In December 2013, Fiji was awarded a grant of US$3.8m to support REDD+ readiness efforts in the country.
The readiness preparation grant is provided the through Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) for a four-year implementation phase. The funds were granted after a rigorous review process of proposals submitted by 11 countries.
Fiji was one of 8 countries to successfully meet the FCPF grant requirements,submitting a robust proposal that was ranked second overall.
REDD+ is an effort led by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, along with conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Developing countries are provided financial incentives to undertake REDD+ activities.
Fiji recognises REDD+ as an opportunity to contribute to the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to sustainably manage the country’s valuable forest resources and its services, and to support the socio-economic development of local communities.
The FCPF grant will support, amongst others, a more informed participation of stakeholders (especially local communities) in REDD+, the development of instruments to ensure optimal benefits for resource owners and a more proficient monitoring system of Fiji’s forests.
In February this year, a scoping mission team from the World Bank, the delivery partner for the FCPF grant, was in Fiji to assess existing institutional arrangements, social structures and scope of technical activities in preparation for the implementation of the REDD readiness activities defined in the proposal.
The team met with the REDD+ Emalu landowners, various government agencies, non-governmental organisations, private sector representatives and development partners.
At the end of their mission, World Bank Environmental Economist Dr Stephanie Sieber and Senior Social Development Specialist Ms Hady Sey congratulated Fiji on the excellent REDD+ progress since it began in 2009 and the active multi-stakeholder participation process currently being undertaken.
They commended Fiji’s well-developed institutional structures remarking, “Fiji has a very impressive decentralisation structure, which allows for effective participation and engagement of relevant stakeholders engaged in sustainable development.”
The mission recognised the importance of Fiji’s iTaukei institutional structures as a means of safeguarding the needs and rights of iTaukei resource owners, a necessary requirement in REDD+ implementation.
They commented, “Fiji has a very robust constitutional framework and policy for land tenure system, which includes safeguarding the rights and interest of iTaukei landholders.
It has a well-established consultation outreach and communication set-up that enables them to constantly engage with communities.”
Fiji’s iTaukei institutional framework will be further strengthened through the FCPF grant to enhance the capacity of the institution to effectively engage local iTaukei communities in REDD+ processes.
The Government of Fiji has been allocating F$300,000 per year for REDD+ efforts in the country since 2012.
The national political focal point for REDD+ is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the national implementing focal point is the Forestry Department. The Fiji national REDD+ programme is supported by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
For more information, please contact the Deputy Conservator of Forests, Mr Eliki Senviasa – email@example.com.
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