South-South Exchange on Community Forestry and REDD+
Meeting in BNDES office in Rio de Janeiro of African and Brazilian representatives, before leaving for the Amazon.
February 11, 2011
A 10-day South-South Exchange on community forestry and REDD+ just took place in Brazil with participants from six African countries. The exchange aimed to support countries to better understand the role that community forestry can play in their national REDD+ strategies1. The activity brought together participants from Africa (Central African Republic, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Madagascar and the Republic of Congo) to exchange experiences on “Community Forestry and REDD+” with various Brazilian counterparts, including federal and state governments, the private sector, civil society and indigenous peoples organizations.
It was great to see delegates experience firsthand how communities are benefiting from REDD revenue flows and how this is impacting their daily life. || André Aquino, Carbon Finance Specialist, The World Bank
Here is an interview with André Aquino, Carbon Finance Specialist at the World Bank based in Kinshasa, who led the delegation.
What are the key objectives of the South-South Exchange on REDD+ that was held in Brazil?
A: The main goal of the delegation was to learn from Brazil’s experience in community forestry and its link to the REDD+ agenda. To do this, the group of government and civil society representatives from six African countries visited several sites in the Amazon.
What are the benefits to the delegates visiting from Africa?
A: Brazil has many relevant experiences to share with its African counterparts. For example, the Amazon Fund, managed by BNDES (the Brazilian Development Bank), is currently the largest national REDD initiative in the world. It has created an innovative model for managing and disbursing funds for activities that contribute to the objective of REDD.
Virgilio Viana, CEO, Amazonas Sustainability Foundation, in discussion with African delegates. Photo Credit: Monick Maciel / FAS
A: Participants were able to learn from what Brazil has achieved so far. They were particularly impressed by the transparent and independent structure of the REDD fund management, developed by the Amazon Fund. It was great to see delegates experience firsthand how communities are benefiting from REDD revenue flows and how this is impacting their daily life. For example, they are funding health facilities and schools, including the use of satellites for distance learning.
The activities also allowed participants to network and open up channels of communication for future cooperation, not only between the African and Brazilian delegates, but also among the African delegates themselves.
Environment Secretary of Amazonas, Nadia D'Ávila; Virgilio Viana, CEO, Amazonas Sustainable Foundation; Andre Aquino, Carbon Finance Specialist, The World Bank; Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gaston Nginayevuvu; Photo Credit: Monick Maciel / FAS
What has been the main achievement of the initiative?
A: It is fascinating to see how this event allowed representatives of countries that make up the second largest forested area in the world (the Congo Basin) to learn from the experiences of the largest forested area in the world (the Amazon). The purpose of the initiative was to support these countries in their effort to ‘get ready for REDD+’ and we think that this has been achieved. It builds on the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s continued support for knowledge-sharing and capacity building for REDD+ in developing countries.
Sustainable Development Reserve in Juma, Municipality of Novo Aripuanã, where FAS is developing a program of support of Bolsa Floresta (Photographer Tanea Rodrigues/FAS)
What are the next steps?
A: Our participants are now highly motivated to go back home, share their new knowledge with their colleagues and continue their preparation of national REDD+ strategies. However, as you know, only six countries could participate in this trip and so one of our objectives has been to document the learning that went on here and put that into a Guidebook on Community Forestry and REDD+, which we will use to disseminate this knowledge. Please keep an eye out for it on the FCPF website. See the Communiqué Final from the trip - Lessons Learned and Next Steps (In French only, En Francais).
Andre Aquino works for AFTEN – the Africa Environment Department of the World Bank, based in the Kinshasa Country Office, Democratic Republic of Congo. His main focus is forestry and carbon finance. He moved to Kinshasa about a year ago, and was previously working in the Carbon Finance Unit at the World Bank in Washington DC. He was interviewed by Isabel Hagbrink, Senior Communications Officer at the World Bank's Carbon Finance Unit, on February 8, 2011.
1REDD+ stands for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, forest carbon stock conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. It is a climate change mitigation mechanism that seeks to provide positive incentives for tropical forested countries to reduce deforestation and forest degradation.
Contributed by Isabel Hagbrink, Senior Communications Officer, Carbon Finance Unit, The World Bank