IUCN Towards Pro-poor REDD+ Project



IUCN's pro-poor REDD project covers national REDD readiness processes in five forest countries (Cameroon, Ghana, Guatemala, Uganda and Papua Province of Indonesia).

Phase 1 of the project ran from 2009-2012. Phase 2 of project will run from 2014-2018 with a budget of DKK25m. The objectives of the project are:
1. Demonstrate the value of Human Rights-based Approach and Pro-Poor principles in REDD+ and economic development strategies through landscape-level results
2. Enhance national capacities to mainstream Human Rights-based Approaches and Pro-Poor Principles into climate, REDD+ and green growth strategies
3. Integration of Human Rights-based Approaches and Pro-Poor Principles into global frameworks and standards beyond project countries

Seven key principles have emerged from the first phase of the “pro-poor REDD” project: i) ensuring that vulnerable groups are informed, consulted and participate in decision making; ii) guaranteeing rights and access to information about the outcomes of REDD+; iii) clarifying and securing the rights to resources (particularly land tenure rights); iv) ensuring equitable and transparent sharing of benefits; v) understanding the nature and scope of forest dependency; vi) enhancing the resilience of the poor through conservation and ecosystem restoration; and, vii) integrating customary practices and values in REDD+.In the second phase of the project, the IUCN will contribute to further strengthening the application of good forest governance principles in national REDD+ strategies, notably by clarifying land and tree tenure and the legal frameworks for REDD, by integrating gender concerns in REDD+ processes and by improving knowledge for assessing and understanding REDD+.

In Ghana, the aim of the project is to strengthen and shape pro-poor options and elements as core principles of national REDD actions. This project seeks to deepen understandings on the need for REDD+ not to harm vulnerable groups but instead to strengthen their livelihoods and rights. In Ghana, this project is being implemented in Asankragwa in the Wassa Amenfi West District of the Western Region. The project is recognised as one of the seven REDD+ pilots under the coordination of the Climate Change Unit of the Forestry Commission which also serves as the REDD+ secretariat of the REDD+ Technical Working Group.

The project has four components, including developing synergies between between pro-poor REDD+ mechanisms and good forest governance, building connections between between the local and and the national level for REDD+ and providing knowledge and communication for the implementation of REDD+. A pilot in the Wassa Amenfi West District has conducted a number of consultations and is planning to establish a community level pro-poor REDD+ multi-stakeholder platform.

A review of Phase 1 of the project was carried out in late 2012. The second phase aims to build on and consolidate the achievements and lessons learned during Phase 1. Phase 2 aims to test results in new forest areas in Ghana, as well as in each of the other countries where the project is active. This aims to broaden the research base for testing and developing rights-based approaches to strengthen the conservation, governance and sustainable management of landscapes. This second phase will be the final phase of the project and will also be funded by DANIDA, with in kind resources contributed by IUCN. 

In Cameroon, activities are situated in the Sangha Tri National (TNS) and Dja-Odzala-Minkébé Tri national (TRIDOM) Landscapes. The project specifically focuses on implementing activities that reduce deforestation and forest degradation whilst simultaneously contributing to the improvement of local livelihoods and long term security of forest carbon stocks in key forest-rich regions. In Cameroon, this project supports the Government by providing guidance on how to develop equitable options and ensure broad stakeholder participation in the preparation and implementation of Cameroon's REDD national strategy. In 2010 a sequential set of consultations was conducted in TNS and TRIDOM at the landscape level with key national and local partners. The aim of this exercise was to build a model for consultation to be used for the structuring of the national process. 

Later, IUCN provided financial and technical suport for the development and finalisation of Cameroon's R-PP. Specific focus is placed on drawing attention to the needs and interests of forest dependent people to ensure REDD does not harm vulnerable groups but instead strengthens their livelihoods and rights. Priority areas of the project are the TNS and TRIDOM landscapes, where IUCN is currently carrying out a participatory study on the drivers of deforestation. 

In Guatemala the pilot focuses on concession areas in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Petén in Northern Guatemala and the Lachua Ecoregion in the West. Among other project activities, IUCN supports indigenous and civil society organisations to: (i) build links with the government and ensure that a legal framework recognises and protects their interests and rights; and (ii) develop a regional deforestation model as a contribution towards the preparation of the MRV system. The project also funded an analysis of legal frameworks and carbon rights in one of the Lachua pilot area.