Improving institutional and benefit sharing mechanisms of REDD+ in Nepal through application of sustainability standards at landscape level

ANSAB in partnership with the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN) implemented a project on – Improving institutional and benefit sharing mechanisms of REDD+ in Nepal through application of sustainability standards at landscape level – with the financial support from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) from September 2013 to October 2014. The goal of the project was to strengthen community-based forest management system as well as government managed forestry in rural areas by applying forest related sustainability standards as best practice through improved institutional and benefit sharing mechanisms for REDD+ at the landscape level. Activities were piloted in Dolakha district, a mountain district of Nepal where various forest management regimes exist, namely community forests, leasehold forests, private forests, and government-managed forests and concentrated on the following specific objectives:

  1. To identify appropriate institutional and benefit sharing mechanisms for REDD+ project at landscape level applying Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards as best practice; and
  2. To test the application of FSC certification standards for REDD+ project at landscape level.
S. No Activities related to Objective 1
1 Reviewed existing REDD+ institutional and benefit sharing mechanisms at national and district national levels and identified roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder in the mechanism
2 Identified legitimate rights, appropriate roles, responsibilities, costs and needs of all actors and relevant stakeholders through a district level workshop, focus group discussions and dialogues
3 Organized a national level consultation workshop as integral part of national REDD+ to share and discuss on the institutional and benefit sharing mechanisms of REDD+ and get the feedbacks from stakeholders to finalize the report
4 Organized district level sharing workshop in Dolakha to share the final institutional and benefit sharing mechanism for REDD+
Activities related to Objective 2
5 Identified various FMUs managed by CFUGs, LHFGs, DFO and private individuals that are potential for FSC certification process
6 Awareness and capacity building of FMUs and other forestry stakeholders on sustainable forest management, forest certification and REDD+
7 Carried out the gap analysis of forest management plans of the selected FMUs with respect to FSC and REDD+ SES standards
8 Revised/developed forest management plans and constitution based on gap analysis, incorporating REDD+ provisions including REDD+ SES and FSC standards
9 Organized FSC forest management certification assessors’ training for RM, technical facilitators and potential assessors/auditors
10 Conducted internal audit for certification
11 Identified appropriate resourcemanagers

In the due course of implementation, the project has learned some lessons, which might be useful for REDD+ process, and making REDD+ functional in Nepal. Some important lessons learned are bundling of different and scattered forest management units/regimes makes REDD+ project economically viable; identifying concerned actors of REDD+ and bringing their legitimate roles and costs on table increase the effectiveness of their participation in REDD+ project; and ensuring social, economic and environmental benefits at forest management unit (FMU) level, generates higher interests of local communities in promoting sustainable forest management and participating in carbon trade.