Through a series of regional level meeting, workshop and regional dialogue, REDD+ stakeholders agree on Asia Pacific level key lessons learned, best practices and next steps for the full and effective participation of local communities, civil society organizations, indigenous people in REDD+ process. In 2019, ANSAB, as the regional recipient of the FCPF REDD+ capacity building program for local communities and civil society organizations, brought together the stakeholders, involving government representatives, also setting the direction for further support to the local communities and indigenous people incl. women to engage in REDD+ process.

As the continuous initiative of bringing the stakeholders in common platform, ANSAB organized a regional level workshop in Kathmandu from August 5 to 7, 2019, which brought over 40 individuals representing the government and civil society organizations from eleven FCPF Asia Pacific countries, international and regional level organizations, and the current and past FCPF CSO observers in the region participated the workshop. During the workshop, the participants exchanged first-hand learning and sharing of country level experiences on implementing REDD+ capacity building sub-projects, along with the sharing and discussion on broader experience from country/regional level capacity building of CSOs and LCs on REDD+. ANSAB also shared the lessons learnt on the REDD+ capacity building at country and regional level, that set the direction of discussion. The workshop concluded with the development of a set of recommendations for further capacity building needs to the local communities and civil society organizations in the region.

Similarly, a regional dialogue was organized together with Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education) and funding support from World Bank in Bangkok, Thailand from September 16-20, 2019. A total of 63 representatives, 32 males and 31 females, of indigenous people organizations and networks, CSOs, women’s organizations and governments from the FCPF countries, and the World Bank participated in the regional dialogue, and discussed on the lessons learned and best practices from the implementation of the capacity building program and the future needs. The regional dialogue included the “regional workshop on increasing women’s capacities and roles in REDD+ related programs and processes in the Asia Pacific region” – a 2-day discussion on gender-related gaps and actions on September 16-17, 2019, and the “regional dialogue for forest-dependent indigenous peoples, other forest dwellers and southern CSOs in the Asia-Pacific region” – a 3-day discussion on lessons learned, gaps and recommendations on future actions on September 18-20, 2019. During the dialogue, the participants a) shared the results and lessons learned from the grassroots in building the capacity of forest-dependent IPs, other forest dwellers and southern CSOs engaged in REDD+ strategies and programs; (b) discussed challenges faced in mainstreaming gender based on lessons learned from gender specific activities implemented, with the agreement on key reasons for the low participation of women in REDD+ related decision making and needed actions; and (c) agreed on a set of recommendations on further REDD+ related capacity needs support.

Learnings from these regional level initiatives and the recommendations developed in participation of the regional level stakeholders was captured in the global REDD+ dialogue organised in Washington DC, USA from November 7 to 9, 2019, for setting the direction for further support to indigenous peoples, local communities and southern civil society organizations to engage in FCPF REDD+ Programs beyond 2020. The learnings have also been instrumental for the development of the next stage of REDD+ Capacity Building Program of the FCPF, which is going to be implemented soon.

The global dialogue of the indigenous peoples, local communities and southern civil society organizations was organized by FCPF in Washington DC from November 7 to 9, 2019. During the dialogue, Dr. Bhishma Subedi, ANSAB’s Executive Director, presented the impacts on national REDD+ readiness process of the FCPF capacity building program for CSOs and LCs in Asia Pacific. After sharing some of the specific impact stories, Dr. Subedi highlighted the key gaps, challenges and areas of action that need to be undertaken for the successful implementation of REDD+ programs, especially during the emission reduction phase. ANSAB also provided the knowledge products developed by the project, moderated group works to identify lessons and best practices relevant to REDD+ implementation, and contributed to the discussion and prioritization exercise for setting the direction for further support to indigenous peoples, local communities and southern civil society organizations to engage in FCPF REDD+ Programs beyond 2020.

FCPF, Tebtebba and ANSAB organized a regional dialogue for forest-dependent indigenous peoples (IPs), other forest dwellers and southern civil society organizations (CSOs) in Asia-Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand from September 16-20, 2019. A total of 63 representatives, 32 males and 31 females, of indigenous people organizations and networks, CSOs, women’s organizations and governments from the FCPF countries, and the World Bank participated in the regional dialogue, and discussed on the lessons learned and best practices from the implementation of the capacity building program and the future needs.

The regional dialogue was structured around regional summaries prepared by ANSAB and Tebtebba of their respective sub-projects on REDD+ capacity building in the Asia Pacific region, including summaries of gender activities implemented to-date. During the dialogue, the participants a) shared the results and lessons learned from the grassroot in building the capacity of forest-dependent IPs, other forest dwellers and southern CSOs engaged in REDD+ strategies and programs; (b) discussed challenges faced in mainstreaming gender based on lessons learned from gender specific activities implemented, with the agreement on key reasons for the low participation of women in REDD+ related decision making and needed actions; and (c) agreed on a set of recommendations on further REDD+-related capacity needs support.

The regional dialogue included the “regional workshop on increasing women’s capacities and roles in REDD+ related programs and processes in the Asia Pacific region” – a 2-day discussion on gender-related gaps and actions on September 16-17, 2019, and the “regional dialogue for forest-dependent indigenous peoples, other forest dwellers and southern CSOs in the Asia-Pacific region” – a 3-day discussion on lessons learned, gaps and recommendations on future actions on September 18-20, 2019.

