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REDD+ Piloting Project for Developing Benefit Sharing Mechanism: Learning from Nepal and Paraguay

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September 6, 2016

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K. B. Darjee,   M. Y. Perdomo,J. Pretzsch

 The Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Institute of International

Forestry and Forest Products, Tharandt, Germany

darjeekb@gmail.com, titaperdomo@hotmail.com

ABSTRACT

The United Nations Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program (REDD) has been central to discussions of global and national atmospheric carbon mitigation strategies. There is growing optimism at local, national and international levels that REDD+ has become a means to enhance forest governance while it is being advanced as a cost-effective solution to climate change mitigation. The plethora of views indicate that REDD+ can bring both opportunities and challenges to forest governance depending on its nature of design, complexity of management regimes, expected multiplicity of key stakeholders such as indigenous peoples, socially and economically marginalized, women and poor households, and private sector. A REDD+ framework is required to adhere to international principles and standards on Green House Gas (GHG) measurement and accounting to ensure environmental integrity and real climate change mitigation. This paper examines implications of REDD+ initiative in forest governance from a REDD+ pilot being undertaken in Nepal’s CF regimes and UN REDD piloting program in Paraguay focusing on participation of stakeholders at local and national level and assess the equitable benefit sharing mechanism. Landscape management approach initiated by the project in Nepal has provided with multiple choices of ecosystem service bundling in all land use systems. It also leads to reduced transaction and monitoring costs and mitigate inter group conflicts on leakage and benefit sharing. In Nepal it seems more progressive as the entire community people of community forestry user groups and civil society organizations are involvedpolicy discussion from local to national level. Most importantly, a portion ofcarbon Funding is provisioned directly going to the community under REDD+ mechanism. Unlike the REDD+ in Paraguay, more government is dominating the policy process.Participation of civil society seems nominal in institutional as well as operational structures. Community people who pay more attention to conserving the forest are not getting any financial incentives from the REDDin Paraguay.

 

Keywords:Governance, Benefit sharing, Forest Carbon Trust Fund, Community Forestry, National Forest, Decision making

 

1. INTRODUCTION

The United Nations Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program (REDD) has been central to discussions of global and national atmospheric carbon mitigation strategies (Seymour 2008). It is an economic incentive mechanism for conservation and management of forests (Acharya et al. 2009; Karky and Rana 2011; Khatri 2012; Suzuki 2012) to reduce atmospheric carbon emissions. REDD+ has the potential to contribute not only to climate change mitigation but also to development, including poverty reduction (Angelsen 2008; Suzuki 2012).

 

As signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, many countries in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region, including Nepal, have initiated REDD+ policy processes through the implementation of projects, such as piloting a REDD+ payment mechanism (see ICIMOD 2011) and conducting field studies on the drivers of deforestation and institutional governance (Lamsal and Bhandary 2009; MFSC 2011; Paudel et al. 2013).

 

There is growing optimism at local, national and international level that REDD+ has become a means to enhance the forest governance while it is being advanced as cost-effective solution to climate change mitigation.Wollenberg and Baginski (2010) argue that REDD+ represents unprecedented opportunities to enhance forest governance and augment sustainable forest conservation. However, Cotula and Mayers (2009) claim that REDD+ implementation without securing land tenure and resource rights may further complicate the forest governance. According to Karkyet al. (2009), carbon ownership is prerequisite for carbon market including REDD+ in community forestry (CF) in Nepal. The plethora of views indicate that REDD+ can bring both opportunities and challenges to forest governance depending on its nature of design, complexity of management regimes, expected multiplicity of key stakeholders such as indigenous peoples, socially and economically marginalized, women and poor households, and private sector.

 

The goal of a piloting of REDD+ was to provide financial incentives to Community Forestry User Groups (CFUGs) to continue and enhance their work of improving the condition of their forests so as to lock up more carbon. This initiative was carried out by CFUGs at the watershed level to promote coordination and to limit transaction and monitoring costs. The overall objective was to inform Nepalese policy-makers about how to implement REDD+ payments in setting up a nation-wide forest carbon fund (Rana et al. 2012).

