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Synergies Between NBSAPs And REDD+

Description: 

In 2012, at its eleventh meeting, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted decision XI/19, which acknowledges the large potential for synergies between REDD+ activities and the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The decision urges Parties, other Governments, and relevant organisations to fully implement the relevant provisions and decisions of the CBD and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in a coherent and mutually supportive way. In 2012 a joint publication by the CBD, UNFCCC and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) examined potential synergies between the forest-related decisions of the three Rio conventions, confirming that the policies of these conventions and their implementation complement each other. The publication also noted that countries that are Parties to all three conventions have agreed to promote, support and/or encourage the sustainable management of forests as well as the economic, social and environmental values of all types of forest.

Understanding how countries have identified and capitalised on options for synergies can help to support other countries in overcoming similar challenges. The case studies from Cameroon, Uganda and Philippines provided below illustrate that even where the REDD+ and NBSAP processes are advancing at different paces in a country, it is still possible to work to support coherent and complementary policy development and implementation that takes account of overlaps in actions, information needs and information outputs.

Problem, challenge or context: 

The many similarities between activities, information needs and planning requirements of REDD+ activities and NBSAPs mean that there are many potential synergies for the planning and implementation of both. Many countries are Parties to both the CBD and UNFCCC, and thus the potential advantages of exploring synergies are promising. Joint planning for the implementation of REDD+ and NBSAPs could help countries to ensure their approaches to climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation are complementary and consistent. Additionally, enhancing coordination between policies has the potential to reduce the duplication of efforts, help minimise trade-offs, and maximise benefits. Finally, efforts on information collection, management and sharing could help improve datasets on forests, biodiversity and other national priorities that can support land-use decisions.

Specific elements of components: 

Climate change and biodiversity loss are two pressing environmental and development-related challenges in the twenty-first century. Deforestation and forest degradation represent a significant contribution to anthropogenic CO2 emissions, with resulting impacts on global climate change, and with land-use change is estimated to provide a net contribution of around 10% of global emissions. Land-use change also contributes to biodiversity loss in forest ecosystems, mainly through conversion of forested lands for agricultural purposes. These trends are further compounded by climate change, which is expected to lead to further biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.

The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity acknowledges the large potential for synergies between REDD+ activities and the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets and urges Parties, other Governments, and relevant organisations to fully implement the relevant provisions and decisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in a coherent and mutually supportive way (paragraph 6 of decision XI/19).

Some of the challenges identified at the country level are the following:
1) Countries have limited resources and capacity for planning and implementation
2) Institutional structures and arrangements are currently fragmented
3) REDD+ and NBSAP processes are advancing at different paces

The action taken:

Case studies from Cameroon, Uganda and the Philippines provide some actions that have been taken to foster synergies between NBSAPs and REDD+:

REDD+ strategy and NBSAP

• Cameroon’s REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) and its revised NBSAP recognise the potential link between climate change mitigation actions and biodiversity, and refer to one another. The REDD+ R-PP explicitly states the country’s NBSAP is a strategic document relevant to REDD+ development. Cameroon’s NBSAP explicitly mentions REDD+ as one demonstration of the country’s commitment to preserving ecosystem services, and as being relevant to three of the national targets defined in the NBSAP. National targets that are relevant to REDD+ include:

1) National target 15: By 2020, the establishment and implementation of mechanisms for the payments for ecosystem services, including carbon stocks, should generate increased revenue. This target seeks to ensure that national-level compensation mechanisms benefit from efforts made within the conservation framework.
2) National target 10: ecosystems and human well-being are significantly reduced through ecosystem-based climate change adaptation measures. Climate change and climate variation are negatively impacting on ecosystems and consequently on the wellbeing of the populations that depend on ecosystem resources for their livelihoods. The future REDD+ mechanism envisaged in Target 15 is also a major strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as they address the direct and indirect causes of deforestation and degradation.
3) National target 19: By 2020, the capacity of key actors should be built and gender mainstreaming carried out for the effective implementation of the biodiversity targets. This target addresses the concerns for cross cutting issues of training, capacity-building and gender. It seeks to ensure that training and capacity-building of key stakeholders is integrated in the biodiversity programs and projects as a guarantee for a more dynamic and effective role in the realization of the defined Strategic Goals and Targets by the year 2020.

