Macrohon, Southern Leyte – The “Declaration of Support for the National Implementation of REDD+” has been signed on September 14, 2016, after various stakeholders reached agreement on forest protection and rehabilitation during the National REDD+ Congress: A Platform for Learning Exchange. Funded by the International Climate Initiative of Germany’s Ministry for the Environment, the event was organized by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and REDD+ stakeholders.

reddplus congress declaration tarp 600pxDeclaration of support for REDD+The Congress established a platform for knowledge sharing on the implementation of REDD+ as a strategy for addressing climate change, achieving sustainable forest management, and enhancing livelihoods in the Philippines. It was held on September 12–15, 2016 at Kuting Reef Resort and Hotel in Macrohon.

Representatives from REDD+ demonstration sites – Southern Leyte, Quezon, Palawan, Albay, Eastern Samar, Davao Oriental, Northern Sierra Madre, and Kaliwa Watershed were in full force as REDD+ practitioners and stakeholders from these sites shared the achievements, gaps, challenges, opportunities, lessons learned, and best practices they encountered during the implementation of forest protection and rehabilitation activities.

To complement and underpin the Declaration, a joint Provincial Technical Working Group commitment was also drafted and approved, led by the local government of the provinces of Albay, Eastern Samar, and Davao Oriental The said commitment is aimed to be passed to mandated agencies and the House of Representatives to stress the importance of keeping our forests intact and in turn keep with the climate change mitigation options of the Philippines’ Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 40% from the forestry sector through forest protection and forest rehabilitation.

“The Philippines has already achieved a lot in establishing the framework for REDD+ implementation as a strategy towards forest and climate protection while conserving the country’s biodiversity and enhancing local livelihoods. The way forward is to complete the governance and policy framework, and to move into full-fledged implementation country-wide,” Dr. Bernd-Markus Liss, Director of GIZ’s Climate Program, emphasized.

In support to the local communities, indigenous peoples, and people’s organizations, representatives from the national and local government, academe, and civil society organizations pledged to assist and help them in issuance of permits, addressing land tenure issues, deputization of bantay gubat, recognizing indigenous people’s rights, curbing illegal logging, sustaining greening initiatives, strengthening people’s organization, and establishing partnerships with government and civil society organizations, among others.

The Joint Declaration would also be submitted to the Office of the President for appropriate action and, ultimately, for the nation-wide implementation of REDD+.

“If we can make a difference – we can make things happen – then that’s the legacy we will leave for the next generation,” DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations Isabelo Montejo said. #

 

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