 

A pilot forest carbon trust fund was set up in 2010; it directs REDD+ payments to forest user groups in watersheds in three districts of Nepal’s middle hills. The trust fund and the associated work of establishing a governance framework for the REDD+ payments is financed by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and implemented by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in partnership with the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN) — an umbrella network of community forestry user groups (CFUGs) in Nepal — and the Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bio-resources (ANSAB).

 

In Paraguay, since late 2008, when the UN-REDD Program was launched in Paraguay, the Secretariat for the Environment (SEAM), the National Forestry Institute (INFONA), FAO, UNDP, and UNEP have been working closely with the Coordinating Federation for the Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples (FAPI) and other civil society organizations to develop a proposal for a national capacity building REDD+ program in Paraguay.

 

2. OBJECTIVES

This seminar paper has two main objectives:

  • —  To explore REDD+ benefit sharing mechanisms piloted  in Nepal and Paraguay
  • —  To compare briefly the governance system in the benefit sharing in the two countries under REDD+ piloting scheme

3. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK AND METHOD

3.1. Guiding Principles for developing REDD+ framework

 

A REDD+ framework is required to adhere to international principles and standards on Green House Gas (GHG) measurement and accounting to ensure environmental integrity and real climate change mitigation. These principles need the GHG benefits to be real, measurable, consistent, accurate, conservative and independently verifiable (IPCC 2006).

 

  • Environmental integrity and social credibility: The environmental integrity of REDD+ projects shall be demonstrated by results-based actions that lead to GHG emission reductions. These are real, measurable, consistently monitored and independently verified. The social credibility of the action shall be guaranteed by directing a significant portion of REDD+ funds to communities, including indigenous people, women and marginalized segments and thereby improving their living standards.

 

  • Community engagement and participation: Community shall be involved from the beginning. They will participate and play a pivotal role in REDD+ activity design, implementation, monitoring and reporting, as well as equitable benefit sharing.

 

  • Transparency: Project information and data maintained at all levels shall be freely accessible and available to all interested parties. The relevant documentation of the project including the project design document, monitoring report, validation and verification report will be available via the website, and the National GHG Registry will be maintained in the public domain without restriction.

 

  • Effective communication and coordination: Effective communication and coordination between stake- holders shall be ensured by establishing institutional partnerships to collaborate on REDD+ activity design, implementation and MRV.

 

  • Cost effectiveness and efficiency: MRV’s cost effectiveness and efficiency shall be achieved as institutions internalize the MRV system, engage communities, governmental and non-governmental organizations and utilize their institutional and technical capabilities.

 

  • Flexibility to adapt to the country’s political structure: This REDD+ framework can be adopted to meet the changing post-federalization political structures in Nepal.

 

3.2. Governance in REDD+

 

There is growing optimism at local, national and international level that REDD+ has become a means to enhance the forest governance while it is being advanced as cost-effective solution to climate change mitigation. Baginski and Wollenberg (2010) argue that REDD+ represents unprecedented opportunities to enhance forest governance and augment sustainable forest conservation.

 

Rana et al.(2012) explain REDD+ limits to forest land use system for climate change mitigation and its governance and safeguards requirements are being discussed at international level. The way how REDD+ member countries adjust to these pre-conditions would determine the degree of contradiction with current forest management policies and institutional arrangements on resource governance. However, common connotation on REDD+ is that it should be country-driven and be customized to national socio-economic development frameworks and political contexts without deviating from its central concept of result based forest management through incentive mechanism. However dimensions of inclusion, equity, participation, land tenure, transparency, benefit sharing and secure social and environmental rights are basic foundations of forest governance required for REDD+. Therefore, successful REDD+ can prove a milestone to strengthen and refine institutional and policy reformation processes thereby transforming forest governance system.

