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UN-REDD lessons learned: Asia-Pacific

The UN-REDD Programme is the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) in developing countries. This booklet delves into the experiences, challenges and best practices of REDD+ readiness in 12 Asia-Pacific countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Vietnam. It states that a large number of very small countries face unique challenges in preparing for REDD+ and highlights the lessons learnt from the countries implementing REDD+.

Some of the challenges and best practices of REDD+ readiness gleaned from the case studies in the booklet are that:

  • the development of REDD+ readiness is primarily a political process despite the substantial technical aspects
  • it requires coordination across multiple government agencies including forestry, environment and finance ministries
  • it requires extensive consultation among all stakeholders including government agencies, civil society, private sector investors, Indigenous Peoples and development partners
  • it is more effective and efficient if harmonised with existing laws, policies and programmes, rather than designing new policies and institutions.

The booklet presents the following numerous lessons that may be relevant for REDD+ readiness and implementation in other countries:

  • raising awareness and strengthening capacities for REDD+ takes time and requires a wide array of skills and capacities from a wide range of stakeholders, including donors and organisations
  • effective stakeholder engagement can produce unexpected positive results because participatory approaches over time convince the participants to embrace the concept and results justify inclusive ways of working
  • more work is required to understand the needs of different stakeholders and target messages which calls for adequate funding and innovative communications specialists
  • if REDD+ is to be truly global, the uniqueness of country contexts beyond the tropics, such as in Mongolia, needs to be acknowledged and given more attention
  • many requirements for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) are the same for REDD+.