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Forest landscape restoration: Enhancing more than carbon stocks

United Nations Development Programme
OroVerde - Tropical Forest Foundation and Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza, Guatemala
Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative
FSC International and Gold Standard Foundation
International Tropical Timber Organization

United Nations Development Programme

[Stand No. 05]

Mr Charles Nyandiga is Programme Advisor for Sustainable Forest Management and Land Degradation and Regional Focal Point for Anglophone and Arab States. He has worked in the field of forest and natural resources management for over 25 years, working as a forest research officer and practitioner with government, development bilateral organisations and the United Nations. Currently, he is the technical specialist for the GEF SGP Sustainable Forest Management, Land Degradation and Climate Change Adaptation. He is also the regional focal point for anglo and lusophone Africa and Arab States for the UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme.

Presentation Summary

The GEF SGP is a corporate global programme of the Global Environment Facility implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. The SGP has over 14 000 projects of which 1600 are forest based. One of its key focus areas is Sustainable Forest Management in the context of addressing climate change, sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation. It does this mainly by engaging with grassroots-level community-based organisations and civil society. Its strength lies in experiential learning where learning by doing is highly encouraged.

Community forests present an opportunity to both REDD+ and the overall general restoration of forests in productive landscapes. The presentation will discuss and highlight examples, through case studies, that communities have used to measure a full menu of benefits and carbon stocks. However, it is recognised that this still presents many challenges, including finding the most versatile and robust simple carbon accounting procedure(s) that does not require complicated and lengthy calculations of carbon amounts. If communities are to actively take part and profit from REDD+, as well as actively engage in forest re-establishment and protection activities, activities towards biodiversity conservation and reduction of degradation of landscapes at local levels have to be incentivised both by governments and their partners. It is important for communities to link these activities with livelihoods improvements and better preparedness to mitigate impacts of climate change.

SGP works with remotely located grantees, who in many cases are illiterate and cannot even attempt to quantify many of the forest-derived benefits including carbon stocks they co-manage with state agencies. In particular, it is important that carbon assessments be based on community-level understanding of accounting systems and processes. GEF SGP, working with communities in over 125 countries, will provide its experiences to demonstrate challenges and possibilities in involving communities in forest-based enterprises and further to show that this is a growing portfolio of interest worth pursuing by many funding partners.

Key questions:

  • Is a community forest-based benefits accounting systems useful and are the ones out in the market appropriate?
  • Can a simplified and community-appropriate accounting system be found that allows communities to validate their carbon stocks and be able to generate income at individual household levels? If not, what options are available for communities to position themselves to be recognised as important actors?
  • How can communities become important stakeholders in finding a simpler accounting process?

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OroVerde - Tropical Forest Foundation and Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza, Guatemala

[Stand No. 06]

Ms Elke Mannigel is responsible for the coordination of the international projects of OroVerde – Tropical Forest Foundation, a German non-profit organisation working on forest conservation projects in cooperation with local partners in different countries in Latin America and Asia. Reforestation, management of protected areas, indigenous rights and environmental education are the main areas of work. Climate change and forest, including biodiversity conservation and the involvement of local people, are among the most important work issues at the moment. In Germany, OroVerde is focusing on education for sustainable development, as well as the development of guidelines for investors in forest projects.

Mr Javier Marquez is Director of the Sierra Lacandón National Park, Defensores de la Naturaleza, Guatemala. He has been responsible for the management of the Sierra Lacandón National Park since 2004. The park is co-managed by Defensores de la Naturaleza and CONAP; they both work in conservation activities and with communities to regulate their permanence in the park, adapting the