6 December, 2019

Project Assessment Workshop Report

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FCPF Capacity Building on REDD+ for Forest-Dependent Indigenous Peoples in East Asia and the Pacific and South Asia Region Project

 

Executive Summary

The regional project assessment was organized under Component 2 (Sub-component 2.1: Regional Learning and Exchange) with the following objectives: 1) To bring together representatives of indigenous peoples and their organizations involved in capacity building sub-projects financed by the project to share their experiences and good practices in project implementation;  2) To identify facilitating and hindering factors in sub-project implementation for IPs and other forest dwellers; 3) To unite on possible ways to address hindering issues and concerns and maximize good practices; and 4) To discuss additional capacity building needs of IPs and other forest dwellers.

The workshop gathered 23 participants from sub-grantee organizations, representatives of the Regional Steering Committee (RSC), ANSAB and the World Bank (WB).  The workshop opened formally with a prayer and words of welcome from the RSC, WB and Tebtebba. The agenda included presentations, work groups, and questions and answers.

The project provided capacity building sub-grants to seven (7) organizations in the Kingdom of Bhutan - Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) and Tarayana Foundation); Republic of Fiji - Grace Trifam Ministry (GTM) and Soqosoqo Vakamarama iTaukei Trust Board (SSV)); Republic of Vanuatu - Vanuatu Foresters Association (VFA); and Socialist Republic of Vietnam – Hoa Binh Cooperative on Agriculture, Forestry and Environment (Hoa Binh) and International Center for Highland Ecosystems Research (ICTHER). SSV is a national women’s organization. Direct beneficiaries are indigenous peoples and other forest dwellers living in remote communities and students.  Representatives of governments at national and local levels and other REDD+ stakeholders participated in some of the activities.

The sub-projects focused awareness/training activities on topics related to climate change, forest management, REDD+, benefit sharing and forest carbon accounting albeit at different levels.  Trainings were delivered bilingually (English and the national languages) to address technical terms and in most cases in collaboration with governments. Some sub-grantees translated training materials, and developed information materials.

At least four organizations were conscious and made efforts to increase women’s participation by including women facilitators in the team, providing time for women to finish household chores, not allowing women to prepare food for the training, directly encouraging women to participate, having women only focused group discussions, allowing them to take a seat of their choice and partnering with government women’s organization.

Working with and developing partnerships with governments, national and/or local, has facilitated implementation of sub-projects.  In Vietnam, the sub-grantees worked very closely with the provincial, district and commune offices while in Bhutan, collaboration was at national and local levels. In the Pacific, they work with the national REDD+ offices through the CSO platform and/or directly with the concerned agencies. 

Major constraints to sub-projects implementation were the very short time for delivery, REDD+ related technical terminologies with no exact translations in national/local languages, and unfavorable weather conditions exacerbated by geographic locations of communities. To complete the sub-projects, extensions of the implementation period were requested.  Some sub-grantees addressed difficulties on technical terms by synchronizing these with communities’ definitions, started the discussions from simpler topics and participation in related trainings to improve their own capacities. 

Other challenges included training fatigue, poor qualities and confusing REDD+ messages from previous activities outside the sub-projects, low literary and limited knowledge of direct beneficiaries, lack of appropriate materials, and no tangible outputs.  There were expectations that the sub-projects will provide support for livelihoods.  Particular to Vietnam is the time consuming and numerous papers required to secure a permit to proceed with implementation.

Forest in Bhutan is government owned, communities are management partners only but they can use forest provided they abide by government rules and procedures. Devolution of forest carbon rights to communities is still in progress and remains a challenge.   However, the country is not contemplating to enter the carbon market given the size of its forest so the REDD+ national office is emphasizing non-carbon benefits especially alternative livelihoods.

Improving women’s participation was hindered by their multiple roles including income generation which is compounded when women and youth have to work away from home.  For Tarayana which worked closely with community forest management groups, only few women are able to fulfill their financial obligations hence are dropped from the group.  In the case of SSV, one constraint that contributed to the non-completion of the sub-project was the unfulfilled commitments of two partners.  Poor access roads affected pregnant women’s participation.

Overall, the good partnerships/relationships developed between governments and sub-grantees contributed the successful and timely completion of the sub-projects.  In addition are the trust and good working relationship of some sub-grantees with the recipient organization, and sub-grantees’ presence in the communities, communities’ interest and trust to sub-grantees, existence of traditional structures, vitality of traditional knowledge and customary practices on natural resource management and prior knowledge on climate change.

 

Download full report here.