Both the NBSAP and R-PP mention protected areas strategies. The R-PP states that one option for reducing deforestation and degradation is “strengthening the efficacy of management of protected areas” and that “this option will allow the co-benefits related to the conservation of biodiversity to be strengthened”. National Target 11 of the NBSAP states that by 2020, at least 30 per cent of the national territory, taking into consideration “ecosystem representativeness”, is under effectively and equitably managed protected areas.

Similarly, the R-PP recognizes that strategies for reducing pressure from the use of wood to meet energy needs is one of the major potential REDD+ strategy components in Cameroon, as fuelwood collection is one of the primary drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. The NBSAP has as its “ecosystem specific target” 6 that: “by 2020 the use of alternative energy should have increased and significantly reduced pressure on fuelwood”.

Both the REDD+ R-PP and the NBSAP recognise the need for information to assess the achievement of the desired objectives. As there is substantial overlap in some of these objectives, the need for an information system that incorporates multiple benefits, impacts, governance and guarantees highlighted in the REDD+ R-PP may overlap with the need for monitoring and evaluation to assess the achievements of the national targets set out in the NBSAP.

• Uganda developed its first national biodiversity strategy and action plan (NBSAP1) in 2002. The second review of the NBSAP has been done simultaneously with the formulation of the second-generation NBSAP (NBSAP2). The country’s draft NBSAP makes explicit reference to REDD+: the national biodiversity target (equivalent to Aichi Biodiversity Target 5) states that “the rate of loss of all natural habitats including forests, is at least halved or brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced” and the national target equivalent to Aichi Biodiversity Target 15 states that “by 2018, biodiversity issues are fully integrated into the National REDD+ program”.

Uganda’s R-PP states that the country’s obligations to the CBD will be emphasised within its REDD+ strategy. Specific mention of the links are not made, but multiple components of the R-PP suggest complementarities with the NBSAP, and one of the priority actions for implementation during the 2012-2014 period is “developing a framework for assessing key social and environment risks and potential impacts of REDD-plus strategy options and implementation framework”. The R-PP also states that “much of Uganda’s biodiversity is concentrated in the nation’s forests” and that “it is important to design REDD-plus strategies which would conserve (and restore) these prime forests in Protected Area”.

Another specific overlap between Uganda’s NBSAP and its REDD+ strategy is the role of protected areas. One of the key outcome indicators of the NBSAP national target . (that by 2020, at least 17 per cent of the protected areas in Uganda are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems for socio-economic benefit of the population) is to “support alternative livelihood options for community adjacent to PAs”. This is very similar to the suggested strategy in the REDD+ R-PP of strengthening partnerships with communities as neighbours to protected forest area.

Uganda’s Fifth National Report to the CBD states that main challenges in the past have included securing financing for biodiversity conservation actions, carrying out biodiversity inventories and managing biodiversity outside protected areas. It also highlights that REDD+ is a potential source of financing for payments for ecosystem services, although this role is not described in the R-PP. The R-PP does set out that developing and testing pilot procedures for monitoring of co-benefits of REDD+ implementation may be part of developing a REDD+ strategy and this could overlap with the monitoring needed for the CBD.

• The Philippines’ National REDD-Plus Strategy (PNRPS) was developed between 2009 and 2010, and its implementation period was set for 2010-2020. The Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP) is currently in the process of being revised, and is the product of a series of regional and national stakeholder consultations.

Both the PNRPS and the fourth National Report to the CBD recognize links between biodiversity and REDD+. The fourth National Report recognises REDD+ as one of the mechanisms to address climate change issues. The PBSAP which is currently in development intends to include reference to REDD+, especially in its target on restoration. The PNRPS makes reference to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. There is no direct mention of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets since the PNRPS was developed and finalized before the country’s biodiversity conservation priorities in the context of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets were identified. However, one of the priorities of the PNRPS is biodiversity conservation, and one of its key strategies is undertaking “watershed, natural ecosystem and landscape-level approaches to REDD+ development in order to ensure multiple benefits”. The PNRPS also highlights the importance of protected areas for REDD+ policy in the Philippines and in the new PBSAP it is expected that strengthening protected areas system will be a priority.
Institutional synergies

• Cameroon: There is political will in Cameroon to include environmental issues, as well as sustainable development and the use of natural resources in national development plans, as well as broad-based stakeholder and civil society engagement in the development of the REDD+ strategy. This has helped ensure that Cameroon’s NBSAP and R-PP do acknowledge the role of one another. Currently, Cameroon’s NBSAP includes more explicit consideration of the potential links and synergies between the two policies. During the NBSAP revision process, the REDD+ focal point was a member of the MINEPDED Internal Coordination Committee, the Biodiversity National Steering Committee, and the Finalisation Committee for the NBSAP II document. The CBD focal point was not explicitly included as a part of discussions on REDD+.

