In October 2022, the European Forest Institute (EFI) and the Provincial Project Management Unit of Lam Dong Province hosted a Land-use Planner training course in Da Lat City, Vietnam. The event welcomed 32 participants from Lam Dong and Dak Nong Provinces, including members from several People’s Committees, the Department of Agricultural and Rural Development and of Natural Resources and Environment, and non-governmental organisations.
The training course was participatory and trainee-centred, with participants encouraged to engage actively in learning activities using real-life situations. Three project teams shared their experiences in learning how to use the Land-use Planner to support sustainable agricultural and land-use planning.
Using the Land-use Planner at the commune level: Dak Nong cadastral work
A group of various actors from diverse sectors and fields, including local officials doing cadastral work at the commune level, joined the training from Dak Nong. They used official statistics and local knowledge from real experiences in their commune to develop different land-use scenarios. These included:
Timber plantation in the Nam Cat Tien forest
Intercropping vegetables under durian trees
Grazing for swine in forest and farming areas
Some in the group spend most of their daily work carrying out on-site visits and communicating with local residents at those sites. Many noted the usefulness and practicality of the Land-use Planner as a tool to support better discussions with stakeholders in the field.
“This tool suits my work well and is helping to support farmers in my area.”
A cadastral official from Dak Nong
Source: Q-Huong Le, MDRI, 2022
DANOFARM: women from ethnic minority groups engaging in sustainable agriculture in Dak Nong Province
Located in Quang Son Commune, Dak G’long District, Dak Nong Province, DANOFARM is a cooperative with members from diverse ethnic groups, many of whom are women. The cooperative aims to promote traditional handicrafts and local agricultural products like Robusta coffee.
As Ms Ta Thi Lien, Director of DANOFARM, explained, despite the high quality of their coffee products, it is hard for DANOFARM to find markets for their coffee. This is because the cooperative is limited in resources and technical capacity for market promotion and competition.
Ms Lien participated in the Land-use Planner training course and tested DANOFARM’s business data to develop some practical agricultural production scenarios. Based on DANOFARM’s current and prospective business practice, she tested three scenarios:
Intercropping coffee with medical herb
Combining bee-raising and silkworm-raising with mulberry farming (for silkworm feeding)
Her participation provided a practical perspective in discussions with participants from the public sector.
Global Coffee Platform: experience with the Land-use Planner in different projects and its potential use for diverse actors
Apart from local stakeholders, the Land-use Planner training course also welcomed a technical expert from the Global Coffee Platform – Mr Mai Xuan Thong. Mr Thong has previously used the Land-use Planner and other similar modelling tools. Coupled with his rich experience in coffee production techniques, he offered valuable support and insights while facilitating group discussions.
During the training course, Mr Thong collaborated with a group of participants from Di Linh to develop scenarios for the district. Their scenarios explored increasing forest, rice and coffee plantation areas to exploit fallow and unused land areas.
From Mr Thong’s perspective, the Land-use Planner can be a valuable tool for a multitude of users, at diverse scales and with varying aims, from cooperatives or even family farms up to large-scale planning processes. The tool and its outputs can help stakeholders find a balance between agricultural production and forest ecosystem-based services.
Participants from the Central Highlands of Vietnam explored the various ways the Land-use Planner could support sustainable land-use planning in their areas and meet a range of needs. Bringing together a diverse set of stakeholders from the government, private sector and civil society, the training helped to establish a Land-use Planner community of practice in Vietnam, and users can continue to exchange on using data and modelling future scenarios to inform land-use strategies.
Nguyen Que Huong Le
Mekong Development Research Institute
https://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/land-use-planner-training-participants-vietnam.jpg6271200Carlos Rianohttps://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/EU-REDD-Facility-logo-tagline.svgCarlos Riano2023-04-25 09:00:042023-04-25 09:00:07Bringing together stakeholders for land-use planning in Vietnam
In many parts of the world, Indigenous Peoples and local communities have no legal recognition of their rights over the forest land they live on, despite the fact that when they do, they are better able to conserve it, bringing climate, biodiversity and development benefits.
At the EU REDD Facility, we have gathered experience in working closely with partners in Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia to find innovative solutions to enhance local communities’ and smallholders’ legal security over their lands.
Securing land certificates in wooded areas of Côte d’Ivoire
Based on the experience of the REDD+ project in the Mé region of Côte d’Ivoire, the Facility is supporting the delivery of individual or collective land certificates. These certificates are an official recognition of the customary rights over land. The project covers 2500 hectares of wooded areas threatened by agricultural production and logging.
In support to the GIZ programme Forests4Future, these activities also enable:
Farmers, especially non-Ivorians, to secure access to land through the signing of lease contracts with land certificate holders.
The implementation, with private operators, of innovative rural reforestation or agroforestry models. These models can secure private investments in other people’s land and related benefits, such as timber production and carbon sequestration.
To significantly increase rural populations’ resilience by:
Enabling the full reintroduction of trees (and associated benefits) into farming systems when climate change impacts are increasing
Securing the activities of vulnerable groups (women and youth), especially those dedicated to harvesting of non-timber forest products
This approach met the interest of the World Bank, which is integrating the lessons learnt from this ongoing pilot into a new major project dedicated to the free delivery of land certificates in 16 regions of Côte d’Ivoire, with a focus on wooded areas and women’s access to these certificates. Given the affordable cost related to this operation (EUR 20 per hectare), this new approach could also be extended through public-private partnerships involving cocoa and timber stakeholders.
Analysing the legal basis for customary forestry in Indonesia
Over the past decade, decentralisation and reformation efforts in Indonesia have increased the role of communities in forest management, in which land tenure plays an important role. The Social Forestry policy aims to redistribute 12.7 million ha (around 10%) of state forest area to local communities through several mechanisms.
Recently, we analysed changes brought about by the issuance of the sweeping Job Creation Law and its impacts on indigenous or customary peoples’ rights. This analysis suggests that the Job Creation Law generally strengthens the status of social forestry and provides an affirmative policy for indigenous communities. Nonetheless, it has not simplified the procedures that customary communities must follow when applying for official recognition of their customary forests.
The Facility is also supporting the implementation of the Indonesian Government’s social forestry policy through support to a group of oil palm smallholders in South Sumatra currently applying for a social forestry permit. The policy provides groups of farmers with secure tenure permits to continue farming on state protection forest land, provided that they switch from oil palm monoculture to agroforestry within one plantation cycle, to restore the area. The Facility’s Land-use Planner tool will be used to support the smallholders in identifying their agroforestry options.
