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Norway Ambassador observed progress on REDD+ in Central Kalimantan

H.E. Ambassador Stig Traavik, accompanied by Mr. William Sabandar from the National REDD+ Task Force, Counselor Marthe Hotvedt and Advisor Nita Murjani, visited Central Kalimantan on 5-7 March 2013 to observe progresses on REDD+ preparation and implementation in the REDD+ Pilot Province.

During the mission, the delegation had meetings with Governor Teras Narang, visited various REDD+ related projects, and met with local stakeholders and partners to discuss opportunities and challenges of REDD+ implementation in the Province.

Governor Teras Narang underlined that there has been a lot of progress since the stipulation of Central Kalimantan as the REDD+ Pilot Province, and referred to on-going REDD+ related projects especially in the ex-mega rice area. The Governor emphasized that support from the national government as well as from donor countries, including Norway, is very important in order to keep the momentum in this REDD+ process.

The delegation visited several REDD+ related projects, including  UNOP/UNESCO’s Center for Sustainability Information in Buntoi village,  ICCTF’s Research Center in Jabireun village, ILO’s Green Entrepreneurship project in Pilang village, Community-based Forest Fire Management (CBFFM) in Bukit Tunggal village and SMPN 12 Earth Friend School in Kota Palangkaraya. Through such projects, beneficiaries learn about different spectrum of REDD+ and why conserving the forest standing is important for their livelihood and for their future generation. The Center for Sustainability Information aims at facilitating the community in Buntoi village to share and transfer traditional knowledge of forest conservation among community members, especially to the younger generation. The Green Entrepreneurship program provides capacity building for alternative income generation from non-timber forest products and better access to markets.  The CBFFM program trains and equips local communities to better support the forest fire management task force.

The delegation also had meeting with civil society. Representatives from indigenous communities pointed out that their indigenous rights ought to be recognized by the REDD+ system to ensure that the rights are not violated and indigenous communities can actively participate in and benefit from the implementation of REDD+.

Coordinator of the Community-based Forest Fire Management in Bukit Tunggal village was demonstrating fire-fighting equipment.

Central Kalimantan launched its Regional Strategy on REDD+ (STRADA) in February this year. The STRADA provides framework and guidelines for REDD+ implementation in the Province and will be a living document which is open for further inputs and feedback from stakeholders and beneficiaries during the socialization process. Socialization of REDD+ to stakeholders, partners and beneficiaries at all levels will be a priority.

– It has been encouraging to see the enthusiasm for REDD+ in Central Kalimantan, and we look forward to continue our discussions with the national REDD+ Task Force and Governor Narang about how to further support important forward looking REDD+ initiatives here in the Pilot Province, said Ambassador Traavik.