Financial Performance, National Programme
The UN-REDD Programme supported Bangladesh to further develop its National REDD+ Strategy with the identification of deforestation and degradation drivers. PAMs, including those of a gender-sensitive nature, were identified and vetted through stakeholder consultations and are undergoing assessment for implementation benefits, costs and risks. The institutional arrangement for REDD+ management was also proposed to the Government.
Technical capacity for FRELs/FRLs was strengthened through UN-REDD events and a national consultation on the proposed FREL/FRL. A revised version of the FREL/FRL report was submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, approved and submitted to the UNFCCC REDD+ Info Hub in January 2019.
With UN-REDD programme support, the structure and several modules of the Bangladesh Forest Information System (BFIS) were finalized and presented to the Forest Department. The BFIS was officially launched in December and has benefited from the creation of national land-cover maps for 2005 and 2010, as well as capacity development for database management. A draft data-sharing policy for the Forest Department has been submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
Challenges and Solutions
The official launch of the national programme encountered delays due to the formulation of the Project Steering Committee and the UN-REDD national Programme Executive Board. A no-cost extension to the national programme until June 2019 was approved by the UN-REDD Executive Board to accommodate these delays; however, several other activities scheduled for 2018 were also delayed. Preliminary approval for the budget revision was obtained and will be formalized in 2019.
A lack of IT and programming capacity in the Forest Department necessitated additional training and recruitment of more IT and database management consultants.
Gender and Social Inclusion
The national programme carried out two gender assessments in 2018: a literature review on gender issues in forest resource management and a screening of policies, laws and regulations and PAMs against gender issues. A gender expert facilitated dedicated discussions at eight regional consultations on PAMs, which concluded in early 2018.
During 2018, 387 participants took part in UN-REDD Programme events in Bangladesh, 349 of whom were men and 38 women. Overall, 2,726 individuals have participated in project events since the programme’s inception, 2,265 of whom were men and 461 women. Inputs from forest-dependent communities, indigenous peoples and women were considered and interpreted when formulating PAMs. A minimum representation of one women is required in the National REDD+ Steering Committee (of a total of 37 institutional members), REDD+ Cell (eight members) and Strategy and Safeguards Technical Working Group (15 members), and a minimum of two women in the National REDD+ Forum (34 members).
In 2018, the programme supported the drafting of the REDD+ management structure, which includes positions for indigenous peoples and CSOs, and is under review by the Government. The National REDD+ Steering Committee
has three dedicated positions for indigenous communities out of 37 representative institutions. The 34-member REDD+ Forum includes one member representing marginalized communities, six members from civil society/non-governmental organizations and journalists, and nine members from forest-dependent groups.
During the PAM development, 316 par- ticipants from five districts were con- sulted, five of whom were from indige- nous communities and 113 from CSOs. Basic training on REDD+ issues started at the end of 2018 with 71 participants in attendance, of whom 13 were from CSOs.
UN-REDD programme support is closely coordinated with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bangladesh NFI project. The programme supported the World Bank Forest Investment Program formulation team and the development of the US$ 175 million World Bank Sustainable Forests & Livelihoods project, approved in October 2018.
Linkages to SDGs
Programme support contributes to SDG target 13.B by building capacity for climate change-related planning and management, and to indicator 15.2.1 through the development and institutionalization of the National REDD+ Strategy. The BFIS supports the provision and transparency of information required to adapt planning processes to the impacts of climate change and to mitigate AFOLU-related emissions. The REDD+ Strategy development process provides a policy framework for these planning processes and the FRL provides a benchmark to assess their effectiveness.