3.3. Benefit Sharing

 

Benefit sharing systems have been developed across the natural resources (NR) sector, and are relatively common for resources such as oil, gas, water, and forests. In order to understand the implications of benefit sharing systems in REDD+ it is important to understand who the actors involved are––that means, who arethe benefits shared amongand who is eligible to receive benefits? It is alsoimportant to understand what role differentactors play in benefit sharing systems, forexample in terms of who is making decisionsabout how sharing occurs. These will vary considerably between schemes, but some of the key categories and their characteristics are listed below (Peskett, 2011).

Table 1: Actors’ types and their main functions

Table 1: Actors’ types and their main functions

In Nepal, all CFUGs in the REDD+ payment pilot watershedswere involved in the operation and mobilization of theForest Carbon Trust Fund (FCTF) in the form of seedgrants. The seed grant in the REDD+ payment pilotproject refers to the amount of REDD+ grant moneyallocated to the CFUGs working to enhance and monitorforest carbon. The grant is spent on activities related toforest management and livelihood improvement (ICIMOD 2011).

 

In this context, this paper attempts to assess implications for REDD+ initiative in forest governance by reviewing and observing the experiences, lessons and reflections from a REDD+ pilot being undertaken in Nepal’s CF regimes and UN REDD piloting program in Paraguay focusing on participation of stakeholders at local and national level and assess the equitable benefit sharing mechanism focusing on how fund is distributed and spent by the beneficiaries- particularly on community groups and individuals and to focus uponthe benefit distribution to poor, women, indigenous nationalities and socially/economically marginalized segments.

 

The main research methods of this paper were descriptive analysis based on existing research papers and analytical approach when discussing about piloting projects for REDD+ benefit sharing mechanism development of community based forest management system in Nepal and Paraguay. However, to some extent, some personal experiences of field visit during the project implementation period also contribute to this paper. It comparesgovernance and benefit sharing mechanism of REDD+ project piloted in two countries-Nepal and Paraguay.

 

4. CASE STUDY ONE: REDD+ IN NEPAL

4.1. Basic information of country

 

Nepal has high geographical and ecological diversity with an area of 147,181 square kilometer. The country can be divided into three geographical regions -the mountains (19 percent), hills (64 percent) and Terai (17 percent). It has over 118 ecosystem types and 35 forest types with associated flora and fauna (GoN 2002:3). According to the forest inventory (DFRS 1999), forests make up about 29 percent of Nepal’s total area and shrub land another 11 percent. Agricultural land makes up 21 percent, non-cultivated land 7 percent and grassland 12 percent. The remainder (20 percent) includes the Himalayas, barren rocks, rivers and roads (CBS 2008).

 

In 2009 the first initiative to test the REDD+ approach in the Himalayan Hindu Kush region was launched in Nepal. This pilot project involves local communities in monitoring the carbon in their forests and rewards them for the extra carbon sequestered in their forests. It also incorporates features that direct the REDD+ payments to poor and marginalized forest users. The initiative is showing considerable promise as a way of providing incentives for local communities to build up the carbon in their forests and thus reduce levels of carbon dioxide (Rana et al. 2012).

The goal of a piloting of REDD+ was to provide financial incentives to CFUGs to continue and enhance their work of improving the condition of their forests so as to lock up more carbon. This initiative was carried out by CFUGs at the watershed level to promote coordination and to limit transaction and monitoring costs. The overall objective was to inform Nepalese policy-makers about how to implement REDD+ payments in setting up a nation-wide forest carbon fund (Rana et al. 2012).

 

A pilot forest carbon trust fund was set up in 2010; it directs REDD+ payments to forest user groups in watersheds in three districts of Nepal’s middle hills. The trust fund and the associated work of establishing a governance framework for the REDD+ payments is financed by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and implemented by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in partnership with the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN) — an umbrella network of community forestry user groups (CFUGs) in Nepal — and the Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bio-resources (ANSAB).