Local land tenure for global benefits
These are examples of how work on improved land tenure can have benefits that go far beyond those to the local communities and environment. You can read more about how tenure security helps address climate change, conserve biodiversity and advance sustainable development in our related blog post “Securing land rights: one stone, three birds”.
Alice leads the EU REDD Facility’s legal work on land allocation and forest conversion. She also provides technical support on the national climate plans of the Facility’s partner countries.
Before joining the Facility, Alice worked as an environmental lawyer in London. She then followed the international climate change negotiations for over ten years, and consulted for various international NGOs and the United Nations. Alice teaches climate change negotiations at ESADE University in Barcelona.
Satrio provides technical and analytical support for the Facility’s work on forest and land use governance in Southeast Asia. He is based in the European Forest Institute’s office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Satrio previously worked on forest and ocean issues at World Resources Institute Indonesia, where he managed projects and conducted research on forest and landscape restoration, social forestry, and sustainable ocean and coastal ecosystems. He has a background in climate science, environmental studies, and international relations.
https://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/stakeholder-mapping-excercise-oil-palm-smallholders-Sumatra-Indonesia.jpg6281200Romuald Vaudryhttps://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/EU-REDD-Facility-logo-tagline.svgRomuald Vaudry2022-11-30 11:46:482022-11-30 14:06:04Enhancing land security: lessons from Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia
These numbers are all the more sobering when the top climate scientists recognise that strengthening land tenure security is central to transition to a green economy. Similarly, biodiversity scientists have found that deforestation is lower on land managed by Indigenous Peoples. Securing land rights also increases sustainable productivity, securing livelihoods and fighting poverty. All in all, tenure security comes with significant climate, biodiversity and development benefits: three birds with one stone. However, when looking at the national climate plans of major forest countries, more could be done to foster the securing of land rights.
Why does land tenure security matter?
Land tenure insecurity is a key driver of deforestation and land degradation. In various African countries, farmers burn down forests as a means to secure more farmable land. Without land security, farmers and local communities have no incentive to protect valuable tree species that take years to mature into marketable timber resources.
Increase carbon sequestration – the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide, thereby reducing climate change
In Ghana for example, cocoa farmers that hold a land certificate have an income per hectare that is on average 15.5% higher than those without. Being a legal landowner increases productivity by 21.9% on average, all other variables being equal. Knowing that poverty is a key deforestation driver, securing land rights, and thus farmers’ income, can play a significant role in fighting forest loss.
Furthermore, having documentary evidence of legal land ownership will enable operators in increasingly regulated markets to carry out their due diligence obligations. It will also enable smallholders and farmers to demonstrate legal compliance, thereby helping them access sustainable supply chains and international markets. This access typically means they will be able to sell their products at a higher price than on domestic markets, thereby increasing their income and rewarding their sustainable and legal practices.
The multiple benefits of secure land tenure are not only well known among the international community. An EFI-led project in the Republic of the Congo found that 100% of women and youth identify the need for legally securing their access to land as their number one priority. The strong link between land tenure and the fight against climate change calls for assessing whether national climate plans have given land tenure security the attention it deserves in their national climate plans.
Land tenure in climate plans
Ahead of the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015, countries were invited to submit their ‘intended’ post-2020 climate plans, known as their intended nationally determined contributions (NDCs). A brief by the Rights and Resources Initiative, “Indigenous Peoples and Local Community Tenure in the INDCS,” reviewed 130 or so intended NDCs. It found that only 21 countries, representing 13% of tropical and subtropical forest area, had made a clear commitment to implement Indigenous Peoples and local communities tenure security or community-based natural resource management.
In 2022, ahead of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference or COP26, Parties to the Paris Agreement on climate change were invited to review their NDCs. This provided them with an opportunity to address tenure security or strengthen their existing pledges. In a 2021 blog post, “Taking stock of national climate plans: what’s in it for forests?”, we reviewed 19 NDCs of forest-rich countries in 2021 and found that limited progress has been made:
Bilateral and multilateral climate financing mechanisms should ensure the USD 1.7 billion promised at COP 26 in Glasgow to recognise indigenous and local community land rights is disbursed and spent.
Countries should be encouraged to include specific and measurable tenure and natural resource rights goals for Indigenous Peoples and local communities in revising their NDCs in 2023 and/or in their implementation plans.
Parties should monitor the development and resulting climate benefits of community-based tenure systems and share their experiences and lessons learnt.
Romuald leads the Facility’s work on sustainable land-use policies in Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. He also contributes to the Facility’s work on public-private partnerships promoting sustainable agricultural production, landscapes and supply chains in Central and West Africa.
Romuald was previously based in Africa, coordinating REDD+ projects for the French NGO Nitidæ. He has also served as a forest technician for the Regional Office for Private Woodland in Normandy, France. He has a background in forestry and integrated land-use planning.
https://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/secure-land-tenure-cote-ivoire.jpg6281200Alice Bisiauxhttps://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/EU-REDD-Facility-logo-tagline.svgAlice Bisiaux2022-11-30 10:58:572022-11-30 12:00:15Securing land rights: one stone, three birds
Landscapes around the world have experienced dramatic transformations in recent decades. Global supply chains link smallholder palm oil farmers in Indonesia with major retailers, like Lidl, Carrefour and Tesco, in Europe or cocoa growers in Ghana to chocolatiers in Belgium. The growing population of our globalised world has intensified pressure on land, soils, water and forests. Ensuring the health of these ecosystems is essential to address climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation to achieve sustainable development.
The challenge is to balance increasing, and often conflicting, demands on land – whether that be in promoting agricultural commodity production in an area to increase farmer income or preserve forests to ensure drinking water is available. Land-use planning is at the core of this balancing exercise. But how can we ensure that planning efforts are effectively implemented on the ground – and do not end up as a plan collecting dust on a shelf?
Trying to allocate land and natural resources to meet development objectives is complex, technical and often very political. And historically, land-use planning has been done in a top-down way that has excluded the people most affected by this process. There is growing recognition now that inclusive processes – which bring stakeholders and their unique insights about a landscape to discuss and inform planning decisions – lead to greater ownership of better outcomes and higher compliance with rules.
A free and easy-to-use tool to support participatory land-use planning
The EU REDD Facility’s Land-use Planner is a free, interactive tool designed to support participatory land-use planning processes using a data-informed approach. It can play a key role in addressing land use challenges and promoting sustainable, thriving and resilient landscapes that meet current needs without compromising the ability to satisfy future ones.
