Financial Performance, National Programme
In 2018, Honduras completed analysis on the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and on land tenure. In addition, the National Programme for Recovering Degraded Ecosystem Goods and Services was finalized as part of the National REDD+ Strategy. The programme, formalized by decree and approved under Ministerial Agreement 1030-2018, was officially published in La Gaceta in June 2018. Honduras took significant steps towards assessing the potential non-carbon benefits of REDD+ implementation. A preliminary report maps the areas offering greater potential for non-carbon benefits as well as areas that may be more vulnerable to the main deforestation and forest degradation drivers in the country.
To improve FREL estimates, progress has been made in clarifying the definitions for the remaining four REDD+ activities (forest degradation, sustainable forest management, enhancement and conservation of forest carbon stocks) in coordination with the technical team of the National Institute of Forest Conservation and Development, Protected Areas and Wildlife (ICF). Tests have been carried out to estimate activity data, by integrating spatial information with the NFI’s field data in the Google Earth Engine platform to further reach a methodological consensus.
The ICF signed a ministerial agreement to institutionalize the NFMS, making it the official reporting platform for generating data for informed decision-making in the forestry sector. An improvement plan developed for ICF officials for the management, administration and use of the NFMS platform will be implemented in 2019.
Honduras made important advances towards meeting UNFCCC requirements on safeguards, including the development of an initial proposal for SIS design, as well as a draft summary of safeguards information. An additional safeguard, ‘the Cultural Safeguard’, was developed through a participatory process. The National Committee for Environmental and Social Safeguards of Honduras (CONASASH) has also been established.
Although Honduras is not receiving UN-REDD technical assistance for REDD+ implementation, through its National REDD+ Strategy (supported by the FCPF), the country is developing an implementation plan and a financial strategy to fund REDD+ implementation through the GCF or another financial entity. Moreover, the REDD+ national team actively participated in the negotiation process that concluded with the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA)-FLEGT between Honduras and the European Union, to obtain support for good governance in the forest sector. To comply with the commitments, an inter-institutional memorandum of understanding was signed between MiAmbiente and the ICF to strengthen cooperation for the implementation of the VPA-FLEGT and REDD+.
Challenges and Solutions
There were substantial changes in both the technical and coordination teams due to the political crisis in 2017; however, a successful transition was achieved thanks to the documentation and systematization of the project. Concerns from groups representing indigenous peoples and Afro-Honduran peoples have been addressed through a series of dialogues, meetings and training sessions to learn about and participate in the project’s actions.
Gender and Social Inclusion
Diagnoses and consultations on mainstreaming gender into the various elements of the REDD+ pillars have been carried out and guidelines developed. The national technical team, with support from UN-REDD, updated the stakeholder involvement plan. Workshops were held to inform and gather input from indigenous and Afro-Honduran women and local communities on the studies of deforestation drivers and land tenure, which has strengthened and reaffirmed positions on their conditions to guarantee full and effective participation. The REDD+ process has also supported the elaboration of MiAmbiente’s Institutional Gender Strategy, which was validated and launched in October 2018.
Effective participation of relevant stakeholders was achieved through the organization of 29 events (meetings, forums, training sessions, workshops), which saw the participation of 896 persons representing indigenous and Afro-Honduran peoples and other relevant stakeholders – of whom 47 per cent were women and 53 per cent men. Nineteen informative notes have been published on social media, as well as via television, radio and print media as a result of the events and/or activities supported by the project. As for transparency and access to information on REDD+ readiness, all documents from the process are being published on the website: //www.ocphn.org/v1/ reddhonduras/. A blog was also created to share the vision and events of the REDD+ process. During the reporting period there have been 2,269 visits to the website.
The UN-REDD national programme is implemented in coordination with the FCPF project, where UNDP acts as the delivery partner. Synergies have been established between the results and products of both projects in order to ensure complementary efforts and to strengthen actions.
Linkages to SDGs
The national programme is directly related to SDG 13 (Climate action). SDG 1 (No poverty) and SDG 15 (Life on land) are intrinsic to the National REDD+ Strategy, which prioritizes actions that bring co-benefits beyond mitigating climate change, such as biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation. The institutionalization of the NFMS within the ICF also contributes to SDG target 15.9. Furthermore, the project is actively working to ensure the full and effective participation of women, as well as defining actions that are gender-sensitive, thus aligning with SDG 5 (Gender equality).