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The REDD+ Day at the Rio Conventions Pavilion brought together panelists from eight UN-REDD Programme partner countries, along with representatives from UN agencies, civil society and the private sector to explore country approaches to REDD+ safeguards and UN-REDD Programme perspectives on economics and finance.

Most audience participants came from indigenous communities, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions, which provided an ideal opportunity to discuss and elaborate on the inclusive and participatory nature of REDD+ and the UN-REDD Programme.

 

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Photo: IISD (L-R: Novia Widyaningtyas, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia; Deuteronomy Kasaro
Ministry of Development Planning, Zambia; Rubin Rashidi, National REDD+ Coordinator, Democratic Republic of Congo; 
Robert Chimambo
, Africa Representative, UN-REDD 
Policy Board; and, Jaime Webbe, UNEP / UN-REDD Programme)

 

Discussions on country approaches to safeguards, and the development of safeguards information systems (SIS), were informed by examples from Costa Rica, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Peru and Zambia. This highlighted UN-REDD Programme support for processes such as stakeholder consultation, technical assessments, and SIS design that ensures REDD+ actions, among other things, respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.

Discussions among participants led to agreement that the development of country approaches to safeguards is a highly iterative and inclusive process, requiring both technical inputs and institutional capacities. Challenges identified by panelists and the audience alike included: aligning safeguards with national REDD+ strategies or plans; gathering safeguards information; and overcoming technology and capacity limitations. Participants also exposed the challenges and opportunities associated with making a SIS accessible and relevant for local communities.

Sessions on the economic rationale for REDD+, mapping REDD+ benefits, and innovative sources for REDD+ financing discussed the business case for REDD+, identified the scope for multiple benefits, and elaborated some options for financing. To illustrate the type of support provided by the UN-REDD Programme, cases were presented from Cambodia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, the Republic of Congo and Uganda.

These sessions revealed that there is an increased understanding that in addition to predictable, long-term and sufficient public funding for REDD+ results-based finance, there is a need to better align such financing efforts with private sector commitments to decouple production from forest impacts.  Discussions also called for better compatibility with potential fiscal incentives. When presenting on spatial information on the costs and benefits of REDD+ activities, the range of issues discussed included green bonds and the consideration of forests as living ecosystems, the importance of smallholder engagement in REDD+, the practical implications of opportunity cost information, and the value of indigenous tree species.

The Rio Conventions Pavilion was hosted by the Secretariats of the Rio Conventions and the Global Environment Facility, and took place from 30 November to 11 December 2015, in Paris, France. The REDD+ Day was convened 7 December 2015.

Presentations from the event can be found here.

Photos from the day can be found here.

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