• Uganda: The REDD+ focal point and CBD focal point both operate within the Ministry of Water and Environment, though they come from different agencies of government (the REDD+ focal point is situated in the National Forestry Authority (NFA) and the CBD focal point is situated in the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)). The REDD+ focal point provided input during the NBSAP2 development process. The CBD focal point was a member of the REDD+ Steering Committee and the REDD+ Working Group during the Readiness Preparation Proposal process. The CBD focal point will also continue to provide technical input to and be informed by the REDD+ process through providing support to various REDD+ Steering Committees, National Technical Committees and other themed taskforces.

• Philippines: There have been several processes and projects undertaken within the Philippines; institutional context to support coordination between these two objectives. During the development of the PBSAP, the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) of the Department for Environment and Natural Resources (the focal agency on REDD+) participated in regional and national PBSAP updating consultations. The FMB is also a member of the Project Steering Committee and Technical Working Group for updating of the PBSAP. Likewise, the Biodiversity Management Bureau (at the time called the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau) participated in PNRPS development, and is currently a member of the Safeguards Technical Working Group.

Key lessons learned: 
  • Planning for synergies does not necessarily provide a road map for how the actions will be implemented on the ground. Thus, it is important that high-level plans and policies for synergies are coupled with plans for how specific actions will be implemented on the ground. Recording which actions are being carried out, and how these, alongside their impact on the ground, may help provide information on whether synergies are being realized.
  • Effective planning and implementation of REDD+ and NBSAPs require significant information inputs, including, but not limited, to information on the drivers of deforestation and biodiversity loss, current forest extent and locations, and existing policy laws and regulations. Much of this information is useful to both REDD+ and NBSAPs.
  • In order to effectively and efficiently integrate, budget for and implement the identified synergy actions, people implementing both processes at all levels need to be engaged.
  • The development of a legal framework and an enabling policy environment can help support integrated actions.
  • Spatial information can be useful in identifying (and visualising) challenges, opportunities and trade-offs of decisions at the country level. Cameroon and the Philippines are considering including spatial components in NBSAP revisions.
  • Communications and outreach to ministries outside of those responsible for REDD+ and NBSAP planning and implementation (e.g. mining, energy, agriculture) are needed to mainstream biodiversity and REDD+ among different ministries, and may be useful in terms of sharing data and information.
  • How specific actions are implemented will determine the extent of synergies between objectives, as well as the benefits that can be achieved, and the potential costs.
Impacts and outcomes: 

The case studies show that even where the REDD+ and NBSAP processes are advancing at different paces in a country, it is still possible to work to support coherent and complementary policy development and implementation that takes account of overlaps in actions, information needs and information outputs. For example, Uganda, Cameroon and the Philippines all refer to the role of protected areas within both their NBSAPs and REDD+ strategies. In the Philippines, the national REDD+ strategy includes the role of protected areas in REDD+, but does not refer specifically to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets as the strategy was finalized before the revision of the country’s NBSAP. The revised NBSAP is expected to include strengthening the protected areas system amongst its objectives.

Supporting effective, efficient and coherent policies, plans and actions requires communication and coordination between the people and organizations making decisions on, planning and implementing REDD+, NBSAPs, and related processes, at different levels. The Philippines provides a good example of effective and efficient coordination that has helped to identify overlaps and increase coherence between REDD+ and NBSAP actors and actions: the Forest Management Bureau of the Department for Environment and Natural Resources (the focal agency on REDD+) participated in regional and national NBSAP updating consultations. Likewise the Biodiversity Management Bureau (at the time called the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau) participated in the REDD+ strategy development and is currently a member of the REDD+ Safeguards Technical working Group.

Contact details: 
Sarah Ivory
Country: 
Language: 
English
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