Recently, the Facility organised a training on the Land-use Planner, which brought together 26 participants from seven organisations to learn more about the Facility’s inclusive approach to land-use planning. During the four-week training, we provided step-by-step guidance on how to use the Land-use Planner, using participants’ real planning cases. Participants compiled data on key land uses, developed future land-use scenarios for their case studies, and explored the economic, environmental and social impacts of their various planning options. They are now equipped with a tool to help them facilitate land-use planning projects.
The Land-use Planner is agile and easy-to use. It is intended to respond to the unique needs of a planning process and can be applied to a range of contexts. Participants from this training utilised the tool to inform land-use planning issues in a range of geographies, including Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam. Previous trainings have included participants and cases from Latin America, Africa and the Pacific Islands. In the training, we saw the Land-use Planner used to support many types of planning initiatives.
Exploringforest management options in Indonesia
Participants from the Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), a premier research university in Indonesia, manage the 10,987 hectare Getas-Ngandong forest as a ‘teaching forest’. The forest, situated at the border of the Central and East Java provinces, was previously a teak production forest managed by a state-owned enterprise. As the new manager of the Getas-Ngandong forest, UGM, through its Faculty of Forestry, is considering how to manage the forest to meet the needs and vision of those associated with the university (for research and teaching and to rehabilitate the forest) and the surrounding local community who uses the area to plant crops. For this group, the Land-use Planner was a useful resource in understanding potential management options and their effects on the Getas-Ngandong forest and the people that use it.
Testing virtual scenarios to maximise support on the ground
Participants came not only from different geographical contexts but also from various points in the planning process. This meant that participants did not always have the ideal land-use data to input into the Land-use Planner. Those without could draw on secondary sources and our Land-use Planner database of information provided by other users. Participants from GIZ and RECOFTC worked together during the training to explore alternatives to shifting agriculture to improve land management in northern Laos. Both organisations are active in this region in support of village forest management and conservation. Rather than supporting an active process, the team used the Land-use Planner to better understand the context in which they are working and how their land-use planning support can be of best use. The initial results from the Land-use Planner can serve as an entry point for discussions with government officials, farmers and other stakeholders on land-use planning, what issues are at stake, and what data is needed to conduct further analysis of land-use options.
Understanding long-term impacts of different land-use planning decisions
The Land-use Planner can be used as part of an inclusive planning process that brings all key stakeholders to the table to discuss a shared vision for the future of the landscape and understand the environmental, economic and social impacts of different land-use decisions. The Mekong Development Research Institute (MDRI) and IDH utilised the Land-use Planner as part of their efforts to support stakeholders engaged in subnational land-use planning in Di Linh District, Lam Dong Province. This district is in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, one of the world’s top producers of robusta coffee. Stakeholders are concerned about unsustainable land use and poor smallholder conditions over the 160,000 ha mountainous area, where forests and coffee agricultural systems are the dominant land uses. The region also faces a high deforestation rate (8% between 2000 and 2010), soil degradation, biodiversity loss and water pollution. With the Land-use Planner, MDRI and IDH better understood the potential impacts of different land-use planning decisions, such as improving coffee production or prioritising reductions in deforestation, over a 30-year planning horizon. MDRI is now training local facilitators on how to use the Land-use Planner to conduct cost-benefit analysis of management options and how it can advance the land-use planning processes in the Central Highlands.
Supporting participatory land-use planning with the Land-use Planner
The Land-use Planner can help stakeholders better respond to increasingly complex land-use challenges. Robust and straightforward approaches are even more essential now as global supply chains and increasingly stringent requirements to access international markets are adding greater pressure on landscapes and land managers. During the training, participants learnt how to use the Land-use Planner to support inclusive, data-informed land-use planning processes in a multitude of contexts where various land-use issues are at stake. With the tool, they calculated the costs and benefits of different land uses and simulated the effects of land-use planning decisions into the future. They compared alternative scenarios and identified key trade-offs, all elements that may serve as a basis for continued engagement with stakeholders to support sustainable land management. These scenarios also help them prepare solutions that support local development and environmental sustainability.
To learn more about our free and interactive Land-use Planner and future trainings, check out landuseplanner.org.
https://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Palm-oil-plantations-indonesia.jpg6281200Michaela Fosterhttps://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/EU-REDD-Facility-logo-tagline.svgMichaela Foster2022-07-13 17:59:482022-07-13 18:05:32Training land-use planners for sustainable landscapes
I love coffee in the morning, its taste, its aroma and the boost of energy it gives me to start the day. While enjoying a fresh brew some years ago, I began to think about what was behind my morning cup – where do the beans come from? What are the landscapes where they are produced like? And who are the people that harvest this coffee?
These are questions I continue to reflect on in my work. Over the last 10 years, I have supported efforts to reduce deforestation, much of which has been driven by the production of agricultural commodities, including coffee. In my current work, I focus on finding ways to support sustainable coffee production in Vietnam.
The world’s largest producer of robusta coffee
In recent decades, the Central Highlands region of Vietnam has become the world’s main production area of robusta coffee. Major companies like Nestle, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Lavazza, Olam and Starbucks source from this region, bringing Vietnamese coffee to supermarket shelves and cafés around the world. Likewise, national coffee companies like VinaCafe and Trung Nguyen have arisen as a symbol of the coffee-culture in Vietnam.
The transformation of the Central Highlands into a coffee capital reminds me of Colombia, my home country. In Colombia, the famous Coffee Triangle landscape experienced a boom in the production of arabica coffee at the beginning of the 19th century owing to agricultural expansion policies. Currently, the region has become the symbol of the ‘Café de Colombia’ origin certification, which is recognised as one of the best coffees in the world.
I see many parallels between the coffee stories of the two countries, and the economic, social and environmental impacts associated with coffee cultivation. The environment in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, just like in my country, is suffering from the negative effects of unsustainable coffee production. Rapid expansion of coffee crops is driving deforestation. Coffee is also spreading to areas inappropriate for its cultivation because of unsuitable soils and limited access to water. As a result, coffee farmers deplete groundwater resources and use an excessive amount of chemicals and fertilisers.
