Liberian Experiences with REDD+ and the VPA-FLEGT Processes Current situation and Challenges ACRN REGIONAL 2013 WORKSHOP Duala, Cameroon September 24, 2013 Presented by: Samuel Kwennah National REDD+ and VPA-FLEGT Management Arrangements • A National REDD + Technical Working Group established to play a technical advisory role for the National Climate Change Steering Committee. This Group liaises directly with the Advisor to the president on Climate Change and energy • A National Climate Change Steering Committee lunched by the President of the Republic of Liberia. The Terms of Reference have been developed and approved. • The National Climate Change Secretariat Administrative Coordinator has been recruited to facilitate implementation of R-PP activities, with office at the Ministry of States & Presidential Affairs • The REDD+ consultation & Participation Task Forces established (C&P Taskforce), to provide expertise and oversight on communication, outreached and public participation Stakeholder Consultations and Communication • Regional dialogue and information sharing workshops REDD+ held in 15 counties; • VPA Support Unit established on September 1, 2013 following the end of the VPA process in August; • Three National Civil Society Dialogue Workshops held with representative from civil society groups including NGO, academia, media, youth groups, women group; • Nationwide radio campaign for REDD+ and R-PP awareness raising – Dissemination of REDD+ and R-PP (FCPF) information in Liberian English and translated into the 16 local Liberia languages, and broadcast via 54 local radio stations nation- wide • The (unofficial) ratified by the National Legislature and currently at the Executive for signing into Law. REDD and VPA-FLEGT Readiness Progress Cont. • A Stakeholder Consultation and Participation (C&P) Plan designed and implemented in the formulation phase. • REDD Technical Working Group (RTWG) developed a national REDD+ and climate change website, Communication materials (brochures) were prepared before the consultations. • A plan to follow up on consultations during the Readiness Preparation phase has been developed. • A communication strategy on REDD developed. • Gender and Climate Change information shared and plan of action developed with participant from both rural and national women groups and structures. • The VPA SU Inception phase started on September 1, 2013 and will continue to December 31, 2013 • Implementation Framework • R- PP implementation option developed which highlights an acceptable procedure of transparency, conflict resolution and grievance management • A proposed suggested up to 2015 and beyond 2013. • A benefit sharing mechanism already developed NBSTB established. • VPA Support Unit currently conducting consultations on capacity needs for rollout of activities . Challenges • REDD and VPA-FLEGT are new phenomenon in Liberia, how can we CSO ensure that those who are most affected understand these concepts and develop their respond and mitigating mechanisms? • There is a fundamental link between REDD and FLEGT. In Liberia, the VPA that is the key driver of the REDD and FLEGT processes has not been signed into law by the President. This has stalled the rollout phase (implementation) of the VPA-SU Challenges Cont. • Unlike the VPA, there is little support to local integrated REDD+ initiatives couple with the lowlevel awareness amongst communities and CSOs; • Low capacities, a crosscutting challenge at government, community and CSO levels • Human induced activities threaten REDD+ and sustainable forest governance in Liberia; • Chain saw and demand for timber on timber market; • Signing of huge faulty concessions agreements in Liberia Opportunities • New Land policy drafted and an Act to lift the Land policy into law already presented to the president for onward presentation to the national legislature; • The VPA, hopefully will be signed in Law soon; • The VPA Support Unit has began its inception phase—September to December; Conclusion • The VPA-FLEGT and REDD+ program in Liberia as was presented seems an easy task, but let us assure you that it isn’t. There huge fight over participation, who to be involve— community representation—was a key issue. Today we (CSO) determine to move forward while at the same time remain engaged constructively with the process. THANK YOU. • Let me entertain some question/s with support from my colleague.