GLOBE's pre-final report on the main governance challenges for the implementation of the REDD+ mechanism in DRC, including those related to conservation and gender mainstreaming and the Cancun Safeguards presented at a high-level event opened by His Excellency the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development Mtr. Claude NYAMUGABO.
The presentation of the report was followed by a training workshop on the REDD+ mechanism and its ongoing implementation in the DRC to the benefit of the attending national Deputies and Senators members of the commissions on the Environment of the two chambers of the Congolese parliament, civil servants, and civil society organisations active on the environment.
The objective of the workshop was to stimulate the effective involvement of parliamentarians to advance policies and laws completing the governance framework for REDD+ in the DRC and to strengthen their capacity, as well as to validate the results of the report mapping the main remaining governance challenges for the implementation of REDD+ in DRC, including those related to conservation and gender mainstreaming and the Cancun Safeguards.
Minister NYAMUGABO called for an effective involvement of legislators in the REDD+ process, and then for the validation of the results of the diagnostic study, while voicing his conviction that at the end of this workshop the capacities of parliamentarians and stakeholders to play their role would be strengthened.
The President of GLOBE DRC, Hon. Jean-Pierre TSHIMANGA BUANA, welcomed the presence of all parties to this workshop, while inviting them to attend regularly future GLOBE activities at the Assemblée nationale. Mr. Grégoire ASSANI, Chief of Staff of the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, in his capacity as the Chairman of the National Steering Committee of the project in the DRC, stressed that the objective of the project is to enable the members of the Environment Committees of the two chambers of parliament to advance forest governance through the REDD+ process and natural capital towards the implementation of the 2030 agenda. In order to achieve this, they are called upon to take legislative actions, including initiating laws and monitoring the application of existing laws.
The technical segment started with the presentation of the head of the National Coordination REDD+, Mr. Assani ONGALA, who first recalled the adoption by the DRC of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, which provide for the establishment of the REDD+ mechanism. He then described the REDD+ mechanism as a set of general approaches and positive incentives, and the role of conservation and sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. Mr ONGALA explained that the REDD+ mechanism provides international funding for national efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. He noted that the sustainable management of forests and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks takes into account all the key sectors of the country's economic and social development, namely: climate change, the fight against deforestation, clean energy and agroecology.
He explained that, while being a multilateral mechanism that cannot be imposed on a country, countries that intend to benefit from this initiative must develop a national strategy, a National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS), develop / negotiate a level of reference, and develop safeguards measures and a Safeguards Information System (SIS). To this end, the DRC has had a REDD+ mechanism under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development since 2009, and adopted a national REDD+ framework strategy in December 2012.
Mr. ONGALA explained that current national priorities include:
- to secure the recognition of the DRC's efforts in its participation in the global fight against climate change with a high level of political commitment;
- to capitalise on the momentum created for the achievement of carbon (mitigation) and non-carbon (adaptation and poverty reduction) benefits;
- to mobilise adequate and additional funding, including sources such as CAFI, the Catalytic Fund and the Green Climate Fund for positive incentives in retribution for the efforts made;
- to consolidate achievements, including support from partners so that each actor plays its role effectively.
He then identified some of the main challenges in the implementation of REDD+ in the DRC:
- difficulties arising from the long implementation process;
- respect of the Safeguards and ownership by stakeholders;
- boosting the mobilisation of stakeholders, especially local stakeholders in a landlocked country;
- coordination of actions in compliance with the law and the mandate of each stakeholder.
Ms. Joëlle NKOSE BOELI led the presentation of the Study on the general analysis of the main legal and institutional issues in the implementation of REDD+ in the DRC including those related to conservation and gender mainstreaming and the Cancun Safeguards. The Study was conducted by the NGO Coalition for Sustainable Forest Management Development (COGEDEF) on behalf of GLOBE International.
