Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Readiness Preparation Proposal and implementation support (Lao PDR)

Initiative

Summary

A Readiness Preparation Proposal was developed with World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility grant support to the tune of USD 200,000. The R-PP was submitted and accepted by the FCPF Secretariat in 2010. It outlines how Lao PDR will develop its REDD+ strategy over the next 3 years.

The R-PP was organised into 5 components:

  1. Organise and Consult
  2. Prepare the REDD+ Strategy
  3. Develop a Reference Scenario
  4. Monitoring, Reporting and Validation
  5. Schedule and Budgeting

Laos is now preparing the implementation plan for FCPF support including items such as support for setting up the REDD+ office, preparing the REDD+ strategy and others (Personal communication, Khamlar Phonsavat, World Bank, Lao PDR). USD 3.4 million has been pledged by the World Bank for R-PP implementation support.

Stakeholder engagement and participation

A range of stakeholders from the
Government (National Assembly, departments, ministries), Research Institutes (National Agriculture and
Forestry Research Institute, Faculty of Forestry, National University of Laos), International organizations (World Bank, ADB, FAO,
WFP), Donor agencies (SIDA, JICA, GTZ, SDC, Finland), NGOs (WWF, IUCN, WCS,
CIDSE, JVC) and private sector were consulted through interviews and workshops when
preparing the R-PP.

The R-PP has a
stakeholder participation and consultation plan (SPCP) which aims to achieve
collective ownership of the REDD+ strategy development process and support for
its implementation. Each of the four major stakeholder groups, that cover government,
civil society, the private sector and donor partners has a very large number of
sub-groups with specific interests, and these will be brought into the process
through the use of focus groups. The major issues that are foreseen as
requiring substantial consultation are; carbon ownership in relation to
land-tenure, benefit sharing arrangements, law enforcement and related
governance issues. The SPCP links the awareness raising and consultation
processes closely to the pilot activities which will provide opportunities to
discuss issues in specific circumstances.

Land tenure arrangements and carbon rights

The R-PP assesses forest and land tenure in
terms of carbon ownership and benefit-sharing and identifies tenure
clarification as a key issue for discussion as part of a stakeholder
consultation and participation plan and as a tentative SEIA issue.

Reference levels

A reference emission level has been developed using a
development model to assess the likely changes in emissions from 2011 to 2015.
This shows a slow decline in emissions from an estimate of around 51 million
tonnes CO2 in 2010 to around 42 million tonnes in 2015, but it is not a linear
decrease as a substantial expansion in the area cleared for hydro-power is
expected in the next few years. The model estimates are very dependent on the
many assumptions that are made, which have been necessary due to lack of good
and complete data. Obtaining better data and setting up a clear
national REL and sub-national RELs is part of the R-PP.

Safeguards

As per the
R-PP, the SPCP for REDD+ strategy development and implementation is to include
Social and Economic Impact Assessments (SEIA) and application of World Bank safeguards.
Initially, the SEIAs will be carried out in the implementation phase for the
pilots linked to ongoing projects.

The FCPF in its next
phase will support safeguard development with regard to benefit-sharing
following through on SUFORD’s work in production forests, and also strategic
social and environmental assessment for REDD+ in Laos across issues such as governance,
benefit-sharing and MRV (Personal communication, Khamlar Phonsavat, World Bank, Laos).

MRV

The R-PP details the required steps and budget for developing a
full-fledged MRV system for REDD+ including the MRV of governance and social
and environmental safeguards, and it outlines activities already being
undertaken by existing donor projects and others in this regard.

In the next phase, the
FCPF plans to support MRV development as required to complement what FIM and
other donor projects implement. Details are to be finalised.