Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation
Title: Reduction of greenhouse gases from deforestation and forest degradation in Central America and the Dominican Republic (REDD III)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador
Lead executing agency: Secretaría General del Sistema de la Integración Centroamerica-na (SG-SICA)
Overall term: 2018 to 2021
An area in Central America constituting just 0.5 per cent of the Earth’s surface accounts for around eight per cent of worldwide biodiversity on land. However, it is subject to huge pressure. Already very susceptible to the consequences of climate change, the region is becoming even more vulnerable as a result of soil degradation, deforestation and monocultures. Rapid population growth, poverty and weak political structures are also increasing the pressure on forest resources. Forest areas that were originally rich in species and carbon-rich are being progressively depleted and degraded as a result of temporary agricultural use. The member states of the Central American Integration System (Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana, SICA) want to combat this development and are at different stages in the implementation of national REDD+ strategies. REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation. For example, not all countries are yet in a position to acquire and use international and national funds for the necessary implementation and monitoring of forest conservation measures.
The member states of the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo, CCAD) have consolidated financing mechanisms for implementing forest conservation and forest management measures with quality standards and the associated monitoring.
CCAD is responsible for implementing the project on the partner side. In the various countries, the relevant ministries for the environment or agriculture are responsible. The project is operating with differing degrees of intensity in the individual SICA member states and is working on the three issues of financing mechanisms, dialogue platforms and monitoring.
The project is working on enabling the partners to request financing, implement financing mechanisms and monitor the implementation of measures such as forest conservation and reforestation while adhering to quality standards. It is also advising the countries on coordinating REDD+ strategies and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Climate Agreement. To this end, it is compiling the experiences of individual countries and presenting them to the other countries at workshops.
In addition, the project is supporting existing dialogue platforms with regard to knowledge management. These dialogue platforms are working groups consisting of representatives from the various countries and they develop concrete proposals for specific issues. The main aim here is to incorporate the results from the platforms into national political dialogue and the regional SICA/CCAD context. A particular emphasis is being placed on gender issues and consideration of the interests and rights of the indigenous groups.
The project also aims to establish a monitoring system in the long term to measure the impacts of forest conservation and forest management. Countries that have already developed such a system are receiving assistance in updating it. In other countries, the project is first supporting system development, in particular building on the experience gained in the previous project and on exchanges on the dialogue platforms.
In El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, the protocol developed for the region for the implementation of forest inventories has been adapted to the respective national framework conditions. It is now applied without any financial support from the project and is regularly updated with the relevant data regarding the expansion and condition of the forest. Moreover, the project is supporting the CCAD’s technical forest committee in incorporating activities to restore forest ecosystems into the operational plan of the regional forest strategy with an emphasis on gender and indigenous peoples.