Environmental issues are mixed up with socioeconomic challenges. Despite coffee being a valuable commodity, the region has not bore the fruits of increased coffee production and has one of the highest rural poverty rates in the country. Opportunities for minority groups to benefit from the coffee trade are limited, especially for women. Between the ’70s and the ’90s, the arrival of international companies and an accelerated immigration caused by national resettlement policies, including the establishment of new economic zones and the land-use reform or “Doi Moi”, led to the boom in the price of coffee. Since then, local communities and ethnic minorities have been largely marginalised, being unable to adapt their traditional practices to the economic development of the region, due to their limited formal education and lack of capacity to adapt to the new business requirements. This gives a bittersweet taste to coffee coming from the region.
How sustainability helps shift the paradigm
Instead of exacerbating the situation for farmers and the environment, I want my cup of coffee to contribute to addressing climate change, while leaving no one behind. But how can I sweeten up my morning cup of coffee and make it sustainable?
There is a common understanding that soil, water, forests and other natural resources are limited, and that our planet that is warming because of humans activities. Making the transition towards sustainability is therefore our duty. These efforts should involve the whole coffee supply chain – producers, traders and, of course, consumers. We all must ensure that our cup of coffee is sustainably produced. But what does than mean?
I like the definition of sustainability used by the United Nations, which includes three dimensions:
An economic dimension, where everyone in the commodity supply chain must obtain a fair wage for their work and that profits are shared equitably
A social dimension, with inclusive and ethical work, reasonable working hours, no child labour, and giving options to farmers for optimising their croplands
An environmental dimension, where the exploitation of natural resources is done sustainably, biodiversity is protected and global warming kept below 1.5 ºC
Vietnam has an ambitious agenda for transitioning towards sustainability. Among other things, the country has committed to implement an ambitious national plan to address climate change as part of its nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement and has committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Both incorporate sustainability as an inalienable principle and include several policies and measures in the agricultural and forest sectors aimed at curbing carbon emissions and reducing poverty.
Coffee certification – turning commitments to action?
International commitments are a good starting point, but how can we implement sustainability on the ground?
Despite the implementation of these schemes, certified coffee remains a fraction of overall production (around 1.75 million tons in 2020), and environmental, social and economic challenges persist in the Central Highlands. Among other things, most coffee growers cannot afford the costs of obtaining certification. The premiums offered for certified coffee do not compensate for the production costs associated with meeting the standards. In fact, the labour’s wage is usually not integrated into the certification schemes.
And finally, there are difficulties in implementing the traceability systems, which track coffee beans from the plantation to the final consumer. These systems are highly time consuming to set up. But they are also characterised by low monitoring and evaluation level of social and environmental issues, such as child labour, local communities’ inclusion and compliance with regulations on the use of pesticides and other chemicals.
Acting on sustainability at the right scale: the jurisdiction
Although certification initiatives have helped increase sustainable coffee production and allowed consumers to recognise sustainable products, they cannot address the deforestation that occurs at the margins or outside of certified concession areas or farms. Measuring sustainability performance at subnational jurisdiction level, rather than at farm or concession level, can help achieve impact at scale while ensuring the participation of smallholders and minorities. With this orientation, stakeholders from different sectors, positions, interests and needs, including local governments, civil society organisations and companies, can dialogue on sustainable coffee production.
With a jurisdictional approach, stakeholders can measure the sustainability in an entire administrative area (province, district or others). By working at the jurisdictional level, it is possible to safeguard forests, carbon and biodiversity across the landscape, not just at farm level. Such an approach also reduces costs for groups of farmers and for small and medium agribusinesses. It further provides a strong incentive for identifying and supporting collective, joint solutions, given that failure to reach or maintain the standard impacts all actors involved. This helps to transform entire landscapes towards sustainability.
At EFI, we are testing this new recipe to promote sustainable coffee in two districts of Vietnam’s Central Highlands. It is composed of few but powerful elements:
Social inclusion at the jurisdiction level, using a multistakeholder platform with the leadership of the local government institutions, to allow representatives of the coffee supply chain, including local communities and ethnic minorities, that are in the jurisdiction to actively participate in the sustainable production of coffee.
Environmental enhancement, which occurs when sustainable agriculture practices and land-use planning are in motion along the supply chain. These practices reduce water consumption, protect the forest and soil and increase the quality of the coffee in the jurisdiction.
Economic benefits for the people in the jurisdiction. With an improved organisation of producers, more transparent and shortened supply chains and existing certifications, the coffee produced in the jurisdiction is more competitive and can comply with the evolving international market requirements, like those in the proposed EU regulation on deforestation-free commodities.
We are developing a system to measure, track and assess the sustainability of coffee production at the jurisdictional level, beyond farms. It includes the participation of all stakeholders along the supply chain, fostering collaboration and transparency, while working to protect the forest, water and soil in the jurisdiction and improve working conditions. At the end of the day, we aim to transition the entire coffee sector towards sustainablity.
That’s the cup of coffee that I want to smell and taste.
https://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/coffee-beans.jpg6291200Carlos Rianohttps://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/EU-REDD-Facility-logo-tagline.svgCarlos Riano2022-06-20 15:00:312022-07-19 21:45:22Reducing the bitterness of coffee from Vietnam’s Central Highlands
The EU and other countries are developing measures aimed at curbing deforestation and forest degradation driven by the expansion of agricultural land used to produce commodities such as beef, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soy and wood. In addition, consumers increasingly want to know that goods and products they buy are produced without harming people or the environment. But how can we ensure legal and sustainable value chains that unleash local wellbeing and protect forest and biodiversity without excluding smallholders? The answer may be in the mixing of six ingredients to whip up successful multistakeholder partnerships that can support legal and sustainable supply chains of forest-risk commodities.
Partnerships at the heart of the EU REDD Facility
Partnerships are at the heart of what we do at the EU REDD Facility. We work collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders in the public and private sectors to develop innovative solutions and approaches. Our aim is to improve land-use governance and reduce pressures on forests in commodity-producing countries across Africa, Asia and South America.
Partnerships were a recurring theme at the recent 15th World Forestry Congress, which took place from 2 to 6 May 2022 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The Congress concluded with the adoption of the Seoul Forest Declaration, which outlines six priority actions. The first of these actions is a call for sharing and integrating “the responsibility over forests […] across institutions, sectors and stakeholders in order to achieve a sustainable future”, given that “forests transcend political, social and environmental boundaries and are vital for biodiversity and the carbon, water and energy cycles at a planetary scale.”
During the Congress, together with RECOFTC, we organised a side-event that focused on ‘forests without boundaries.’ Titled “Innovative partnerships to promote legal and sustainable forest-risk commodities,” the side-event featured five panellists of diverse backgrounds. They explored key success factors and lessons learnt from various multistakeholder partnerships aimed at supporting legal and sustainable supply chains of forest-risk commodities. The event also built on the EU REDD Facility’s experience, including its Transparency Pathway, which charts six pragmatic steps to make collaboration between public and private supply chain actors more impactful and inclusive, while reducing costs and gaining positive visibility in global commodity markets.