4.2. REDD+ governance

 

The project implements a wider set of demonstrational REDD+ activities in CF system – a successful participatory approach among other community based forest management (CBFM) systems in Nepal to restore the degraded forests. The project develops REDD+ payment governance in CF seeking equitable benefit sharing and its implication to the forest governance through operationalisation of multi-stakeholder pilot forest carbon trust fund (FCTF) at central and local level.

Figure 1: A schematic diagram revealing structure and system of Pilot Forest Carbon Trust Fund

Figure 1: A schematic diagram revealing structure and system of Pilot Forest Carbon Trust Fund

Note: Bold lines represent REDD+ payments and dotted line represents report, data and information

The above approach of benefit sharing poses a variety of forest governance issues. Viewing to demonstrate the distribution of REDD+ benefits from central to the local communities, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) REDD+ project designed pilot Forest Carbon Trust Fund (FCTF) which is governed by trust fund advisory committee (TFAC) at the national and district levels. Advisory committee is an inclusive structure represents government and civil society. It offers a deliberative platform to the multiple forest stakeholders for decision making to operate pilot FCTF.

4.2.1. Advisory committees

 

The fund is governed at the central level by a multi-stakeholder Trust Fund Advisory Committee and at the watershed level by advisory committees of watershed-level stakeholders. The central advisory committee is made up of government and civil societyrepresentatives, including the REDD cell of the Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation(MFSC), the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN), the Dalit NGOFederation, the Himawanti Nepal women’s Network and FECOFUN. This body is responsible for overall decision-making about the trust fund and REDD+ payments.

4.2.2. Advisory committee at district level

 

Advisory committee at district level constitutes the district forest authority, district development committee (DDC), and indigenous people’s (IPs) organizations. Committee at both levels meets once in every three months and review REDD+ initiatives and promote inclusive decisions enhancing the local ownership over the REDD+ process. District committee reviews the REDD+ progress and validates the claim invoice of local forest user groups during the meeting and subsequently forwards emerging agenda/issues to national advisory committee. An advisory committee is inclusive bodies formed for the purpose of forest benefit distribution in Nepal that established clear operational relations between local to national institutions. It avoids an unusual hierarchical syndrome in benefit sharing and contributes to shaping of future climate change finance mechanism in Nepal.

4.2.3. Monitoring committees

 

The local level multi-stakeholder monitoring committees oversee the monitoring andfacilitation of user groups in each watershed. These committees assess the CFUG REDDactivities and facilitate the CFUGs for proper utilization of payments.

4.2.4. Watershed REDD+ networks

 

While the advisory committees ensure that procedures are properly followed, three established REDD+ watershed networks provide a platform for forest users to learn about REDD+, share experiences, address issues and conflicts and to ensure that users’ rights are respected. Most importantly, they facilitate collective REDD+ decision-making by stakeholder communities. A representative from each user group attends the monthly Watershed REDD Network meetings. The three networks also inform other stakeholders at the national (FECOFUN), watershed (network members) and community levels (user groups) about the benefits of carbon storage under new global mechanisms for mitigating climate change.

4.2.5. A civil society alliance

 

A civil society alliance has been set up to promote the REDD+ approach, within the project, but mostly in a wider context. The alliance is made up of representatives from women’s, Dalit, indigenous people and community forestry civil society organizations and representatives from the media and natural resource research institutes. Federation of Community Forestry Users’ Nepal (FECOFUN) is the alliance secretariat. It organizes regular meetings where members discuss issues related to forestry, climate change and REDD+ in Nepal. A particular focus of the alliance is to ensure that social and environmental safeguards are observed in order to secure the rights of indigenous and disadvantaged people. On behalf of the alliance, FECOFUN and Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (NEFIN) attend government REDD working group meetings and include the REDD agenda in the national policy process.

