BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
ACCORDING to a UNDP report which outlines proposed best practices, financial and economic instruments for Solomon Islands to implement it’s REDD+ Readiness Roadmap, four cross cutting areas that could either attract separate funding or be developed with funding from other projects, have been identified.
Significant to the implementation of the roadmap, the four areas are forest governance, tenure security, gender equality and stakeholder engagement.
UNDP has stressed that forest governance can be related to the development of a national strategy for REDD+ but also indicated that while there are opportunities to seek funding to develop the national strategy, it is worthwhile to remain open to any other funding opportunities that could bring about positive changes in forest governance.
In terms of tenure rights, the report emphasized that due to the complex customary land ownership in the country which often involves multiple “kastom” systems the process of identifying tenure rights may be triggering conflict and be near impossible.
“Therefore, seeking funding for clarifying tenure rights, while effective in other countries is not recommended in the case of Solomon Islands”, said the report.
Gender equality is another cross cutting issue which UNDP sees relevant for REDD+, particularly in terms of social safeguards.
The report stated that the issue of gender in the sphere of making progress with gender and women’s empowerment principles as part of other projects and linkages could attract funding and benefit the REDD+ process.
Further stressed was that engaging stakeholders is important for REDD+ in forming partnership for sustainable forest management and to engage forest dependent and indigenous groups that often are excluded from decision making processes.
“Funding for other projects that involve communities and sustainable management of natural resources could also further the stakeholder engagement processes that are considered important for REDD+”
“It is therefore recommended to identify potential funding, possibly as part of other projects or efforts that could make progress with the engagement of stakeholders”, said UNDP