REDD+ Policy Approaches in the Congo Basin: A Comparative Analysis of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
2. REDD+ in the Congo Basin
|Democratic Republic of Congo||Cameroon|
|Government Entities (Role: overall coordination of REDD+ process and programs)|
|National Coordination REDD+ (CN–REDD), Direction of Sustainable Development (DDD), MECNT–Direction of Inventories and Forest Improvement (DIAF), Ministry of Finance, Committee for Technical Reform, Province of Bandundu–Ministry of environment.||National Coordination REDD+ (CN-REDD), Ministries in charge of forest (MINFOF), economy (MINEPAT), environment (MINEPDED), livestock (MINEPIA), water (MINEE), agriculture (MINADER), mining (MINMIDT), etc.|
|Civil Society Organization (Role: implement projects and ensure civil society participation in REDD+ process)|
|Climate and REDD+ Working Group (GTCR), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Forest Governance Observatory (OGF), Satellite Observatory of Central Africa Forests (OSFAC)||National Climate change and REDD+ Civil Society Platform, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS),|
|Private sector (Role: invest and implement REDD+, agriculture, logging, conservation and other projects)|
|Wildlife Works Carbon (WWC), SOGENAC, NOVACEL, Federation of Wood Industries (FIB)|
|Donor and Technical Partners (Role: Provide technical and financial support for REDD+ activities and projects)|
|Governments of USA (USAID/CARPE), Norway (NORAD), Japan (JICA/JAFTA), Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), UN–REDD programme, Forest Investment Programme (FIP), Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF), Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF)||Governments of Germany (GIZ), USA (USAID/CARPE), France (AFD), Japan (JICA), Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), IUCN, GAF-AG, World Agroforestry Centre(ICRAF), Independent national consultants,|
3.1. Study Countries
3.2. Data Type and Collection
|1. Engagement in REDD Multilateral Processes|
|1.1. Congo Regional Context|
|1.2. UNFCCC Negotiations (COP, SBSTA, SBI)|
|1.3. REDD+ Support Process (FCPF, UN–REDD)|
|1.4. Multilateral and Bilateral Financial Flows|
|2. National level|
|2.1. Resolution of Rights (Carbon and tenure)|
|2.2. National Forest Monitoring System and MRV|
|2.3. Establishment of a Conflict Resolution Framework|
|2.4. Development of REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal (R–PP)|
|2.5. Development of a National REDD+ Strategy/Fund|
|2.6. Platform for Key Stakeholder Participation|
|2.7. REED+ Demonstrations and Private Sector Investments|
|2.8 Benefit Sharing Mechanisms|
|Cameroon’s Ministry of Environment Nature Protection and Sustainable Development||1|
|DRC Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism||1|
|German Agency for Development Cooperation (GIZ)||1|
|MRV Project of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)||2|
|World Resource Institute (WRI)||1|
|Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC)||1|
|International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)||2|
|German REDD+ consultancy firm (GAF–AG)||1|
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. International Actions
4.1.1. Congo Regional Engagement
|Congo Regional Context||Signatories to the REDD+ Congo Declaration||DRC dense forest is 5.5 times larger than Cameroon’s forest. From 2009 to 2012, DRC chaired COMIFAC|
|Participation in SBSTA and SBI||From 2005 to 2013, the number of delegates from DRC doubles that from Cameroon|
|Participation in COPs||From 2005 to 2013, delegates from DRC are 5 times more than delegates from Cameroon|
|REDD+ Support Process||Members of FCPF and are engaged in REDD+ readiness||DRC is a UN-REDD country and is now in the investment phase|
|Multilateral-Bilateral Engagements||DRC enjoys a strong technical and financial support from key donors while Cameroon struggles|
|Resolution of Rights||Vague carbon rights. Forests are largely owned by the state||Indigenous and local communities have user rights in the context of community forestry in Cameroon|
|Forest Monitoring System and MRV||While Cameroon does not yet have an MRV system, DRC has 2 management agencies and 3 MRV pillars|
|Conflict Resolution Framework||Separate frames envisaged for local and national conflict resolution|
|Development of R-PP||Donor-driven, weak national ownership in DRC. State-driven, strong national ownership in Cameroon|
|National REDD+ Strategy||Validated in DRC with strong external support while Cameroon is at the embryonic stage of development|
|National REDD+ Fund||Under construction in DRC while Cameroon is at the embryonic stage of discussions|
|Stakeholders’ Participation||Meaningful participation of civil society debatable in both countries|
|REDD+ Demonstrations||Only feasibility studies conducted in Cameroon while REDD+ Emission Reduction Program exist in DRC|
|Private Sector Investment||Procedures and institutional set up more favorable for REDD+ investment in DRC than in Cameroon|
|Benefit Sharing||No specific nationally adopted REDD+ benefit sharing scheme exist|
4.1.2. Participation at the UNFCCC Negotiations
4.1.3. International REDD+ Support Process
4.1.4. Multilateral and Bilateral Financial Flows
|REDD+ Fund||Contribution to REDD+ Process|
|Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF)||Low||High|
|Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF)||High||High|
|Forest Investment Programme (FIP)||Nil||High|
|Germany’s International Climate Initiative/GIZ||High||High|
|Japan’s Fast Start Finance/JICA||High||High|
|Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative/NORAD||Low||High|
|UK’s International Climate Fund||Low||Medium|
4.2. National Actions
4.2.1. Resolution of Rights (Carbon Ownership and Tenure)
4.2.2. National Forest Monitoring System and MRV
4.2.3. Establishment of a Conflict Resolution Framework
4.2.4. Development of REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal (R–PP)
4.2.5. Development of a National REDD+ Strategy and Fund
- Development of national expertise on renewable energy technology;
- Creating favorable conditions for a harmonious and complementary development of all three types of agriculture (peasant, intermediate, industrial) using sustainable practices that minimize forest reduction like support for the adoption of improved cultural conservation methods and value chain development;
- Reinforce capacity building of the different actors (the state, logging and mining companies, forest-dependent communities) so that they can respect the prevailing relevant regulations as well as provisions contained in management plans designed to increase forest carbon stocks;
- Support participative and community management of natural resources and the economic valorization of these resources;
- Ameliorate the legal and institutional framework for REDD+ implementation and put in place different measures which permit secured land rights for local communities.