The six ingredients
The event identified the following six ingredients to concoct successful partnerships to promote legal and sustainable supply chains of forest-risk commodities.
1. Dig in with a demand-driven dialogue
Regardless of the level and scope of the partnerships, they must be built upon an open, equal and fair dialogue. The actors enter the dialogue willingly as they see the benefits they can draw from being part of such partnerships. Chay Senkhammoungkhoun, Project Field Coordinator at RECOFTC, often facilitates village-level dialogues on land and commodity governance between local communities and the private sector in Lao PDR. He noted that because actors have different needs and interests, they must be ready to “give” and “take” during the negotiations.
2. Trust: the main ingredient
All panellists highlighted the importance of trust as the main ingredient of a successful partnership. Such trust is built upon a shared understanding among actors of the partnership’s objectives and vision.
Further, partnerships require a clear structure, in which each actor is aware of its role and responsibility. As an example, Karina Barrera, Undersecretary of Climate Change, Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition of Ecuador, cited the ProAmazonia programme in Ecuador. She explained how the government can demonstrate leadership by coordinating the planning, implementation and monitoring of sustainable supply-chain programmes at various governance levels.
Another trust enhancer is transparency in communication with partners about expectations and actions. Existing information and transparency instruments in the context of the supply chains of forest-risk commodities, such as Trase, can create a more efficient partnership.
3. An inclusive and collaborative kitchen
All panellists agreed that the process should not exclude any important stakeholder group, and that often underrepresented groups, such as smallholders, indigenous peoples, local communities, and women, must be meaningfully involved in the partnership. However, an inclusive partnership requires some legwork.
Doreen Asumang-Yeboah, Natural Resource Governance Practitioner from Ghana, has been active in the Ghanaian civil society space for over a decade. She reminded the audience that stakeholder mapping is crucial. Stakeholder groups, such as the private sector or local communities, are composed of people with different aspirations. Understanding these nuances ─and the societal context─ is key to ensure true inclusiveness.
Further, additional support to ensure effective participation of underrepresented groups might be needed, for example in the form of capacity building. Sufficient funding for this is thus important.
4. A palatable environment
Incentives are key to sustain the partnership in the long run. Tran Quynh Chi, Regional Director Asia Landscape, IDH, who has the experience of developing multistakeholder partnerships in the agricultural sector in various landscapes and jurisdictions throughout Asia, highlighted the importance of finding a business case for each of the involved stakeholders. Economic and trade incentives are especially useful to make partnerships palatable to many actors across the commodity supply chains, in both producing and consuming countries.
All types of incentives need to be clarified and optimised over time as part of creating and strengthening enabling environments. As noted by Karina Barrera from Ecuador, the government plays an important role. For example, at the subnational level, the government can coordinate jurisdictional deforestation-free programme involving all partners. The coordination includes connecting producers with potential buyers or off-takers and with the financial sector or donors. Further, the government at various levels provides the regulatory and institutional frameworks, in addition to promoting the progress achieved.
5. Don’t start from scratch
Mathis Freytag, Advisor, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), emphasised that there is no need to reinvent the wheel when a new partnership is developed. For example, an existing multistakeholder platform might be repurposed to meet new partnership objectives, especially if it works well and includes all key actors. For many of these actors, continuing and building upon what works is preferable, as it is more efficient and cost-effective.
All panellists underscored that partnerships are not built overnight. Building trust and effective partnerships that don’t go stale takes a lot of time, patience and hard work. All partners must therefore be aware of the various limitations when setting up a partnership and adjust their expectations accordingly. Thus, the timeline must be realistically developed starting from the planning stage.
As we enter our second decade, we at the EU REDD Facility continue to mix and blend these six ingredients of successful partnerships. They form part of the recipe for innovative and collaborative approaches and solutions to advance our partner countries’ forest and land-use governance and development goals. We invite all interested partners to exchange further ideas on multistakeholder partnerships to support legal and sustainable supply chains of forest-risk commodities.
https://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Palm-oil-smallholders-in-Indonesia.jpg6291200Satrio Adi Wicaksonohttps://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/EU-REDD-Facility-logo-tagline.svgSatrio Adi Wicaksono2022-06-20 13:46:252022-07-18 09:06:35Six ingredients of successful partnerships for legal and sustainable forest-risk commodities
As 2021 draws to a close, I’d like to take this opportunity to share some highlights from this year’s work by the EU REDD Facility.
This year we celebrated the 10th anniversary of our founding, taking the opportunity to reflect on the lessons we learned over the last decade. We’re working to ensure these insights help to shape and accelerate action for protecting and restoring the world’s forests.
Taking stock of progress towards addressing deforestation
The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use, drafted as part of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) process, is a significant achievement. The Declaration brings more than 130 countries to work collectively to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.
We’re collaborating with partner countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to understand the governance challenges driving deforestation, track private finance for tropical forests, and develop pragmatic approaches that monitor and deliver change for forest and land-use sector governance.
Land-use planning processes get easier with an updated website and training
This year we gave our flagship Land-use Planner a major overhaul. Partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America used the tool to help develop land-use scenarios, compare social, economic and environmental impacts, and weigh policy decisions. The tool is now available in 6 languages and more than 100 participants have been trained throughout the year, now taking the tool forward in their own programmes and land-use planning activities across the globe.
In 2022, we look forward to:
Consolidating the work on inclusive land-use planning at local level in Central and West Africa
Strengthening our tools with new modules and data, such as spatial applications for the Land-use Planner and private finance mapping guidelines for the Land-use Finance Tool, and developing a knowledge base on forest and land-use governance in our partner countries
Continuing to work with country partners to increase transparency in palm oil, cocoa and coffee supply chains in light of emerging market requirements for promoting legal and deforestation-free trade
Providing support to jurisdictional approaches to promote sustainable land use and inform public and private sector dialogues and policy development in Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of the Congo, Indonesia and Vietnam.
https://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/10-years-10-lessons-ending-tropical-deforestation.png301600Christophe Van Orshovenhttps://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/EU-REDD-Facility-logo-tagline.svgChristophe Van Orshoven2021-12-31 16:34:002022-06-16 08:01:57Season’s greetings and 2021 in review
On the second day of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, world leaders announced a pledge to save and restore our planet’s forests. With that deal came a long list of commitments from public and private sector actors to combat deforestation.
