Progress against the Warsaw Framework
In 2018, the UN-REDD Programme supported the Republic of the Congo with NFMS and FREL development. In close collaboration with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the Republic of the Congo developed its first forest degradation map and mapping methodology to obtain estimates on forest-cover loss due to forest degradation. Programme support also enabled the Republic of the Congo to update its deforestation estimates for the period 2014–2016. This map and methodology will enable the country to improve its FRELs and submit an updated version to UNFCCC in 2020.
The UN-REDD Programme supported the Republic of the Congo in revising its REDD+ Investment Plan, which has been reviewed thoroughly by potential donors, including CAFI and the Forest Investment Program (FIP). The programme ensured that the Investment Plan aligned with the country’s achievements on MRV and included the progress made on issues including climate-smart agriculture and sustainable forest management. It also supported the preparation of a GCF proposal, due for submission in 2019, which aims to secure financing for the REDD+ Investment Plan and focuses on reducing pressure on forests from small-scale agriculture and fuelwood collection.
Challenges and Solutions
Changes in the country’s REDD+ coordination unit and uncertainty over its future funding resulted in ongoing delays in the national validation and approval of UN-REDD Programme products in 2018. The UN-REDD Programme, alongside the World Bank and CAFI, have initiated discussions with the Government to assess potential sources of national and international funding for REDD+. The programme has also been strengthening the capacity of the country’s forest monitoring agency, CNIAF, so that it can take more ownership of the UN-REDD Programme products.
Gender and Social Inclusion
The UN-REDD Programme in the Republic of the Congo actively encourages the involvement of the female experts present in the country’s REDD+ coordination unit and the CNIAF, including two female lead experts (out of 10 people in total) who are regularly encouraged to take on leadership roles in planning and technical work. The programme works closely with female experts from the REDD+ coordination unit, notably on the UN-REDD Programme annual planning, but also to implement work in the areas of safeguards, governance and gender.
The Republic of the Congo’s REDD+ Investment Plan integrates a gender approach, with a minimum quota of 30 per cent women in the coordination of its implementation and in women-specific agricultural development projects, and financial arrangements will be developed to provide women with direct access to material and financial support.
The programme has increased efforts to collect data disaggregated by sex from consultations and training events. Notably, there has been an increase in female participation at consultation events, but slower improvements at events aimed at government officials in the fields of forestry and agriculture.
Representatives of CSOs and indigenous people on REDD+ in the Republic of the Congo are organized under the Consultation Framework for Congolese Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples (CACOREDD), which is key to the REDD+ process in the country. CA- CO-REDD members are invited to and consulted during the kick-off meetings and consultations on UN-REDD Programme activities. However, most of the work supported by UN-REDD in 2018 was at the institutional level, resulting in limited direct engagement with indigenous peoples, who are mostly located in one remote region of the country.
REDD+ partners in the Republic of the Congo are well coordinated, thanks to the long-established coordination between the UN-REDD Programme, the FCPF, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CAFI and the European Forest Institute EU REDD Facility. In-person coordination meetings are regularly held among partners during missions, or alternatively through videoconferencing, as is often the case with CAFI. The number of joint projects between partners is testament to these partnerships. For example, the FCPF Emissions Reduction Programme, which builds on collaboration among the World Bank, AFD and the UN-REDD Programme. The FCPF Readiness Fund and the UN-REDD Programme have developed joint workplans over the years in support of REDD+ coordination.
Linkages to SDGs
The UN-REDD Programme supports the Republic of the Congo in achieving SDG 13 (Climate action). In 2018, the programme improved the country’s capacities for forest-emission monitoring and greatly improved its reporting data set. This will enable the country to submit its first BUR by 2020, which will include a technical annex of REDD+ results.