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Action

Linking REDD+ and FLEGT at provincial level

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The EU REDD Facility strengthens the capacity and role of REDD+ focal points and supports their activities in promoting synergies between FLEGT and REDD+. This project supports the decentralisation of the REDD+ process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Key facts

  • Year: 2013-2015
  • Location: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Partners: National REDD+ Coordination (CN REDD), Technical Commission for FLEGT (CT FLEGT), National and provincial environment ministries
  • Budget: € 200 000
  • Funded by: European Union

The objective

The aim of this project is to support the decentralisation of the REDD+ process by building the capacity of REDD+ focal points in provinces to promote synergies between FLEGT and REDD+ at provincial level.

The challenge

REDD+ provincial focal points in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are in a unique position to participate in the rollout and implementation of the National REDD+ Strategy. The focal points play important roles in elaborating provincial strategies for REDD+, coordinating REDD+ projects, disseminating and communicating information, building the capacity of provincial stakeholders and informing national processes of challenges on the ground.

The decentralisation of the REDD+ process by building the capacity of REDD+ focal point in provinces promote synergies between FLEGT and REDD+ at provincial level

Source: EFI

Source: EFI

The contract renewals of five REDD+ provincial focal points in 2013 provided an opportunity to adjust their mandate to include promoting synergies between REDD+ and FLEGT. By providing technical input on implementing forest law at provincial level, fostering better forest governance and stemming illegal logging, REDD+ provincial focal points contribute to developing synergies between FLEGT and REDD+. But REDD+ focal points need adequate tools and support to realise those synergies.

With the launch of the Mai Ndombe Emissions Reduction Programme, Africa’s first jurisdictional REDD+ initiative, the Democratic Republic of the Congo moves into the investment phase of REDD+. This means that stakeholders at provincial and local level need to be clear about the institutional arrangements and their involvement. The REDD+ provincial focal points play an important role in preparing stakeholders to take part in the Mai Ndombe Emissions Reduction Programme.

Testimony from the Bandundu REDD+ focal point

Bandundu (DRC) is a province in which many REDD+ projects are being developed but where local communities, indigenous people and even the provincial administration do not have enough information. Therefore, with financial and technical support from the European Forest Institute (EFI) and technical support from the National REDD+ Coordination, we organised the REDD+ provincial university in Bandundu, the first time such an event has been held in the province. The REDD+ provincial university brought together, directly in the field, all REDD+ project developers in Bandundu, the provincial administration and delegates from all territories in the province, for discussion and to exchange experiences. Among the achievements of this REDD+ provincial university was that REDD+ project developers in Bandundu were able to share information with various REDD+ stakeholders. Delegates of local communities, on their return from the university, held debriefings in village squares in local languages, to provide villagers with information on REDD+ projects and the process itself. In the future, we wish to form community networks to continue to explain REDD+ in villages in local languages. In order to simplify the message about REDD+, it needs to be brought out of air-conditioned offices right into village squares.

Jean-Jacques Bambuta, REDD+ expert in Bandundu, DRC

The approach

The objectives of the EU REDD Facility in this project are to support on-the-ground activities to enhance the role and participation of provincial stakeholders and to test policy ideas against field realities. To date this has involved:

  • Collaborating with the National REDD+ Coordination (CN REDD) and the Technical Commission for FLEGT (CT FLEGT) to organise a workshop for REDD+ provincial focal points and provincial environmental coordinators to exchange experiences and receive training on the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process and links with REDD+
  • Facilitating interactions between REDD+ focal points and the development of annual work plans, stakeholder maps and communication activities
  • Testing interactions between REDD+ and FLEGT processes at provincial level
Jean-Jacques Bambuta, REDD+ expert in Bandundu

Jean-Jacques Bambuta, REDD+ expert in Bandundu

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Source: EU REDD Facility

Jean-Jacques Bambuta, REDD+ expert in Bandundu

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Source: EU REDD Facility

Results and impact

Results

  • The project trained REDD+ provincial focal points on REDD+ and FLEGT, and supported the definition of activities at provincial level benefiting the two processes
  • The project supported the Bandundu provincial REDD+ University 28 April-2 May 2014 in Bandundu-ville, the first event of its kind, attended by more than 100 local stakeholders
  • The Bandundu provincial REDD+ University was the first opportunity for REDD+ project developers to present projects to provincial stakeholders and for the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to officially introduce the Mai Ndombe Emissions Reduction Programme

Impact

  • More than 100 local stakeholders learned about and discussed REDD+ projects, FLEGT, illegal logging, transparency and stakeholder participation at the Bandundu provincial REDD+ University
  • The Bandundu provincial REDD+ University helped stakeholders to develop a better understanding of provincial involvement in the VPA process and to identify potential solutions to mobilise the provincial participation required for an implementable agreement
  • The Bandundu provincial REDD+ University, selected by the US Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) as an innovative action for REDD+ implementation and presented in the Innovation Alley session at the 2014 CBFP meeting in Brazzaville, is a successful model for future such events
  • The Bandundu provincial REDD+ University enabled the CN REDD to gather important information for consultations on the Mai Ndombe Emissions Reduction Programme
  • Follow-up activities planned include organising a training workshop for REDD+ provincial focal points and provincial environmental coordinators on artisanal logging and providing support for the Oriental Province REDD+ University to be held in late 2015

About the authors

Adeline Dontenville EU REDD Facility

Contact:  adeline.dontenville@efi.int