These included ambitious financial commitments to support forest protection and zero-deforestation commodities – including $7.2bn from the private sector – as well as commitments to align investments to sustainable land-use objectives. For instance, CEOs from more than 30 financial institutions, with over $8.7 trillion of global assets, have committed to eliminate investments in activities linked to agricultural commodity-driven deforestation. These commitments add up to almost a decade of announcements aimed at mobilizing private finance to support forests.
Despite this global recognition of the importance of unlocking private finance at scale to address deforestation, there is still very limited information available on the volume of capital flows into land use. These financial flows are not tracked or reported consistently. Monitoring of private finance is challenging across any sector, yet tracking flows related to land-use change in tropical forest countries is particularly challenging for many reasons. These include the issue of defining what constitutes sustainable land-use; the difficulties in accessing disaggregated data on private flows due to confidentiality and market regulations; and the very nature of land-use activities which are embedded into often largely informal rural economies.
Building robust approaches to track private flows in land-use is essential to increase the transparency of investments impacting forests and ecosystems, hold actors accountable to their commitments, and measure progress.
On 8 November, the EU REDD Facility hosted a COP26 side event to explore tracking private finance in tropical forest countries. The virtual event provided a public platform for practitioners who are paving the way towards building approaches that shed light on the private sector’s role in financing nature-based solutions and sustainable land-use.
Three presenters spoke to this topic from different angles:
The Forest Stewardship Council’s Chief Climate and Ecosystems Officer Asger Olesen discussed the diversity of angles through which private land-use investments can be approached, and made practical recommendations on how to implement tracking studies.
Gabriela Coser from Climate Policy Initiative shared a country perspective, namely Brazil’s experience in identifying private investments into land-use, and lessons learnt from that comprehensive exercise. The study demonstrated that supporting tropical forest countries in understanding their financial landscapes and the leverage effect of their public policies is key to enhancing domestic resource mobilisation efforts.
Ivo Mulder, head of UNEP’s climate finance unit, presented results of UNEP’s efforts in quantifying global investments into nature-based solutions, and described concrete steps for action to deliver on the ambitious pledges coming out of COP26.
https://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Tropical-rainforest-Latin-America.jpg6281200Adeline Dontenvillehttps://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/EU-REDD-Facility-logo-tagline.svgAdeline Dontenville2021-11-12 17:19:002022-06-29 08:43:59Tracking private finance in tropical forest countries – COP26 side event
In the lead up to the adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015, each country was asked to outline its post-2020 climate plans, known as their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Taken collectively, the initial plans put forward by countries did not go far enough to reach the Agreement’s goal: to limit global average temperature rise to “well below” 2 ºC above pre-industrial levels, and to “pursue efforts” to limit it to 1.5 ºC.
However, the Paris Agreement gives countries the opportunity to increase their climate ambition, by updating their NDCs every five years. It’s now time to take stock: have countries’ revised climate plans matched the increase in ambition needed to effectively address climate change?
Nature-based solutions as an opportunity for raising climate ambition
For countries updating their plans to take more ambitious action on climate change, nature-based solutions offer essential tools and opportunities. Conserving, restoring and improving management of forests, wetlands, grasslands and agricultural lands can deliver a third of cuts in emissions needed by 2030 to help keep warming below 2 °C. These nature-based solutions also help countries and communities adapt to the impacts of climate change and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A large majority of the first round of NDCs included nature-based solutions in one form or another, but overall, these pledges were not quantified and did not outline coherent strategies for achieving them. Moreover, most didn’t consider the forest and land-use governance reforms that are essential to their implementation. The NDC revision process therefore provided an opportunity to strengthen the role of these natural solutions.
The EU REDD Facility has assessed the revised NDCs of several of its partner countries, and that of Brazil. Brazil, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Indonesia are home to four of the top five largest remaining tropical forests. Looking at these countries as well as Cameroon, Ghana, Laos, Liberia, the Republic of the Congo (RoC), Thailand and Vietnam, a very mixed picture emerges in terms of increased ambition generally, and of the treatment of nature-based solutions in particular.
Have countries ramped up their climate ambition?
On overall pledges to reduce emissions, the glass is half full. Some countries have ramped up ambition in varying degrees, such as Colombia, Cameroon, DRC, Laos or Vietnam. Others, such as Ghana, Indonesia or Thailand, have resubmitted their 2015 pledges, while RoC has reduced its mitigation ambition.
In terms of NDC scope, the revision process has led most countries, apart from Thailand and Ghana, to cover more sectors and greenhouse gases than in their initial contributions. For example, Liberia’s revised NDC covers emissions from the forest sector, which were excluded in its first NDC.
A missed opportunity for the forest and land-use sector
In their revised NDCs, countries have an opportunity to be clearer and more specific by adopting measurable targets and explaining how they were calculated. To help determine how they can be supported to achieve their climate targets, they can also be clearer about their financial needs. On these aspects, overall, the revised climate plans we analysed made progress. For example, Colombia, Liberia and Vietnam, which had not provided cost estimates in their first NDCs, did so in their revised submissions. Cameroon, Colombia and DRC also detailed the emission estimates for each sector and planned activity.
More countries have included an overall target for the agriculture, forest and land sector in their revised NDCs, including Colombia and Liberia. All countries assessed, other than Thailand, put forward at least one quantified target related to this sector:
All countries but Cameroon, Thailand and DRC have reduced deforestation targets.
Cameroon, Colombia, Liberia, Thailand, Laos, RoC, DRC and Indonesia mention restoration efforts.
Laos and Vietnam have quantified forest cover targets.
Cameroon, Colombia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Liberia and DRC refer to protected areas.
Nonetheless, numerous forest-related targets are still unquantified. This is a missed opportunity to enhance understanding towards countries’ commitments, raise the profile of the agriculture, forest and land sector and attract more public and private support.
Giving forest governance efforts the place they deserve
Overall, forest governance is still insufficiently addressed in the revised NDCs. Few mention participatory processes, indigenous and local communities’ rights, land tenure or forest monitoring efforts. And when governance issues are mentioned, they are often not adequately articulated to ensure they will be integrated into the NDC’s implementation:
Conflicting interests and competition over land and resources have been major driving forces of deforestation, forest degradation, soil erosion and loss of soil fertility. However, only Cameroon, Colombia, Laos, Liberia and Indonesia make reference to land-use planning efforts.