4.2.6. Verification agency

 

A monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) framework document has been developed by the project to carry out the REDD+ activities and to regulate the REDD+ payments. The MRV framework document is based on the methodological standards and social and environmental safeguards of the Verified Carbon Standards (VCS) and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS). The independent agency will verify the accuracy of claims in terms of the technical, social and environmental aspects of the operational guidelines of the pilot trust fund and the MRV document.

4.3. Benefits sharing

4.3.1. REDD+ benefit sharing criteria

 

Demonstrational REDD+ payment process starts from CFUGs when they submit claim invoice with the information of forest carbon conservation, and socio-economic vis-a-vis tentative fund utilization plan. Trust fund guidelines take into account the results-based and non-market criteria of REDD+ payment as indicated in Ad hoc Working Group for Long Term Cooperative Actions (AWLCA) draft decision text of CoP17. In this way, 60% of total REDD+ fund is allocated to social and economic aspects that include poor, IPs, Dalits, and women population. Around 50% of amount related to non-market criteria should mandatorily be invested of livelihood improvement of Dalits, poor, IPs and women. CFUGs that disrespect the norms may be disqualified for the next payment (Rana et al. 2012).

Table 2: REDD+ payment criterion

Table 2: REDD+ payment criterion

Source:FCTF, 2011

4.3.2. Deliverables to the community people

Seed grant distribution utilization

For each year NORAD provided US$ 100,000 seed grant for the trust fund. Based onthe claims, a total of $ 95,000 was distributed to the 105 CFUGs. For the first year this ranged from $ 87 forAmalekharka CFUG in Dolakha district to $ 4,264 for Kankali CFUG in Chitwan district of Nepal (Rana et al. 2012).

FECOFUN Annual Report, 2011

FECOFUN Annual Report, 2011

The operational guidelines clearly specify that the REDD+ payments must be spent on nine types of activities; these are related to improving forest condition, promoting sustainable forest management, improving local livelihoods and monitoring forest carbon. Users have to indicate on their claim invoices how and where the payments will be invested

Fish Pond established by Kankali CFUG Photo by Darjee, 2014

Fish Pond established by Kankali CFUG
Photo by Darjee, 2014

CFUGs are spending more than 50% of their REDD+ payments on improving the livelihoods of poor users. Substantial amount has been invested(more than 30%)  to improve the management of their forests by establishing fire breaks to reduce the risk of destructive fires, by promoting the stall feeding of livestock to reduce forest grazing and by installing biogas and improved cook stoves to reduce firewood consumption

Capacity building on forest management such as training,workshop and carbon measurement and monitoring are also very important aspects, where CFUGs expenditure is nearly 12%. The user group that received the largest REDD+ payment (Kankali CFUG) spent most of its money on establishing fish farming for the poorest user group members.

 

Awareness and capacity building

 

Project has experienced that local communities can monitor their forest carbon with proper capacity-building and technical follow-up. Local resource persons (LRPs) are trained and involved in forest carbon monitoring. LRPs are mobilized for tasks such as forest mapping, monitoring and data registry as permanent local human resources at local level. Their active involvement in forest carbon monitoring makes community aware on their standing forest carbon stock. Additionally, engagement of LRP and local communities in forest inventory enhances ownership over carbon monitoring process and outcomes. It further reduces forest carbon monitoring cost.

 

5. CASE STUDY TWO: REDD+ IN PARAGUAY

5.1. Basic information of country

Paraguay has a surface area of 406,752 square kilometer, and a total population of 6,273,103 inhabitants, 58.8 percent of whom live in urban areas and 41.2 percent in rural areas. Paraguay’s small and open economy is heavily dependent on commodity exports, in particular soy and beef, which account for close to 50 percent of exports. However, poverty and inequality remain major development challenges, as one in three Paraguayans is poor and one in five lives in extreme poverty (R-PP Paraguay, 2014)

 

