Financial Performance, National Programme
The UN-REDD Programme, alongside its partners, supported Colombia to complete its National REDD+ Strategy: Bosques Territorios de Vida. The programme supported the inclusion of inputs from the National REDD+ Strategy in the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development’s (MADS) goals related to forestry and REDD+, proposed in the new national development plan, the policy to combat deforestation and a Green Growth Policy Directive from the National Council on Economic and Social Policy (CONPES). The strategy used participatory processes to incorporate inputs from indigenous peoples and Afro-Colombians and supports the implementation of Colombia’s JDI with Norway, the UK and Germany.
Technical support was provided for constructing the FREL. In December 2018, the second BUR was submitted to UNFCCC, which included the technical annex for assessing the 2015–2016 REDD+ results.
The UN-REDD Programme supported the development of Colombia’s NFMS with community monitoring, preparation and implementation of the Third Annual Forest Cover Monitoring Summary and provided guidelines for monitoring restoration.
Colombia’s second summary of safeguards information was submitted to UNFCCC, and the country started developing its third summary with UNREDD programme support. Regarding the country’s SIS, progress was made in identifying means of verifying that safeguards are being addressed and respected, and also in the development of a proposal of technical specifications for the SIS. These inputs will guide the implementation of the system. In addition, assistance was provided to the country on area-based planning for REDD+ that aims to ensure that PAMs integrate non-carbon benefits.
Four Colombian technicians and community leaders received capacity development on sustainable cattle ranching at a regional workshop in Paraguay. Colombia’s agricultural development banks (FINAGRO and Banco Agrario) enhanced their environmental and social risk management systems through capacity development on financing agricultural production, in the context of zero-deforestation commodity production, with 22 risk and credit officers receiving training in environmental and social risk assessment, including 12 women. The UN-REDD Programme assisted with the conceptualization and implementation of the Community Forestry Program, which was launched in November 2018 and forms part of the National REDD+ Strategy.
Challenges and Solutions
Following the presidential election, changes in the Colombian Government caused delays to specific activities due to new priorities. To minimize impact, the programme has maintained ongoing communications with the Government. The electoral process and changes in Government created additional challenges for programme delivery, requiring the workplan to be adapted to new circumstances and priorities. In the case of the legislative process for the Forest Law or the review of the uncertainty analysis of the NFI results, programme support was redirected to other activities focused on developing the concept note for the GCF REDD+ RBP pilot programme.
Ambiguous legal interpretations of the community forestry model in Colombia have had implications for implementation. The programme worked closely with the Regional Autonomous Corporations and MADS to identify the legal gaps that affect community forestry initiatives and that are expected to appear within the framework of future MADS projects.
To articulate the institutional landscape for community forestry in Colombia, a workshop was held with national actors to set out the foundations of the community forestry programme, mobilize support and identify potential future contributions under the leadership of MADS.
Gender and Social Inclusion
Within the national strategy on forests (Bosques Territorios de Vida), gender equality is specified as one of the guiding principles and considerations on gender and women’s empowerment are integrated into the activities and indicators of various lines of action. As part of the National REDD+ Strategy, a new gender report, co-authored by the Programme Management Unit (PMU), was prepared in 2018, which builds on the guidance of the 2017 gender strategy and REDD+ analysis and corresponding gender-mainstreaming strategy, and provides concrete gender recommendations and entry points for gender action within existing and future REDD+ readiness processes in Colombia.
In addition, data disaggregated by sex, collected from workshops, and gender equity principles were reflected in the consultation on legal preparedness. The UN-REDD Programme also submitted a proposal for the inclusion of gender community forestry.
The National REDD+ Platform (Mesa Nacional REDD+) has facilitated dialogue between civil society and interested sectors on REDD+ and climate change to strengthen social inclusion and participatory processes. Round tables on REDD+ and climate change increased participation in REDD+ from the five national indigenous peoples’ organizations and 36 local organizations involved. In total, 2,036 participants (30 per cent women) belonging to indigenous, Afrodescendent and campesino groups, as well as CSOs, strengthened their knowledge on climate change and REDD+ through their participation.
The programme supported national efforts to reactivate the participatory process between the new Government and the indigenous and Afro-Colombian organizations by improving the technical capacity of three such organizations to provide inputs for the new national development plan. Sixty local initiatives received technical information thanks to UN-REDD programme support, as part of the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies’ (IDEAM) Participating Community Monitoring project.
Throughout implementation of the national programme, activities related to the participatory process and the National REDD+ Strategy were closely coordinated with the FCPF, the REDD Early Movers programme and Visión Amazonía, through regular meetings and joint workplans under the leadership of MADS.
Linkages to SDGs
In addition to supporting SDG 13 on climate action, UN-REDD programme support in Colombia has contributed to SDG 5 (Gender equality), through gender analysis and inputs for the National REDD+ Strategy, and SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth). Programme support for sustainable production models, including capacity development on sustainable cattle ranching and environmental and social risk management for the financial sector, also encourages the achievement of SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 15 (Life on Land).