While Cameroon, Colombia, RoC, DRC and Liberia refer to gender, Colombia, and to some extent, Cameroon, are the only countries to detail how such considerations will be taken into account in implementation.
Nine of the ten countries analysed are either negotiating or implementing a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) with the EU. But DRC is the only country to refer to the gains achieved through its VPA negotiation.
All countries but Cameroon and Thailand mention REDD+. However, often, these are general mentions and the link with the implementation of the national REDD+ strategy is not clearly articulated.
Considering deforestation drivers and trade-offs among sectors
Most deforestation drivers, such as agricultural expansion, mining or the collection of fuelwood, come from outside the forest sector. A number of revised NDCs address them:
Cameroon, Colombia, Ghana, Laos, Liberia and DRC mention efficient cookstoves or efficient charcoal/clean cooking technology.
Liberia includes the goal to implement a net-zero deforestation mining policy by 2030.
Many countries refer to climate-smart agriculture, increased productivity and agroforestry.
However, only Colombia, Liberia and DRC clearly draw links among sectors.
Other countries, such as Laos and Indonesia, present renewable energy targets that rely heavily on biomass or hydropower, which carry the risk of driving deforestation. These countries do not analyse the potential impact of these energy or agricultural targets on achieving their forest and land-use objectives.
The small number of countries that analyse the trade-offs across sectors of their NDC pledges illustrates that inter-ministerial coordination is still often lagging.
Liberia is one of the few countries that mentions the creation of an inter-ministerial task force on land-use planning to ensure coherence in NDC implementation. However, this task force does not include the energy and mining sector stakeholders, although mining and charcoal and biofuels production could have significant impacts on the forest emissions of this country. RoC also envisages the creation of an institutional mechanism to ensure inter-ministerial coordination. However, its articulation with the existing relevant coordination mechanisms in the country is unclear.
Revised NDCs as strategic planning documents
Overall, many of the revised NDCs analysed do not read like strategic documents integrating existing and planned national policies. For example, revised NDCs should draw linkages with the SDGs to ensure and assess the alignment and integration of climate-related policies and measures with development needs and strategies. The alignment of these two agendas, as well as with other relevant processes, such as national adaptation plans or FLEGT processes, is imperative to increase efficiency and maximise resources, technical capacity and expertise sharing. While more countries have drawn links with the SDGs in their revised NDCs, in many cases, such as in Liberia, Ghana or RoC, only general references to the SDGs are made, without specific information on how synergies and coordination will be ensured.
Paving the way to partnerships
Achieving the objective of the Paris Agreement will depend on countries’ ability to turn their climate plans into action and work towards more ambition. By enhancing the forest sector components of their NDCs, Colombia, DRC, Liberia and Laos have paved the way to achieving their mitigation and adaptation goals. They have also raised the profile of the forest sector to attract the required investments and support to implement nature-based solutions. The increased granularity and ambition contained in these NDCs can provide the basis for future partnerships with national and international stakeholders to design and implement effective agricultural, forest and land sector policies. More countries would do well to follow suit.
https://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/landscape-Colombia-coffee-producing-region-Jess-Kraft-featured.jpg419800Alice Bisiauxhttps://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/EU-REDD-Facility-logo-tagline.svgAlice Bisiaux2021-11-04 07:28:002022-06-16 08:02:25Taking stock of national climate plans: what’s in it for forests?
When the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic, I was in Bogota on a work mission, living the last moments of what some could now consider a “normal” professional life. I returned home to Barcelona early and impassively observed how the world was dramatically changing, with a feeling of being useless in the crisis and disrupted in my personal work. Since then, the pandemic has harshly impacted all populations around the globe, in terms of health, of course, but also economically and socially.
We cannot overlook the impact of the pandemic on the environment too, and the management of natural resources. In Colombia, of the 62 protected areas that fall under the National System of Protected Areas, 25 were engaged in ecotourism, as were 33 of the 59 protected natural areas in Ecuador. Their financial sustainability has been affected as national and international public investments were diverted towards managing the pandemic. There’s now a rising risk of criminal activity such as illegal logging, as resources for forest management decrease and ranger patrols are suspended. At the same time, a lot of cooperation projects aimed at reducing deforestation or improving biodiversity conservation have suffered delays and breaks in their activities.
Most actors and experts involved in these programmes or working on environmental solutions – including the EU REDD Facility – need to work at a distance, and mostly from home. For everyone in this field, this situation has required creativity, not just to maintain workflows but also to generate tangible results for those who were vulnerable even before the pandemic. As an expert working in international cooperation, this panorama has forced me to reconsider and rethink the modalities and methodologies of our day-to-day work.
New technologies as threat and opportunity
One of the biggest personal lessons of these challenging last 18 months has been the urgency of reconnecting actors and stakeholders that are more isolated than ever. Facilitators and/or facilitation skills are greatly necessary if we want to make 2021 and years ahead not “lost years”, but “opportunistic or transition years” in achieving sustainable development goals and Nationally Determined Contributions targets. With or without a pandemic, environmental and social challenges cannot wait until “normality” returns.
Another lesson has been the potential for information technology and virtual connections. The pandemic accelerated a major modern phenomenon: the rise of the virtual. We have all experienced the massive improvement and democratisation of social media and internet technologies, allowing us to connect and exchange information faster, from long distance, and at any time. But this is just one edge of the sword. All technologies can also serve bad intentions. We can be quantitatively more informed, but qualitatively less so. We may be connected to more people, but maybe less well connected. With the pandemic having generated global fear and insecurity, the misuse of virtual technologies contributed, in some cases, to compromising trust amongst people, organisations, and governments. What we call “common sense” or consensus may now seem harder to achieve. Now more than ever we see the need for well-informed and open dialogue, and processes for facilitation. If used correctly, social and information technologies can afford great opportunities.
Dialogue and consensus through facilitation
Within the EU REDD Facility team, I’m focusing on our Latin America partner countries, Colombia and Ecuador, along with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). When looking at the complex nature and diverse drivers of deforestation in these countries, there is general agreement that there are no “silver bullet” solutions for national REDD+ objectives. Rather, what’s needed is mechanisms that provide flexibility and the capacity to adapt to different sectors, local contexts and actors.
