The key lessons learnt from this project are as follows:

  • This project has successfully demonstrated that effective and meaningful participation of CSOs and LCs can be enhanced in the REDD+ process through targeted capacity building, providing relevant technical knowledge, and strengthening networks of LCs and CSOs.  With capacity building activities at the community level and initiatives to safeguard community’s concerns in policy processes, the project has raised awareness among these communities about their ability to access benefits from ERP. In Nepal, certain communities have already been equipped with the necessary technical details to access benefits from ERP once it becomes operational. Given that the emission reduction payment is yet to be fully implemented, ongoing capacity building activities for LCs and CSOs during this phase are crucial. Specifically, training on the procedures to access benefits from ERP and the development of technical skills to create proposals will be essential. Sustained capacity building on REDD+, ERP and BSP to LCs, especially for women and youth along with the local governments/agencies are also necessary.
  • To ensure long-term effectiveness, capacity building projects should be extended in duration, and there should be increased investments in both formal and informal capacity building measures. This includes providing training on new developments at national and global levels, such as emission reduction programs, benefit sharing mechanisms, carbon rights, and carbon markets. Additionally, relevant technical skills development, such as carbon monitoring and alternative livelihoods, should be emphasized for LCs and other stakeholders.
  • Recognizing that the capacities of CSOs vary across regions, with CSOs in East Asia and South Asia having stronger capabilities compared to those in the Pacific region, it is crucial to design specific capacity building programs for local CSOs in the Pacific. These programs should focus on enhancing their technical and administrative capacities to effectively carry out capacity building initiatives within local communities.

Key lessons and best practices of the sub-projects are given in following Table. 

1. District level multi-stakeholder’s forums on REDD+ established synergy between government line agencies and CSOs regarding the sharing of information and lessons learnt about REDD+.

2. The collaboration among civil society organizations (CSOs) contributed to advancing other advocacy efforts of FECOFUN, such as safeguarding community rights within Forest Regulations. More than 12 CSOs came together and issued a joint statement about the issues posed by Forest Regulations 2079.

3. Local communities found visual illustrations were useful to understand the key messages during training.

4. The sub-project closely collaborated with similar initiatives, including the World Bank’s EnAble project, resulting in increased synergy, especially during the development of pertinent resource materials on ERP and REDD+.
1. Appropriate training programs were developed based on the training need assessment focusing on the local knowledge and information collected through community level consultations.
2. Engage experienced partners to facilitate capacity building activities in new locations. Seek local partners as valuable resources, including relevant stakeholders, capable and enthusiastic individuals, experts, and projects.

3. Providing content that is directly relevant to the concerns of CSOs will attract effective participation and contributions of all parties.

4. Establish relationships between stakeholders in the same issue to share information and work in an effective way.

5. PanNature complemented the government program through its in-depth field knowledge and practices.
1. GTM changed their timing of community visitation to 7-9pm in the evenings. This appeared to be an ideal time to talk to the communities in a relax mood to get the maximum information out of them.

2. The capacity-building activities involved the use of traditional/ indigenous approaches, such as the Talanoa sessions to share perspectives on REDD+ and ERP, and traditional/indigenous terminology meaning ecological restoration such as “Vakabulavanua” equating with REDD+.

3. GTM used the established forums, such as faith-based forums to convey the REDD+ message to the community people, and also to explore the potential of the forums to contribute to Fiji’s REDD+ program.

4. Partnering with the government as did by GTM with the Provincial Conservation Officer (during orientation to the village heads of Nadroga Navosa Province) can be replicated for the improved results of capacity building programs.
1. The cascading approach of training communities on REDD+ through the trained local resource persons was helpful in increasing outreach to a greater number of beneficiaries.
2. The training materials should be developed in local languages for effective information dissemination.

3. Partnering with other projects with similar objectives adds value to the project.
1. Ensure diligent oversight of the development and implementation of relevant  policies, and take action in response to the progress of policy promulgation.

2. Work closely with local authorities in the process of policy advocacy and policy implementation. Involving these stakeholders in the project implementation process to support the main targeted groups of the project.
3. By deliberately choosing partners and regions with limited experience in the domain of payment for forest environmental services, the project’s interventions will generate significant interest and yield positive outcomes.
1. Additional capacity building is required to the local communities at the household level to address fundamental and crucial topics such as Access and Benefit Sharing, Social Inclusion, and Carbon Proprietary Right Ownership.

2. Enhanced collaboration among government stakeholders (with different areas of jurisdiction) is essential to ensure their active participation in capacity building and community awareness initiatives. This collaboration becomes crucial for addressing sector-specific issues that may arise during community-level capacity building forums.

