Workshop in DRC fosters interactions on REDD+ and FLEGT at provincial level

The national REDD+ coordinating body (CN REDD), the technical commission on FLEGT (CT FLEGT) and the EU REDD Facility organised a training workshop in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 29–31 July.

They updated provincial REDD+ focal points and environmental coordinators on REDD+ and key elements of the EU FLEGT Action Plan, including VPAs. REDD+ focal points have been deployed in each of the country's 11 provinces to help implement DRC's National Framework REDD+ Strategy. The focal points are working to support provinces' readiness for REDD+ activities, facilitate stakeholder participation and coordinate pilot activities.

During the workshop, REDD+ focal points and environment coordinators gave joint presentations on their main forest governance challenges, the activities being supported and their anticipated needs. During group sessions, participants discussed topics common to the two initiatives: informal logging, land-use planning, law enforcement, independent monitoring as well as information, education and communication. Participants acknowledged that REDD+ focal points succeeded in positioning themselves as facilitators and key resource persons, advising stakeholders at provincial level on forest governance beyond the REDD+ agenda.

Participants recommended properly equipping REDD+ focal points with the necessary tools to communicate clearly about the EU FLEGT Action Plan and to facilitate information sharing and reforms at provincial level. Some workshop organisers are planning to train them on information, education and communication, on the preparation of provincial communication plans, and on conducting activities to inform provincial stakeholders about REDD+ and FLEGT.