From a physiographical standpoint, Paraguay is divided into two major natural regions: the eastern region and the western region (Chaco), each of which has markedly different features. The western region (Chaco) covers 60 percent of the national territory and is home to slightly over three percent of Paraguay’s total population. The eastern region, where the vast majority of Paraguay’s population (97 percent) resides, covers the remaining 40 percent of the national territory. In terms of forest coverage, 84.3 percent of the forests are currently found in the western region and the remaining 15.68 percent in the eastern region (R-PP Paraguay, 2014)

 

Paraguay has experienced important changes in its forest cover over the last several decades mainly due to land use change. The forest cover of the eastern region has been reduced from 55 per cent of the surface area in the 1940s to 24 per cent in the 2000s, eliminating some 6.7 million hectares of forest. The National Programme for Paraguay is imperative not only to control the release of emissions into the atmosphere, but also to preserve the livelihoods of all forest-dependent communities. Ensuring the integrity of the forested homeland of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is one of the main challenges of the UN-REDD Program in Paraguay.

5.2. REDD+ in Paraguay

 

Map of the Forest Coverage of Paraguay, 2011

Map of the Forest Coverage of Paraguay, 2011

Since late 2008, when the UN-REDD Program was launched in Paraguay, the Secretariat for the Environment (SEAM), the National Forestry Institute (INFONA), FAO, UNDP, and UNEP have been working closely with the Coordinating Federation for the Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples (FAPI) and other civil society organizations to develop a proposal for a national capacity building REDD+ program in Paraguay. REDD+ is an initiative that goes beyond protecting and enhancing carbon stocks and also supports ecosystem and social benefits.

5.3. REDD+ governance in benefit sharing

Figure 2: A diagram revealing the structure of the Operational Unit of REDD+

Figure 2: A diagram revealing the structure of the Operational Unit of REDD+

The REDD+ Technical Group and the Policy Committee provide technical and strategic guidelines to the REDD+ Operational Unit. This operational unit will be responsible for managing the REDD+ process in Paraguay, will collaborate with the participating institutions and the established Advisory Groups, and will provide support for the operational management of the regional platforms (R-PP Paraguay, 2014).

Environmental and forest governance in Paraguay requires support in terms of financial resources and personnel for adequate execution. A central theme for REDD+ will be to seek support for priority initiatives for proper implementation of a REDD+ scheme at the national level.

 

Community benefits: actions to be executed have a potential impact of poverty reduction taking into account social and cultural factors of the forest-dependent populations, especially indigenous peoples, women, youth, and small peasant farmers.

 

In order to achieve REDD- readiness, the government of Paraguay will address with the support of the Joint Programme the following barriers that impede the adequate solution of the underlying causes of the deforestation and degradation of the forest

REDD+ governance in benefit sharing

5.4. Main steps to get the results

Capacity building is one major aspects of REDD+ in Paraguay. In order to attain the proposed objective, the Program will support capacity building at the national and local levels, with a view to achieving the following three outcomes

Outcomes and outputs of the Program REDD+

Outcomes and outputs of the Program REDD+

 

5.5. National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS)

 

The NFSM represents the need for a country to follow all the actions related to the implementation of its national REDD+ policies and measures and moreover serves as a platform to obtain access to their results. These actions should be related, directly or indirectly, to the national REDD+ strategies and may also include actions unrelated to carbon assessment, forexample forest law enforcement.

The aim of Paraguay’s NFMS is to establish such a system to address domestic and international monitoring needs and international MRV reporting requirements. Until presently, Paraguay lacked a robust, operational, wall-to-wall forest monitoring system capable of meeting the data and accuracy standards required for the REDD+ mechanism implementation. Therefore, Paraguay took the lead in exploring and designing implementation options for an operational national forest monitoring system, capable of meeting the required standards for REDD+monitoring and reporting.

 

The NFMS web portal interface allows any user to visualize the maps, calculate statistics on deforestation and provide comments about the data. Depending on other national needs and requirements, the web portal also allows the communication of other types of information related to Paraguay’s forest resources.

