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REDD + implementation rolls out in DRC province

A ‘REDD+ Provincial University' took place in the city of Bandundu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, from 28 April to 2 May 2014. This learning event was the result of collaboration between the REDD+ National Coordination, the provincial REDD+ focal point, the provincial government of Bandundu and the EU REDD Facility. The event brought together 100 participants from Bandundu province including provincial officials, civil society groups, community representatives, indigenous people, loggers, REDD+ project developers and experts from the national capital Kinshasa.

A source of agricultural commodities, timber and fuelwood for Kinshasa, Bandundu province is a severely threatened forest area. The province is the site of the first REDD+ initiatives in DRC, and is scheduled to host the emissions reduction programme under preparation at provincial level in the Mai-Ndombe district.

The ‘REDD+ Provincial University' helped bring stakeholders early information on REDD + and initiate dialogue on topics related to forest governance and land use management. Participants had the opportunity to discuss projects under development, including the Mai-Ndombe emissions reduction programme, challenges around illegal logging in the province, the links between REDD+ and the FLEGT VPA process and the role of stakeholders in REDD+ development.

The ‘REDD+ Provincial University' set the stage for dialogue and cooperation among REDD+ stakeholders in Bandundu. Their concerns will be taken into account in the next phase of the REDD+ programme including the Mai-Ndombe initiative and a plan for communication and informed participation by stakeholders. The rich discussion during the five days of presentations and discussions demonstrated the level of interest in a more sustainable management of forest resources in Bandundu. The REDD+ provincial focal point for Bandundu, Jean-Jacques Bambuta, said, ‘The Mai-Ndombe programme is an opportunity for the province to initiate a model REDD+ pilot enriched with stakeholders' own experience.'

For more information about the REDD+ Provincial University, see the final communiqué in French.