4.2.6. Platforms for Key Stakeholders’ Participation
4.2.7. REDD+ Demonstrations and Private Sector Investments
4.2.8. Benefit Sharing Mechanism
5. Conclusions and Recommendations
- Addressing issues relating to land and forest tenure in both countries by recognizing ownership rights of local communities to trees. Indeed, secured land and forest tenure is a major precondition for effective and efficient implementation of REDD+ projects and allow actors at the community level the space and time to establish forest management systems [5,44,45].
- Providing capacity building by national and international experts. Successful REDD+ implementation hinges on a highly skilled workforce. Training, especially in the area of MRV, in the two countries is considered vital.
- Embracing international dynamics for advancing REDD+ implementation in Cameroon. This could be achieved if the government of Cameroon creates strategic partnerships with some renowned foreign bodies, international organizations, and consultancy firms. These partnerships are vital in that some of them (e.g., UNREDD, CIRAD, Catholic University of Louvain, WWF, WWC-ERA etc.) have successfully provided advice on REDD+ implementation in other countries in Central Africa (like the DRC) that could be beneficial to stakeholders driving the REDD+ implementation process in Cameroon. Moreover, these international partners often have closer relations with and better understanding of the donor countries and the international dimension of REDD+ (politics, funding, procedures etc.).
- Donor efforts that concentrate in more than one country in the Congo Basin region. A focus almost entirely on DRC will undermine the goal of the Congo Declaration. Donor signatory countries of the Congo Declaration (Norway, EU, Australia, USA, Canada, Germany, UK and France) should therefore mobilize their efforts to re-energize and fund the implementation plan of the Congo Declaration in the entire Congo Basin region. In doing so, Congo Basin countries should work together with donor countries to promote REDD+ activities and conserve the Congo Basin forests.
- A critical mass or pool of REDD+ technicians and experts working in REDD+ projects in the COMIFAC countries should be mobilized and put at the disposal of COMIFAC Climate Working Group. This pool of REDD+ experts should backstop the common statements and negotiation position of COMIFAC by developing timely and relevant technical and methodological documents to inform the development of positions of COMIFAC during SBSTA and COP negotiations.
- Strengthening of English language skills of negotiators. Behind closed doors, UNFCCC COP negotiations on different technical, financial, and implementation issues are predominantly in English, while a majority of delegates from Cameroon and DRC are French speaking which therefore limits their ability to present their views and positions during debates. To address this gap, the team of delegates from these countries must be composed of English speaking delegates who can, from time to time, defend the position of Cameroon and DRC.
- While the GoDRC should keep the current momentum and visibility during future COP and SBSTA/SBI sessions, the GoC should explore financial options to mobilize and increase the number and richness of delegates with clear tasks and functions during future COP and SBSTA /SBI sessions. At the same time, a clear political strategy should be mapped out on how to interact, attract, and engage with key REDD+ donors who are not yet very committed to promoting REDD+ in Cameroon. One key way is to organize side events in collaboration with other partners–in this case, Cameroon can learn from DRC.
- The governments of both countries (especially Cameroon) with the guidance of their respective REDD+ Technical Secretariats and REDD+ Steering Committees, have to create suitable legal environments to encourage, attract and protect private sector investments in REDD+ as an alternative green development path that preserves the forest and provides opportunities for social and economic development.
- An FPIC (Free Prior and Informed Consent) document should be developed, fully implemented and respected in Cameroon and DRC to ensure that the concerns of all parties are well captured and used in the designing and implementation of a meaningful and effective participatory REDD+ process that addresses drivers of deforestation and responds to the social and economic aspirations of the population.
- Review the current forest benefit schemes in both the DRC and Cameroon to adopt elements that are feasible with a benefit sharing context of REDD+. Any adopted REDD+ benefit sharing scheme should ensure that a much higher proportion is allocated to forest-dependent communities who shall in many cases be at the fore front of REDD+ implementation on the ground.
Conflicts of Interest
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Fobissie, K.; Alemagi, D.; Minang, P.A. REDD+ Policy Approaches in the Congo Basin: A Comparative Analysis of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Forests 2014, 5, 2400-2424. https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102400
Fobissie K, Alemagi D, Minang PA. REDD+ Policy Approaches in the Congo Basin: A Comparative Analysis of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Forests. 2014; 5(10):2400-2424. https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102400Chicago/Turabian Style
Fobissie, Kalame, Dieudonne Alemagi, and Peter A. Minang. 2014. "REDD+ Policy Approaches in the Congo Basin: A Comparative Analysis of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)" Forests 5, no. 10: 2400-2424. https://doi.org/10.3390/f5102400