Through my work in Colombia, I’ve supported the development of local intercultural land-use governance mechanisms in the Amazonian area of Caquetá, where significant deforestation occurs. This project took place over several local administrative areas known as “veredas” of the Solano municipality, just at the deforestation frontier. The main challenge has been dialogue between indigenous Inga people and local cattle ranchers, to develop consensus on land-use management and reducing deforestation while ensuring a decent living income for farmers. What struck me from the beginning is that the real bottleneck preventing dialogue – and thus consensus on action and co-management of the territory – wasn’t discrepancies in visions and culture between communities. Rather, it was ignorance and lack of knowledge and understanding of each other. Once the first steps of the facilitation process allowed both communities to come to know and better understand each other’s perspectives and governance mechanisms, a dialogue became possible.
The lesson here has been that negotiations, dialogue, and consensus can be achieved if a facilitating third party can ensure this first layer of knowledge and understanding. It does not mean that the way towards a final agreement will be easy, but certainly easier and possible.
Thus, for our 2021 support to these three countries, we decided to increase the facilitation component of our work to generate technical dialogue – first to share information and generate common knowledge, and then to identify potential solutions or mechanisms to improve governance and sustainability of land use. Of course, our plan is to do this virtually, given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Towards a common understanding and feasibility of traceability and transparency
In both Colombia and Ecuador, the cocoa sector involves several actors with varied interests. Colombia’s cocoa market is characterised by strong internal demand for chocolate (80% of cocoa produced is consumed locally) while Ecuador has a significant cocoa export market (85% of national production is exported). Both countries registered great production increases in the last years: between 2000 and 2017, Colombia’s total cocoa production has doubled while Ecuador registered almost a six-fold increase in cocoa. Ecuador is now the third-largest cocoa producer country worldwide, with 7% of global production. While cocoa is not considered a driver of deforestation in these countries, the expansion of land for cocoa cultivation has been increasing since 2007 and poses a potential risk for deforestation in the future, along with associated social and environmental risks.
In this context, traceability and transparency systems are crucial for identifying, monitoring and tackling environmental and social issues in supply chains.
Traceability refers to methods of tracing a commodity through the supply chain, while transparency is the disclosure of sourcing information to increase the accountability of relevant stakeholders. However, the exact definition of these concepts is not always the same amongst supply-chain actors, and the use of such systems is not always associated with the same objectives. It has led to the current situation where actors with enough financial capacity have developed their own private traceability systems, sharing only a small part of their database publically, and withholding data from existing national monitoring systems.
COVID-19 and its related restrictions has reduced access to information and deeply modified our economies, putting many sectors in a fragile position. Ignorance and poverty are the enemy of good governance, and persistent asymmetry of information will never allow for social and environmental sustainability and justice. There is need for a common understanding and definition of concepts of traceability and transparency and what they serve. Adequate systems also need to be designed through participatory processes. If not, traceability will only empower the upstream side of supply chains where the bulk of information and data will circulate, not always for or with full transparency. For unscrupulous business operators, maintaining the ignorance of clients, competitors and even partners can be used for competitive advantage. Reducing the asymmetry of information by promoting more transparent traceability systems would lead to improved governance of supply chains.
The EU REDD Facility facilitated technical and multi-stakeholder dialogues in Ecuador and Colombia, virtually, to evaluate the feasibility and options for national traceability and transparency systems (in line with the Transparency Pathway tool developed by the EU REDD Facility). We are now finalising proposals to be used as the basis for further political dialogue and decisions.
Civil society preparations for DRC’s national forest policy development
In DRC’s climate change and deforestation policy process, national civil society organisations (CSOs) are officially represented under the umbrella of the national Groupe de Travail-Rénové REDD network, or GTCR-R. Created in 2013, the network has proven its capacity to improve coordination amongst its members and to some extent to influence DRC decision and policy-making processes.
However, as in many countries in the region, civil society is sometimes involved only after the design phase of a project, a programme or a policy document, during the “consultation” phase for their validation. To change this paradigm, with GTCR-R and its members, the EU REDD Facility chose to organise an “ex-ante consultation”, or what we decided to call a “concertation”. In this new process, two aims were achieved:
Capturing the diverse visions of CSOs, along with their propositions for the future forest sector regulatory and policy framework.
Demonstrating the capacity of national CSOs to generate information and data, and to be considered as a starting partner rather than just a “validation” partner.
As in Latin America, COVID-19 increased isolation of remote actors in many African countries and it has been quite challenging to support such dialogue from a distance, with technology as our only option. However, this experience showed a better capacity to adapt than expected, and this should be reinforced in the future.
The final civil society position paper will be considered as a relevant basis for the Sustainable Management Programme soon to be launched. This programme has the objective (amongst others) of elaborating a national Forest Policy.
This concertation process amongst CSOs did not bring full consensus on the orientations and recommendations for the future policy, but it did help to nuance and somewhat soften initial and purely ideological positions, and even sometimes build bridges between positions. More importantly, by sharing the same level of information in a transparent way, conflicts over facts were eventually set aside to concentrate on needed solutions. In my view, that is already half the problem solved.
Of course, the reality of decision-making processes is complex, and does not succeed only through facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogue with technical information. Even more when this facilitation is done virtually. However, having those two elements will always catalyse and prepare a solid and recognised basis, as well as generate information that is valuable and additional to what an ad hoc expert analysis could provide.
This pandemic made facilitation activities complicated, but at the same time more needed than before. We should take available technologies and virtual options as opportunities to do our best. I’m convinced that facilitation is more crucial now than ever. We cannot let global health crises like this pandemic separate us more than we already were.
https://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Dried-cocoa-seeds-Joel-Bubble-Ben-blog.jpg419800Frédéric Baronhttps://euredd.efi.int/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/EU-REDD-Facility-logo-tagline.svgFrédéric Baron2021-11-03 07:42:002022-06-16 09:51:26The lessons of COVID-19: facilitation for meeting sustainability goals
About the EU REDD Facility
The EU REDD Facility supports countries in improving land-use governance as part of their efforts to slow, halt and reverse deforestation. It also supports the overall EU effort to reduce its contribution to deforestation in developing countries. The Facility focuses on countries that are engaged in REDD+, an international mechanism that incentivises developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their forest and land-use sectors. The Facility is hosted by the European Forest Institute and was established in 2010.
This website has been produced with the assistance of the European Union and the Governments Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. The contents of this site are the sole responsibility of the European Forest Institute’s EU REDD Facility and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of funding organisations.
Essential website cookies
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
Google Analytics cookies
These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our communication campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you to enhance your experience.
Other external services
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts and external Video providers.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google reCaptcha Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds:
Embedded content from other websites
Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.
You can read about our cookies and privacy settings in detail on our Privacy notice page.