Progress against the Warsaw Framework
In 2019, UN-REDD provided support to the Congo with the consolidation of the NFMS and the FREL revision. Building on the technical know-how developed for the FREL construction, the Congo finalized and validated its change map for the period 2014–2016 with technical support from UN-REDD. The map served as a basis for negotiating its deforestation cap in the letter of intention to the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), showing real strengthening of the MRV capacities of the National Centre for Forest Inventory and Zoning (CNIAF).
The country also geared up in terms of technology, by adopting cloud-computing solutions for monitoring forest perturbations and deriving high-resolution deforestation and degradation maps for the period 2016–2018 for the Likouala department. The methodology will be replicated and extended at the national level to include degradation as a REDD+ activity in the revised FREL, to be finalized in 2020.
In 2019, the Programme improved the country’s capacities for monitoring forest emissions, especially those related to forest degradation, and inventory data analysis, thereby greatly improving 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.
UN-REDD supported the finalization of a GCF full proposal (with FAO as the accredited entity) that was due for submission in January 2020, which aims to secure financing for the REDD+ investment plan for reducing pressure on forests from small-scale agriculture and fuelwood collection.
The proposal is fully aligned with the national REDD+ investment plan and should allow the country to achieve economic diversification alongside low-emission climate resilience development and to position itself as a strategic partner and a leading figure in global action addressing climate change.
Challenges and Solutions
Changes in the country’s REDD+ coordination unit and uncertainty over its future funding resulted in delays in the national validation and approval of UNREDD products in 2019. UN-REDD is working to support the mobilization of resources, from sources such as GCF and CAFI, to support the National System of Agricultural and Forestry Innovation (SNIAF) and maintain the country’s normative REDD+ activities.
Gender and Social Inclusion
UN-REDD in the Congo actively encourages the involvement of female experts and participants at all stages of REDD+ readiness and implementation.
The Consultation Framework for Congolese Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples (CACO-REDD), which is key to the REDD+ process in the country, was established by representatives of civil society organizations and indigenous people to coordinate their engagement in REDD+ in the country. CACO-REDD members were invited to and consulted during the kick-off meetings and consultations on UN-REDD activities. However, most of the work supported by UNREDD in 2019 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 Congo enjoy fruitful collaboration thanks to the long-established coordination between UN-REDD, FCPF, l’Agence française de développement (AFD), CAFI and the European Forest Institute’s EU REDD Facility. Face-to-face coordination meetings are held regularly among partners during missions at the national level, or, alternatively, meetings are held via videoconference. The number of joint projects between partners is testament to the strength of these partnerships, including, for example, the FCPF emissions reduction programme, which builds on collaboration between the World Bank, AFD and UN-REDD. The FCPF readiness fund and UN-REDD have developed joint workplans over the years in support of REDD+ coordination.
Linkages to SDGs
UN-REDD supports the Congo in achieving SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 15 (life on land) by supporting the country’s transition from REDD+ readiness to implementation.