Thimphu – at the invitation of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB), SNV advisors Rik van Keulen and Steve Swan participated in a National Consultative Workshop on REDD+ Strategy Development, April 26-27, which was chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF).
Following the workshop, SNV worked with RGoB REDD+ focal point to plan for the development of national payment for ecosystem service (PES) policy that will integrate into the evolving national REDD+ strategy.
Building on a feasibility study and preliminary national workshop, prepared by SNV for RGoB in 2010, SNV advisors joined colleagues from the UN-REDD programme to share experiences in national REDD+ strategy development from elsewhere in Asia.
The case of Vietnam, regional leader in preparing for an anticipated future REDD+ compliance regime, was used to illustrate key challenges in areas of benefit distribution systems, lower emissions development planning, participatory forest monitoring, and social and environmental safeguards for REDD+.
The workshop concluded that Bhutan, with over 72 % forest cover, is in a favorable position to undertake REDD+ as a number of the basic elements for implementation are already in place, such as relevant policies, regulations, strategies, plans and programmes.
However, it was also noted that the costs of designing and operating a national REDD+ programme could outweigh the benefits generated by REDD+ alone, and that REDD+ should be integrated across sectors, in the context of broader ecosystem service provision from forested landscapes.
Building on the immediate momentum generated in the workshop, SNV advisors worked intensively with MoAF’s Watershed Management Division (WMD) to develop interventions that could build Bhutanese capacities, both in policy and practice, in delivering integrated ecosystem services.
Over the next two years, SNV will be supporting Bhutan develop effective ‘pro-poor’ PES models, lessons from which can inform development of national PES and REDD+ policy formulation.
For information on SNV’s work on PES in Bhutan, contact Rik van Keulen at email@example.com
For information on SNVs work in REDD+, contact Richard McNally at firstname.lastname@example.org