REDD+SES Nepal Indicators development workshop

Sunday, January 3rd, 2021

The Government of Nepal is engaged fully in the REDD+ SES initiative including in the development of the standards, the governance of the REDD+ SES Initiative and in using the standards.

REDD+ SES is being applied to the National REDD Strategy. During 2011, the REDD+ SES will be used to assess the social and environmental quality of the design phase. The use of the REDD+ SES in Nepal is facilitated by the REDD Cell of the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation and by the Federation of Community Forestry Users. While the activities address to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and contribute to conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) and have the potential to deliver significant social and environmental co-benefits, many have also highlighted the serious risks, particularly for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Recognizing the growing awareness at both international and national levels of the need for effective social and environmental safeguards, the REDD+ Social & Environmental standards initiative aims to define and build support for a higher level of social and environmental performance from REDD+ programs.

Government of Nepal, MoFSC, REDD Cell organized a three day work shop on REDD + SES indicator development for Nepalon 12-14 Sept 2011 at SAFALCHA, Kathmandu. The main objective of the workshop was to develop the first draft of country-specific indicators for REDD+ SES. Eighteen representatives from eight Organizations including technical working group of SES: District Forest Office, REDD Cell, NEFIN, ICIMOD, FECOFUN, HIMAWANTI, Dalit NGO Federation and National Indigenous women Federation participated in the workshop. Besides the technical working group, consultant Ben Vickers from Care International played the important role of facilitating the program.

Mr. Rishi Ram Tripathi, Chief of REDD- Forestry and Climate Change Cell,  Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation , Babarmahal, Kathmandu commenced the program with his warm welcome speech in which he stressed the need of intense and profound programs to meet the objective. Mr. Ben Vickers began his presentation with the SES Agenda. He highlighted the Cancun Agreements Articles C: REDD + and Annex I : REDD + Guidance and Safeguards of activities consecutively. He also explained indicators, in the development context.

Mr. Dil Raj Khannal, policy Adviser, Federation of Community Forest User Nepal (FECOFUN), suggested participants to work in both draft Nepali and English version REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards. Before entering in SES indicator, he pointed out the limitations of SES like ‘no change on principles, changes in the criteria could be recommended to international standard committee and indicators could be customized as per country’s circumstances with justification’. He also highlighted on 8 Principles, 34 Criteria and 98 indicators which the technical working group should work on.

There was some error in nepali version translation, so the technical working team decided to work in English version indicators. Mr. Ek Rana, Project Coordinator, ICIMOD documented the remarks. Technical working team especially works in principles, criteria and frame works for indicators by including country-specific indicators, type of interpretation, justification, specific monitoring information and guidance notes. There were some limitations of SES, as per the rules, so some important words like right holders, women and Dalits were added on in some indicators by justifying that Nepal has typical issues of indigenous peoples, Dalit and women in land tenure and property rights.

Mr. Dandu Sherpa, Treasurer, Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities, Mr. Khem Ghale, representative of NEFIN, Climate Change and REDD Partership Program, Mr. Kiran Sunuwar, Chairperson, District Coordination Council, Illam, NEFIN, Mr. Buddha Lama, Chairperson, District Coordination council, Makawanpur, NEFIN and Ms. Kamala Thapa CCMIN, NEFIN, Climate Change and REDD Partnership Program played important roles in raising the issues of Indigenous peoples fundamental rights and customary practices of Indigenous Peoples.

Recommendations in Nepali version indicator by the Technical working team is advised to be translated in proper form before circulating it in public consultation and a meeting should be conducted for re-consultation in nepali version.