COP17 Side Event: Republic of Congo REDD+ Day
The Republic of Congo REDD+ Day had the main objective to enhance and intensify the international visibility of the Republic of Congo’s REDD+ process. The Event was officially opened by the Minister of Sustainable Development, Forest Economy and Environment, H. E. M. Henri Djombo who provided the rationale for the country’s adoption of the REDD+ process and reiterated the importance of the policy process both in the country and in the Congo Basin region.
The National REDD Co-ordinator M. Georges Boundzanga then reviewed the progress of the REDD+ process in the country outlining the various achievements in terms of project activities and donor support. He thanked the European Space Agency and GAF AG for supporting the country in hosting the Side Event as well as the contribution of the GSE FM REDD project to the national REDD process. Representatives of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the UN-REDD Programme recounted their experiences guiding the Republic of Congo in her REDD Readiness initiative. It is important to note that the Republic of Congo has successfully developed a Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) for the FCPF and the signature of the grant agreement with the World Bank and subsequent implementation of the activities are imminent. The Republic of Congo is also preparing a grant submission to the UN-REDD programme.
Two representatives from civil society provided testimonies on their respective participations in the elaboration of the R-PP. They urged government and donor agencies to continue to support civil society in fostering their knowledge on REDD+ issues and enhance their participation in the national debate. The European Space Agency funded GSE FM REDD Project in the Republic of Congo was then presented by Dr. Thomas Haeusler. He presented the key achievements in the first 18 months of the project: the production of forest and forest area change maps for 1990, 2000 and 2010, the validation of these maps by the country, as well as capacity building of local counterparts. Another important component of the GSE FM in the Republic of Congo – the external validation of the technical methods development as well as products and services – was presented by Ms Astrid Schnell of TUEV SUED.
The Side Event was well attended by country delegations, COMIFAC, NGOs, IGOs and financiers. The Event achieved the overall objective of highlighting not only the country’s advances in REDD+ but the critical issue that the GSE FM REDD project activities are well integrated into the national REDD framework and providing the benefits to the user community that was planned.