 

5.6. What would Paraguay like to achieve with its NFMS?

 

Paraguay’s NFMS aims to be the national tool to monitor the country’s REDD+ policies and measures (PaMs). The primary objective is to relate the NFMS to biometric and dendrometric parameters and indicators  such  as  forest  area,  type  of  forest  ecosystems,  expansion  or  establishment  of  protected areas, application of certification schemes, law enforcement, stakeholder and/or indigenous peoples’ participation, etc. Although monitoring of Paraguay’s REDD+ PaMs can potentially be related to the performance on GHG emissions and removals, this is not the main focus of the NFMS. It is therefore not the primary objective of the NFMS to ‘monitor’ the performance of forest area, forest area change and carbon stock. Nonetheless, the  objective  is  to  communicate such  information through  the NFMS so  that  it  can easily be cross-linked with several  variables that will feature on the NFMS.

 

Although  still  in  development,  Paraguay’s  NFMS  will aim  to  achieve:  (i)  usage  by  Paraguay’s government  to  report  on  results  obtained  through  REDD+  demonstration  activities,  results-based actions  and  national  policies  and  measures  in  the  forestry  sector;  (ii)  have  a  multi-purpose methodological approach, so that Paraguay’s government may use it to address monitoring needs for other  relevant  national  or  international  processes;  (iii)  build  on  existing  monitoring  systems  or system  elements  in  Paraguay;  (iv)  be  developed  to  become  an  operational  and  permanent monitoring  system  as  an  integral  part  of  the  mandates  SEAM, INFONA, and FAPI and  its  technical divisions to ensure its sustainability and independent long-term functioning.

 

The monitoring needs may change over time and in particular in the case of REDD+, it will follow the three- phased approach contained in Paragraph 73 of Decision 1/CP.16.  In summary, “Monitoring” refers to the development of a system which:

 

Phase 1 of REDD+ (readiness): This phase consists of the development and the setting up of the monitoring system. It includes all the investments in terms of systems selection and definition, capacity building, testing of such systems and the definition of national REDD+ policies and measures, including an action plan for the “National Forest Monitoring System”:

 

Phase 2 of REDD+ (monitoring): The implementation of the national REDD+ policies and measures will result in demonstration activities that must be results-based, i.e. resulting in measureable positive outcomes. In order to follow these activities, a Monitoring System for demonstration activities is required in Phase 2. This system will monitor the results obtained by all the demonstration activities and also provide information on land use and land use changes over areas where demonstration activities are being implemented;

 

Phase 3 of REDD+: The monitoring system will be expanded to cover the national territory to validate the fact that national policies and measures implementation on the national territory are results-based (i.e. determines how much of each REDD+ activity is taking place over the national territory and how these are changing). This is achieved through a Monitoring System for REDD+ policies and measures implementation which will allow the country to track the success of its PaMs, and subsequently, if necessary, adjust them accordingly. This monitoring system will also be the key element to support andoperationalise any national subsidy or payment distribution scheme.

 

6. COMPARISON BETWEEN TWO COUNTRIES

Based on the review of the available literature of REDD+ piloting programmeof the two countries, some similarities and difference can be made. Although the objectives of REDD+ piloting programmeare the same, the working modality is explicitly different.

In Nepal, the project implements a wider set of demonstrational REDD+ activities in CF system – a successful participatory approach among other community based forest management (CBFM) systems to restore the degraded forests.A wide range of civil society organizations participate in the process. Equally power sharing and decision making process is practiced among the stakeholder without any discrimination. In Paraguay, the Secretariat for the Environment (SEAM), the National Forestry Institute (INFONA), FAO, UNDP, and UNEP have been working closely with the Coordinating Federation for the Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples (FAPI) and other civil society organizations to develop a proposal for a national capacity building REDD+ program. It seems that limited the number of civil society participates in the process, the government being more dominant.