3. Tribal and religious leaders could serve as the champion for Fiji’s future ERP capacity building awareness campaigns.

4. The sustained direct involvement of the Indigenous (iTaukei) Ministry in community-level capacity building activities holds significant importance.

Sub-projects have also yielded some common lessons: 

  1. Increased synergy and collaboration with FCPF, local governments and other projects with similar objectives will increase the quality and outreach of the outcomes.
  2. Direct involvement of IPLCs can be fostered by developing training materials in local languages; and using effective visual media, interactive tools.
  3. Development of trainers at the local level, who could be used for training and capacity development activities, is instrumental to the success of REDD+.
  4. Employing participatory training techniques that incorporate visual and interactive tools leads to enhanced learning outcomes with greater impact.

ANSAB and Tebtebba jointly organized the regional sharing workshop from February 12 to 14, 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop brought together 65 representatives from the 10 FCPF countries which included representatives from the IPOs and CSOs that implemented the sub-projects, REDD+ focal points from ERP countries, CSO/IP FCPF observers in the region, members of the regional steering committee (RSC) for IPs, regional advisory committee (RAC) for CSOs/LCs, regional organizations working on REDD+ and the World Bank (WB). The workshop stimulated a constructive dialogue among the IPLCs in the region to share first-hand experiences and best practices, identifying gaps and challenges, drawing lessons learnt from REDD+ and ERP related projects of their country and community, and in end, identifying the ways forward. 

The regional workshops provided CSOs and LCs with the opportunity to network with, learn from and access the knowledge of other stakeholders implementing similar work. Face-to-face opportunity in the workshops facilitated the exchange of ideas, project challenges, and strategies for engaging with the REDD+ agenda and process. The regional sharing workshop provided opportunities to the participants, incl. from the non-ERP countries to learn from experience from the ERP countries for effective participation of IPLCs in REDD+ process and benefitting from ERP. CSOs and LCs were able to contribute beyond their small communities and partake in a wider network of practitioners, thereby thinking beyond and also becoming a part of global community of practitioners. Regional learning events fostered a wider community of practitioners who were empowered to share sub-project successes, and who were inspired to look at potential opportunities going forward, based on the lessons shared by other practitioners.

ANSAB, as the recipient of the Asia Pacific FCPF Capacity Building Project on REDD+, organized project launch workshop on March 28 and 29, 2022 in Kathmandu. The workshop brought together 23 representatives of the sub-project recipients, regional advisory committee members, and the project relevant staffs from ANSAB and the World Bank. The three sub-project recipients were selected from a rigorous, competitive process in January to carry-out country level REDD+ capacity building activities in Fiji, Nepal and Vietnam. During the workshop, the sub-project recipients were informed on the project, sub-projects and their administrative, safeguards, M&E and reporting requirements, so that the proposed activities will be carried out effectively and timely with the desired project development objectives. The workshop was organized in a mixed modality of virtual and in-person participation. Participants from ANSAB and Nepal’s sub-project recipients participated in-person, whereas the participants from World Bank and the sub-project recipients from Fiji and Vietnam participated virtually.

ANSAB, as a recipient of the Asia Pacific FCPF Capacity Building Project on REDD+ for the civil society (CSOs) and local communities (LCs), has awarded the following three sub-projects, one for each in Fiji, Nepal and Vietnam to implement the country level capacity building activities.

  • Fiji: Building Capacities & Enhancing ERP Community Awareness to strengthen REDD+ knowledge of 14 targeted CSOs and local communities ERP Sites & 2 Island Minority Communities Fiji, being implemented by GTM (Grace Trifam Ministry)
  • Nepal: Capacity Building of Local Communities and CSOs on REDD+ in Nepal (CBLC Nepal), being implemented by FECOFUN (Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal)
  • Vietnam: Capacity Building for Local Communities and CSOs in Monitoring the Benefit Sharing Mechanism of the Emission Reductions Program in the North Central Region of Vietnam, being implemented by Center for People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature)

The proposals of these sub-projects were selected through a rigorous competitive process that involves call for proposals; administrative check for screening the proposals based on the completeness of the eligibility requirements; technical evaluation from an independent panel of experts; and technical review of the prioritized proposals and a due diligence.

ANSAB team with FECOFUN team after signing the contract

In response to the Invitation of Expression of Interest from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to carry out REDD+ capacity building at national and local level under the FCPF REDD+ Capacity Building Program published on August 26, 2021, ANSAB has extended the deadline for the CSOs from Fiji to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) by October 21, 2021. This extension of deadline is only for the CSOs from Fiji. CSOs from Fiji who have already submitted their EOI in response to the previous call don’t need to resubmit their EOI.