The main legal and institutional gaps identified in the Study are as follows:
- In the forestry sector:
- Lack of an effective and operational control system;
- Failure to take into account emerging issues such as climate change, REDD+, payment for environmental services, etc;
- No government vision on sustainable forest development.
- In the conservation sector:
- Lack of measures to implement Law n°014/003 of February 2014 on the conservation of nature;
- Low budget allocated to conservation;
- Security problems;
- Poaching and illegal trafficking of protected species;
- Absence of a clear national policy on biodiversity conservation, which does not allow for the efficient implementation of related strategies.
- Concerning the REDD+ mechanism in the DRC:
- Conflict of positioning of the NC- REDD+
- Process largely driven by international expertise;
- Weak policy ownership in the different phases of REDD+;
- The REDD+ process in the DRC has escaped the administration;
- Politicians are playing the donors' games on the choice of project intervention zone;
- Donors and financial and technical partners have the lead on the REDD+ process;
- Need to finalise the different sectoral policy development processes.
As regards the mainstreaming of gender in REDD+, Ms NKOSI explained that “gender issues evaporate during project planning and implementation” due to reasons such as the under-representation of women in REDD+ governance structures, the lack of consultation and involvement of women in decision-making processes, customary constraints, and broader factors related to the socialisation of women and men in the DRC. Ms JOËLLE closed her presentation with a detailed task list for GLOBE legislators to advance from the Assemblée nationale to complete the governance framework of REDD+ in the DRC.
The conversation with the audience brought up the lack of a clear political vision on sustainable forest management, the lack of sanctions, and the lack of political ownership and leadership on environmental issues, which made the aims of the project very relevant.
The National Project Coordinator, Mr Henri-Christin LOGENDJA, invited the COGEDEF consultant to further expand on the elements related to the gender dimension and to the Cancun safeguards in the implementation of the REDD+ in DRC in the final report. He ended his remarks by thanking all stakeholders for their attendance, considering them as the focal points for their respective organisations, on behalf of the Hon. President of GLOBE DRC and the Project Director.
At the vote that followed the exchange with the audience the study was unanimously validated by the participants, subject to the various remarks being taken into account and addressed in the final version of the report.
The closing remarks of the workshop were delivered by Hon. Célestin ENGELEMBA, Member of the Environment Committee of the National Assembly, who thanked the organisers for their efforts and stated that he had benefited from this workshop.
After the deliberations, the following resolutions were agreed by the participants:
Plea for the signature of the letter of application for membership to the Gaborone Declaration;
The participants saluted the assumption of responsibility for the project by state institutions, mainly the Ministry of Environment and Development, in their commitment to invest 1 million dollars as in-kind co-financing to advance the actions needed to implement the legislative roadmap for the completion of the REDD+ governance framework in the DRC;
The roadmap must be into account in the elaboration of the GLOBE DRC action plan for 2021;
Parliamentarians must monitor the implementation of the existing REDD+ related laws and be involved in the development of new ones;
The GLOBE DRC Chapter should serve as a bridge between the international community and the Congolese population, by raising awareness of threats to forest resources;
The Congolese government is called to improve the environmental rule of law but also to carry out serious reforms in the area of the environment in order to capitalise on environmental assets in a sustainable manner;
Following the example of the two other African countries (Nigeria, Senegal) supported by the GLOBE project, already making progress with the implementation of environmental economic accounting, GLOBE DRC must take action in this regard;
The possibility of working in synergy with other countries of the sub-region already advanced on the implementation of the SEEA 2012 beyond the scope of the project must be taken into consideration.
THE EVENT IN THE NEWS
Courrier de Kinshasa, 11/02/2020: report on the meeting granted by the Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development to the National Coordination of the project: http://www.adiac-congo.com/content/processus-redd-presentation-du-chapitre-globe-rdc-et-du-projet-fem6-au-ministre-de
Journal Le Nouvel Observateur, Friday 20/03/2020
Journal Le Potentiel