Table 3: Major comparison of REDD+ programme between Nepal and Paraguay

For piloting project in Nepal, along with the capacity building to the community, NORAD provided US$ 100,000 seed grant for the trust fund and based on the claims (according to the carbon measurement and social safeguard) a total of $ 95,000 was distributed to the 105 CFUGs. The operational guidelines clearly specify that the REDD+ payments must be spent on nine types of activities; these are related to improving forest condition, promoting sustainable forest management, improving local livelihoods and monitoring forest carbon. Users decide how and where the payments will be invested.Improving the livelihoods of poor users and enhancement of forest are central aspect of programme in Nepal.  But in the context of Paraguay, the community does not have access to the money of the project; however, programme focuses on the capacity building of the community people.

 

7. CONCLUSION

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. “REDD+” goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

 

Among many challenges with the piloting project, preliminary outcomes of REDD+ initiatives in Nepal has provided with numerous opportunities for redefining governance process in forest management. Since REDD+ initiative forges new institutional relations and operational roles between state, civil society and local communities, it has thus been turning point serving to reformation of forest governance in Nepal. FCTF formed a common platform to judge the efficiency and effectiveness of multi-level stakeholder decision making process in Nepal. Additionally, REDD+ has enhanced communities’ role and accountability to conserve and manage their forest as well as the forest related information to acquire the REDD+ benefits.

 

A civil society alliance seems very strong informal institution that play very important role in the REDD+ process. In the context of Nepal, the alliance is made up of representatives from women’s, Dalit, indigenous people and community forestry civil society organizations and representatives from the media and natural resource research institutes. It organizes regular meetings where members discuss issues related to forestry, climate change and REDD+. A particular focus of the alliance is to ensure that social and environmental safeguards are observed in order to secure the rights of indigenous and disadvantaged people.

 

Landscape management approach initiated by the project has provided with multiple choices/of ecosystem service bundling in all land use systems. It also leads to reduced transaction and monitoring costs and mitigate inter group conflicts on leakage and benefit sharing. It thus exemplifies the best practices of collective arrangements of CFs that applies to other forest management regimes contributing to national and sub-national level REDD+ implementation (Rana et al. 2012).

 

Research papers about the results or the advance of the program in Paraguay is very difficult to find it. The Program in Paraguay is coordinated by three institutions, two belong to the government, and the remaining one represents civil society. In previous years the government authorities have changed, causing the delay of the project, the process is slower comparing to Nepal.

 

Based on the two case studies, conclusion can be drawn to the speed of the progress of the REDD+ piloting project being conducted. In Nepal it seems more progressive as the entire community people of community forestry user groups and civil society organizations are involved from local to national level. Most importantly, some fund is provisioned directly going to the community in the name of REDD+. However, unlike Nepal, the REDD+ in Paraguay, more government is dominating the process and participation of civil society seems nominal in institutional as well as operational structures. Community people who pays more attention to conserving the forest are not getting any financial incentives from the REDD. And these could be the reasons to slowing down the progress.

8. REFERENCES

Acharya KP, Dangi RB, Tripathi DM, Bushley BR, Bhandary RR, Bhattarai B(2009) Ready for REDD? Taking Stock of Experiences, Opportunities and Challenges in Nepal. Kathmandu, Nepal:Nepal Foresters’ Association, ISBN: 978-9937-2-1967-9

 

Angelsen A(2008) Moving Ahead With REDD: Issues, Options and Implications. Bogor, Indonesia: Centre for International Forestry Research

 

Annual Report of REDD+ (2013) Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal

 

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ANNEXES

 

Annex 1: Map of REDD+ piloting sites of Nepal

Annex 1: Map of REDD+ piloting sites of Nepal

Annex 2: Map of the Paraguayan Forest Strata, with sampling units for the National Forest Inventory

Annex 2: Map of the Paraguayan Forest Strata, with sampling units for the National Forest Inventory

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