Nepal. Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Kenya have requested UN-REDD targeted support on legal preparedness. All are looking to adapt their existing policies, laws and regulations in order to support or put in place national REDD+ processes and strategies, with Kenya having requested the second stage of such support
Activities have been taking place over the past two years with the support of the UN REDD/Cambodia Programme. Whereas Community Forest committee members had benefitted from awareness-raising in the past, this has now been extended to include children from the communities.
Legal preparedness for REDD+ refers to countries’ efforts to establish national and/or sub-national legal frameworks supportive of REDD+. Upon a government’s request, legal support may be provided to UN-REDD member countries to help them analyse and adapt laws governing forests and managing natural resources.
In Nepal, the analysis will help identify legal gaps regarding various aspects of REDD+, whereas work in Kenya will focus on drafting regulations that relate to tenure and REDD+ issues.
In Ivory Coast, one of the objectives of the targeted support is fora regulation to be drafted that improves institutional coordination over REDD+ matters. In Madagascar, efforts will concentrate on the integration of specific REDD+ legal provisions into the country’s new forestry code.
The DRC has also requested support in the form of drafting support on data sharing agreements. This will strengthen institutional mandates and the coordination of data collection and management.
In Honduras and Guatemala, legal assistance is being provided to analyze the legal frameworks related to REDD+ in these countries. Laws related to forestry in the two countries are currently under revision in order to identify gaps or inconsistencies related to REDD+. The expected result in Honduras is for the forest law (2007) to be amended to include REDD+ provisions, while Guatemala aims to reinforce its recently-adopted climate change law by introducing a focus on REDD+ aspects. A comparative analysis with legislation on payments for environmental services in Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru is also being developed and national validation workshops will take place in November 2014.
Part of the regional UN-REDD Programme workshop organised in Quito on REDD+ national strategies from 30 July to 1 August covered the legal challenges addressed by countries in the region. Participants discussed issues related to financial and economical mechanisms for obtaining funds and share benefits, institutional arrangements requiring a legal framework, the recognition and security of REDD+ related rights and legal issues related to safeguards.
Effective and supportive legal frameworks are crucial for REDD+ to work successfully. Legal preparedness not only strengthens governance structures in the long term – it also helps prepare the ground for REDD+ implementation and attracts investment for concrete REDD+ activities.
The service provides opportunities for building investor confidence through participatory law development approaches that involve national and local stakeholders, as well as the strengthening of law enforcement capacities.