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Tools for » Sri Lanka REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal
Project ID 00082263 Description UN-REDD SRI LANKA
Fund
UN REDD Programme Fund
Start Date *: 3 Apr 2013
Theme
UN_REDD
Project status Operationally Closed
Country Sri Lanka Participating Organization   Multiple
About

As a signatory to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Sri Lanka is committed to addressing the threat of human-induced climate change through all sectors, both by increasing the resilience of its people and its ecosystems through adaptation measures, and by decreasing the intensity of climate change itself through mitigation measures.

Sri Lanka?s forests, uniquely among its land-use sectors, can make a significant contribution to both adaptation and mitigation. The Government, under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment (MoE), seeks to maximize this contribution by developing a national strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, plus conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+).

The nation?s forests are of global significance, in social, environmental and historical terms. As an island, Sri Lanka?s 2 million ha of forests are rich in endemic species of flora and fauna. They are also host to the remnants of a unique ancient civilization, in which power rested with those who controlled waterways and irrigation systems. The indigenous Veddha people, though newly-accustomed to settled village life, retain a wealth of knowledge and wisdom on the important products and services that these unique ecosystems provide.

Having emerged only recently from a debilitating 30-year internal conflict, many areas of the country were cut off from development and economic growth. Sri Lanka?s forests are therefore particularly vulnerable as roads and other infrastructure expand. Moreover, home garden systems, known as „forest analogues?, cover 22% of the land area and contribute the majority of the country?s timber and fuelwood supply. As the tea and rubber industries continue to grow, it is essential that this crucial aspect of the rural economy is preserved.

The unique value of Sri Lanka?s forests, and the nature of the threat they face, makes the country a strong candidate for an effective National REDD+ Programme. To help prepare for such a Programme, the MoE submits this Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) to the UN-REDD Policy Board. The R-PP sets out a comprehensive plan to steer the country through the first of the three phases of REDD+, the Readiness Phase.

Component 1 of the R-PP outlines plans to organize a management structure for the REDD+ Readiness process and to consult fully with all stakeholders with an interest in the development and implementation of a National REDD+ Programme. The Forest Department (FD) will be at the core of the management structure, with the Climate Change Secretariat and the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) also featuring prominently. A number of new bodies will be created, including a REDD+ Programme Management Coordination Committee (RPMCC) as the key decision-making authority and a REDD+ Programme Office to oversee implementation of activities under the R-PP. A Programme Management Unit of the UN-REDD National Programme will initially take on the task of the National REDD+ Office on an interim basis, until the Office has been set up and is fully functional. Task Forces with specific advisory capacities will operate under the direction of the RPMCC and the National REDD+ Office.

Building on the experience of past multi-stakeholder consultations on the national climate change adaptation strategy, the R-PP proposes that the FD will develop a REDD+ Roadmap and will subsequently co-ordinate a targeted Communication and Consultation Strategy and Plan (CCSP) for the National REDD+ Programme. Compliance with the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) will be central to the CCSP. To oversee the FPIC process, a Forum of Civil Society Organisations, Indigenous Peoples and other non-government stakeholders will be instituted, which will have a key advisory role within the REDD+ management structure.

Through Component 2, the bodies within the REDD+ management structure will prepare a strategy of policies and measures to be implemented under a National REDD+ Programme. To begin with, a comprehensive assessment of relevant policies and legislation will be conducted. The Forestry Sector Master Plan (FSMP), which runs until the year 2020, numerous studies on forest biodiversity since 2006, and consultations carried out during the preparation of this R-PP will be the prime sources of information in this regard. Patterns of forest land tenure and use rights, as well as prior experience with community participation in forest management, will also be examined closely.

The underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation have been tentatively identified and will be verified in order for appropriate REDD+ strategies to be developed. Data used for FSMP formulation in 1995 showed that deforestation rates were at their highest during the 1980s, but slowed after a moratorium on logging in natural forests after 1990 and during the long internal conflict throughout the next two decades. However, over-exploitation of remaining forests continues, and consultations during the R-PP preparation indicate that most drivers are either economic (e.g. demand for plantation crops such as tea and rubber, as well as a general rise in rural living standards) and governance-related (e.g. a mismatch between long-term sustainability goals of central government and the short-term development priorities of local politicians and decision-makers). More intensive studies of the trends in home garden systems and the role of private sector stakeholders and agribusiness will be required during the Readiness Phase in order to develop appropriate REDD+ strategies. The R-PP outlines a number of indicative strategy options to be examined under the Readiness Phase. These options will be subject to a consultation process and analysis, particularly regarding their respective costs and benefits.

Component 2 also outlines the frame conditions required for a viable National REDD+ Programme, in terms of institutional, legal and financial support structures. Under the R-PP, these aspects will be analysed and recommendations provided in order to determine the implementation framework for REDD+ in Sri Lanka. This will include the development of a comprehensive Capacity Building Action Plan (CBAP) for all stakeholders, in order to ensure that the appropriate knowledge, skills and competencies are present, at all levels, to formulate and implement REDD+ strategies. Task Forces within the REDD+ management structure will also develop a system of nationally-tailored social and environmental standards which must be maintained in order to comply with the safeguards set out in the Cancun Agreements. A multi-stakeholder consultation process will develop national indicators which will allow the National REDD+ Programme to be objectively monitored against these standards.

Component 3 of the R-PP describes the development of a national Reference Emission Level or Reference Level so that a future REDD+ Programme will have a base against which future emissions reductions and removals can be assessed, and performance verified. The emphasis under this component will be on the collection of data and information management systems, as well as the specific skills to continue these activities under a full National REDD+ Programme.

Component 4 outlines how Sri Lanka will develop improved forest monitoring systems as well as methodologies for Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of activities under REDD+. Key to the successful completion of activities under this component will be the identification of Activity Data (AD) which must be collected for each potential REDD+ strategy, as well as the corresponding Emission Factor (EF). By the completion of the Readiness Phase, the forest monitoring and MRV systems will be fully tested in pilot sites, including appropriate inclusion of participatory forest monitoring methodologies.

Component 5 comprises a results framework. It provides information on Outputs, Activities and budget estimates for the following five Outcomes:

OUTCOME 1: National consensus reached on the Sri Lanka REDD + programme

OUTCOME 2: Management Arrangements contributing to the National REDD+ Process

OUTCOME 3: Improved Stakeholder Awareness and Effective Engagement

OUTCOME 4: National REDD+ Strategy and Implementation Framework

OUTCOME 5: Monitoring and MRV Results for REDD+ Activities Provided

Finally, Component 6 shows the Monitoring Framework for the three-year UN-REDD National Programme.

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