ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (PAMACC News) - The government of Ethiopia through the country’s National programme to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+) office will now support the efforts by the World Bank to create awareness on the subject among rural communities through the civil society.
Addressing delegates at an event alongside the Africa Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Dr. Yitebitu Moges Abebe, the Country’s National REDD+ Coordinator said that his office will soon call for proposals from civil society organisations to support REDD+ Preparedness, which is an ongoing project with funding from the World Bank through the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).
“The government is committed to spreading the knowledge of REDD+ to rural communities so that they can understand the meaning of conserving forests for the long term benefit of the entire country,” said Abebe.
So far, the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), which is a PACJA sub-grantee on the project has already trained 35 experts from four different civil societies as REDD+ trainers, who are now supposed to spread the same knowledge to many other experts on the ground who always interact with local communities.
“Training communities especially on a complicated issue such as REDD+ is not like a lecture in class. It calls for practical action, and this comes with a cost,” said Asrat Mangesha, the ISD Administration and Finance Manager.
According to estimates by the government of Ethiopia, greenhouse gas emissions from forestry will increase from 53 MT CO2e in 2010 to 88 Mt CO2e in 2030, and therefore, there is need for urgent action, according to Abebe.
PACJA is currently implementing a two-year project supported by the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership facility (FCPF) which is aimed at building the capacity of African Civil Society and Local Communities on REDD+.
The beneficiaries of the project are Southern Civil Society Organisation networks and organisations from18 FCPF eligible countries in Africa. PACJA is therefore the CSOs Intermediary and implementing agency, and is focusing on national level activities on five countries namely that include Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Togo, Mozambique and Madagascar.
In Ivory Coast, through ‘Actions en faveur de l'homme et de la nature Ivory Coast (AFHON)’ targeted students from the Faculty of Local Languages to train them on REDD+ modules. “We mobilised them during the module session to bring their academic knowledge in local languages to facilitate awareness information, then caravan campaign,” said Coulibaly Davy Wohary, AFHON’s Coordinator of FCPF REDD+ Project.
According to Obed Koringo from the PACJA Secretariat, the main objective of the project is to strengthen knowledge of CSOs and local communities in Africa on REDD+ Readiness at the national level and as well to strengthen knowledge exchange at the regional level.
“We also target to provide CSOs and local communities in Africa with information, knowledge and awareness on REDD+ in order to enhance their understanding of REDD+, and to engage more meaningfully in the implementation of REDD+ Readiness activities,” he told PAMACC News.
The project is consistent with the 16 session of the United Nations negotiations on climate change (COP16)’s recognition of the need to engage a broad range of stakeholders at the global, regional, national and local levels, including governments, private business among other entities to foster the participation of women, youth, indigenous peoples, civil society groups and relevant stakeholders in decision-making on climate change at the national level and their attendance at relevant intergovernmental meetings.
In response to civil society representatives’ calls for knowledge sharing and dissemination, and in order to strengthen regional CSO collaboration, the project aims at designing and implementing a robust regional platform for information exchange and knowledge sharing between CSO networks of the FCPF member countries in Africa as well as other national and regional REDD+ processes and climate change fora.