Inception Workshop to the Vanuatu REDD+ Project benefits stakeholders
The Government of Vanuatu through the Ministry of Climate Change and Natural Disasters with the leadership and partnership of the Department of Forestry this week has conducted a two-day inception workshop with relevant national stakeholders on the Readiness phase of the Vanuatu Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degraded forests (REDD+) program in Port Vila.
This week’s workshop marked an achievement of the Vanuatu Government’s continuous efforts on its commitment on implementing the REDD+ initiatives in the country for the coming years. The REDD+ workshop which took place at the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD) conference room will be followed by series of meetings with government, non-government stakeholders and private sectors for the Implementation of the Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) as part of the World Bank mission into the country this week.
In his opening address to officially open the workshop, Deputy Director of the Forestry Department Watson Lui stated, “This week marks a significant achievement in the history of Vanuatu to join the world in contributing to combat the adverse impact of Climate Change through the sector of Forestry through the Vanuatu REDD+ program with its aim to achieve the sustainable management of land, forest resources and its biodiversity in addressing an improved livelihood in the rural population living and depending on the forests”.
Mr Lui encouraged participants to best use the workshop to learn about Vanuatu REDD+ program and to collectively put some ways forward through their discussions and future commitment for a successful implementation of the Vanuatu REDD+ in this Readiness Implementation Phase.
The REDD+ team from the Department of Forestry, the implementing arm of the program in Vanuatu in collaboration with the World Bank team led the fruitful workshop, with the main discussions around the Readiness phase plans and the importance and benefit of REDD+ for all relevant stakeholders in Vanuatu.
The Vanuatu REDD+ program will be for five years starting in 2015 to 2019 and has two phases – Readiness Preparation phase and Implementation phase. Its Readiness implementation phase will run for 18 months which is from May 2015 to October 2016 and will be funded through the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Program (FCPF) with US$ 3.6 million, which is around Vt 3.8 million.
This week’s workshop is the beginning of the Readiness phase program which relevant activities through much consultation, awareness, collaborations and partnerships will be happening in the coming months amongst REDD+ partners and stakeholders.
The World Bank team leader to Vanuatu this week Madam Haddy Jatou Sey stressed during one of her interventions that it is very important for Vanuatu in its Readiness phase to consult and involve the indigenous people or the people from our communities who are the custodians to our lands and forests as their voices are needed as a way forward for the project’s implementation phase.
“The Readiness phase means for the next 2 – 3 years you will be engaging in a lot of consultation and analytical to get a lot of views from all government, non-government organisations and not forgetting our people from the rural communities to understand how forests are used and what kinds of activities Vanuatu can have to respond to tackling deforestation and to contribute to the climate change mitigation efforts,” She said.
Participants who attended the workshop were representatives from both the government, non-government organisations, private sectors, the Vanuatu Christian Council and the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs.