THE Government through the Ministry of Forest and Research (MOFR) is informing stakeholders of the progress made on the components of meeting full REDD+ initiative; the historical annual forest and land use change assessment including the reference level in the country.
REDD+ initially means Reducing Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation with the plus sign covering Conservation of forest carbon stocks; Sustainable management of forests and Enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
This is the second consultation workshop to update and get feedbacks on a scope of 2-by-2 hectares of preliminary findings assessment carried out by the Ministry with technical support and advice from Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)/UNREDD.
Stakeholders include government line ministries, The Nature Conversancy (TNC), Solomon Islands National University (SINU), Word Wide Fund (WWF), Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), MFAT (NZAid), DFAT (AusAid), SPC/GIZ, SPREP, JICA, KOICA, UNDP – CB 2 Project, Integrated Forest Management (IFM), NRDF and SICCP.
Opening the one day workshop at the Heritage Park Hotel, MOFR Permanent Secretary Dr Vaeno Vigulu says amongst other priorities, the Solomon Islands Government has joined the international community to report on the status and trends of biodiversity and climate change.
However, the Government has no comprehensive, robust, quantitative and transparent national level information about the forest and other land cover extent; includes forest health and condition, biodiversity and carbon stocks – all themes that the Government has committed to monitor and report within the international community.
That is the sole reason as to why this assessment undertaking has been carried out with technical support from FAO/UNREDD, he says.
“It is a privilege to receive such technical training from FAO/UNREDD; more importantly on the determination of our forest cover loss or gain overtime using remote sensing, and also develop relevant field assessment procedures.
“This had, and will assist Solomon Islands to estimate and be able to report on our carbon emissions and removals over the last period; more so be able to monitor thereon.”
He adds these preliminary findings are important for Solomon Islands as a party to the Climate Change Conventions particularly the REDD+ program which was established around 2012.
With a roadmap developed under the UNREDD programme back then, and cabinet endorsement in 2015.
It allows Solomon Islands Government under Ministry of Forestry and the Ministry of Environment to continue implement activities to fulfil the requirements on preparing the country to fully participate in the REDD+ initiative.
Today we are at this stage of assessment and we are making progress along the roadmap, said the Permanent Secretary.
“During this one day workshop, results of the forest and land use change will be shared.
“You will also involve in the discussion and agreeing to formalisation or forest and land use classification definitions, discuss on the information and construction of the Forest Reference Level (FRL).
“Your contributions will be captured to shape the action plan and the roadmap 2018 for submissions of Forest Reference Emission Level and Forest Reference Level (FREL/FRL) in early 2019, our current proposed target.”