highlighted four key messages. First, the need to create enabling policy, regulatory and legal conditions, including institutional reforms, to support REDD+ compliant investments and to ensure a smooth transition from readiness to implementation. Second, the importance of incentives, including fiscal incentives, to positively influence behavioural change to address systemic challenges. Third, the need for systematic capacity building programmes as a key element of REDD+ systems, and finally, the importance of mainstreaming REDD+ into national policy, planning, programming and budgetary processes. Country representatives expressed their expectation that these actions will be complemented by South-South co-operation and triangular partnerships to support the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions, of which REDD+ is a key aspect.

Moving forward, these countries will benefit from continued support by key development partners to transition from REDD+ readiness to implementation, notably in the areas of investment planning, partnership building, resource mobilization and technical advisory services. In this regard, UNDP, and indeed, the larger UN-REDD Programme have a role to play to build on and consolidate the gains in these countries. 

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