Design and setting up of a Governance and Payment system for Nepals Community Forest Management under Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)
Global warming has spawned a new form of commerce: the carbon trade. This new economic activity involves the buying and selling of environmental services including the removal of greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere, which are identified and purchased by eco-consulting forms and then sold to individual or corporate clients to offset their polluting emission.
The COP 15(2009) in Copenhagen, Denmark has recognized the crucial role of reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation and the need to enhance removal of greenhouse gas emission by forest. It has also developed a broad agreement on the need to provide positive incentive to such actions through the instant establishment of a mechanism including REDD+ to enable the mobilization of financial resources from developed countries. Until that, Community Forestry Management (CFM) practiced in the Himalayan Region had not been recognized for payment despite its large contribution in reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere emitted mainly by the developed countries.
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and forest carbon enhancement through conservation and sustainable management of forest (REDD+): a globally accepted climate change mitigation approach whereby economic incentive is to be provided by industrialized countries to developing countries and their communities for the contribution of reducing deforestation and forest carbon enhancement is considered as cost effective measure in this regard.
With REDD+ initiatives in climate change architecture, Community Forestry (CF) seems to be able to derive incremental benefits through managing its standing natural forest and enhancing carbon stock., REDD+ has been a scheme to reward the local communities for their efforts to manage and conserve forest and enhance the carbon stock in addition to deter deforestation and forest degradation. Community level forest governance system in Nepal has evoked renewed interest in the context of community engagement in forest conservation evolving concept of Reducing Emissions form Deforestation and Forest Degradation and forest enhancement (REDD+)
In consideration to the above, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) and Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources(ANSAB) with financial support of NORAD have collaboratively implemented a pilot project "Design and setting up of a Governance and Payment system for Nepals Community Forest Management under Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)from July 2009.
The broad objective of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of REDD payment mechanism in CFM by involving local communities including marginalized groups so that deforestation and forest degradation can be reduced by linking sustainable forest management practices with economic incentives. The project further focuses on concern of indigenous and marginalized people and forest dependent local communities by involving them in designing and functioning of a national level REDD governance and payment mechanism that supports community forestry at grassroots level.
The specific objectives of the project includes
* Strengthening the capacity of civil society actors in Nepal to ensure their active participation in the planning and preparation of REDD national strategies.
* Establishing a Forest Carbon Trust Fund that is sustainable and creditable in the long run.
* Contributing to the development of REDD strategies that can effectively and efficiently monitor carbon flux in community managed forest.
The dual 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 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. Similarly advisory committee at district level constitutes the district forest authority, district development committee (DDC), and indigenous peoples (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. Central advisory committee reviews and makes final decisions which are transmitted to district committee and forest groups. Advisory committees are thus 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.
Entire caste or ethnicity and their population within the three watershed area are targeted with the piloting project. Particularly women, dalit, indigenous nationalities and poor within the project area are given special priority in benefit sharing of REDD+. Since the ultimate goal of the project is to contribute to the formulation of national REDD strategies, eventually it will benefit to total population of Nepal through Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and forest enhancement (REDD+).
The project is running in three watersheds namely Charnawati in Dolakha district, Ludikhola in Gorkha district and Kayarkhola in Chitwan district of the mid hills of Nepal. The project covers about 13,970 hectors of forest area comprising more than 14,885 household with 73,294 populations.
* Developed foundation/structure for scaling up payment mechanism based on community forest management system that is inclusive.
* Supported National REDD strategies formulation process.
* Raised and incorporated concerns of poor, dalit and indigenous nationalities into REDD strategies
From July 2009 to May 2013.
Currently, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Federation of Community Forestry Users, Nepal (FECOFUN) and Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources(ANSAB) have collaboratively implemented a pilot project Design and setting up of a Governance and Payment system for Nepals Community Forest Management under Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). ICIMOD roles in the project are to coordinate overall project activities and provide technical guidance to ANSAB and FECIFUN. Similarly, FECIFUN roles in the project are to facilitate CFUGs by mobilizing Local Resources Persons (LRPs) and formation of watershed level CFUG network to offer support in network to to provide support in developing framework of Forest Carbon Trust Fund and to deal with policy issues involved in developing REDD payment mechanism. Likewise, ANSAB is responsible for building the capacity of FECOFUN on REDD process and leading the technical aspects in collaboration with partners.
Agency for Development and cooperation (NORAD).