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The Asia Pacific level REDD+ Regional Workshop was organized by ANSAB from August 5 to 7, 2019 in Kathmandu as part of the FCPF-Capacity Building on REDD+ for Civil Society Organizations and Local Communities in East Pacific and the Pacific Region Project. The objective of the workshop was to i) exchange first-hand learning and sharing of experiences from the civil society organizations implementing the REDD+ capacity building sub-projects in Fiji and Vietnam, ii) share and discuss the broader experience from country/regional level capacity building of CSOs and LCs on REDD+; and agree on: the key lessons learned, best practices and next steps in building capacity of the civil society and local communities in the region. Over 40 individuals representing the government and civil society organizations from eleven FCPF Asia Pacific countries, international and regional level organizations, and the current and past FCPF CSO observers in the region participated the workshop.

During May 7-13, 2019, ANSAB Team carried out a Project Monitoring and Implementation Support Mission of the sub-project – Building Capacity for Fiji’s CSOs and LCs to Actively Participate in the Fiji National REDD+ Readiness Programme, being implemented by the Grace Trifam Ministry (GTM), based in Lautoka, Fiji, which is the recipient organization of the FCPF Capacity Building on REDD+ for Southern Civil Society Organizations and ‎Local ‎Communities ‎in East Asia and the Pacific Region Project. The members of the mission consisted of Puspa L. Ghimire, and Mr. Sudarshan C. Khanal.

The mission was organized with two objectives: 1) review of the general operation of GTM and provide hands-on training to strengthen their system; 2) monitoring of the project activities and outputs based on the indicators mentioned in the project proposal. During the mission, Mr. Puspa Ghimire focused on the objective 1 and Mr. Sudarshan Khanal, as an M&E focal person of the project focused on the objective 2.

The mission consisted of discussion with the GTM staff, field visits to three sub-project sites, meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Forestry, Fiji based Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) member, REDD+ Technical Advisor of the World Bank in Fiji and the chairperson of the Fiji Indigenous Women’s Society. On the last day of the mission, the ANSAB team carried out onsite observation of GTM’s administration, financial management and record keeping arrangements, and conducted a supervision support mission with GTM for fiduciary compliance.

KEY POINTS DISCUSSED AND AGREED ACTIONS 

National-level activities. GTM consulted with the relevant government agencies regarding the sub-project. Capacity building needs assessment of the local communities was carried out regarding their understanding of REDD+ through a “talanoa session”, that involved participation of the traditional leaders of the communities. It has helped the project team to gain knowledge on the context and level of understanding of the local communities and design the training workshop session accordingly. Capacity building training workshops has been carried out in fourteen communities: Dawasamu, Lekutu, Wailevu, Naqaliyalatina, Tokaimalo, Naboubuco and Naqarawai in the Mainland communities, and Bureta in Ovalau, Moce and Nasau in Koro, Waiqori in Oneata, and Tubou, Yadrana and Solotavui in Lakeba in the Maritime islands. The participants received trainings on the preliminary knowledge on REDD+, current ongoing REDD+ activities and policy at national level, and participation of communities in REDD+ activities. Compilation of the beneficiaries’ detail is ongoing.

For the remaining activities, ANSAB closely worked with the GTM and developed a summary of the agreed actions with an agreed timeline to complete the activities. It was agreed during the meeting that GTM will develop the organizational website during the project period.

Progress toward achieving the PDO. The beneficiary feedback indicator (Indicator 1) is yet to be processed, but it is above the targeted 80% for the ones whose initial analysis is done. For an example the feedbacks from the participants of the training workshop in GTM is above the targeted and in the range of 90-95%. GTM is developing a video clip on REDD+ and it has yet to be completed. Furthermore, it will also develop the organizational website. The target of one knowledge product (Indicator 2) is expected to compete during the sub-project end period. Out of the ten end-of-project target regarding the number of meetings between civil society and LC representatives and national REDD+ decision makers (Indicator 3), eight has been achieved (3 with National REDD+ Steering Committee, 3 with LC representatives, 1 with REDD+ CSO platform and 1 with divisional REDD+ forum). The remaining two (1 National level forum and 1 with Divisional REDD forum) are planned during this month. The target of the number of direct project beneficiaries (Indicator 4), 700 in total 40% female participants, has already been achieved. GTM will update the total number of beneficiaries as they benefit from the project activities. 

FIDUCIARY COMPLIANCE

Financial Management, Administration and Procurement Performance. ANSAB carried out a session with the GTM staff to orient them on financial management, administration and procurement. The session included discussion, onsite observation of the records and orientation regarding overall organizational management and governance structure, and administration and financial management incl. policies, book keeping, accounting, financial management and procurement.  Discussion and onsite observation of the records was carried out at GTM office based on a checklist. It was observed during the mission that GTM has followed good practice for financial and procurement management however they are not properly documented. It was agreed that GTM will develop an admin and finance manual incorporating the feedbacks during the mission.

Disbursements Status. An amount of US $60,000 has been disbursed in two tranches.

SAFEGUARD MANAGEMENT

Environmental and Social Safeguards: The project does not trigger any of the World Bank safeguards policies. The project is an Environmental Assessment (EA) Category C (no EA needed) since there are no expected adverse environmental impacts of the project. The eligibility criteria for the selection of sub-project incorporated appropriate environmental and social actions that promote transparency, stakeholder participation and public information disclosure.

The mission also discussed on the grievance redress mechanism managed within the project. The mission reiterated GTM’s responsibilities for ensuring that the sub-project do not cause negative environmental and social impacts.