Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Participants Committee, 2 nd Meeting, Gamboa, Panama, 11-13 March 2009 Ghana: Multi-stakeholder Participation in VPA Process: Lessons for REDD Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Participants Committee, 2 nd Meeting, Gamboa, Panama, 11-13 March 2009 Robert Bamfo, Forestry Commission
INTRODUCTION Ghana’s VPA process was reasonably open and participatory. It involved direct participation of NGOs, trade unions, academic and research institutions and most importantly forest community representatives (from both timber and non-timber areas). After almost two years of negotiations, VPA commits the government of Ghana to a further participatory review of sector policy, legislation and institutions over a three to five year period. This for Ghana CSOs and forest community representatives is its most significant achievement.
The VPA! Targets improvements in the governance environment It draws on multi- stakeholder participation Objective: Reduce illegal logging through the use of market levers An agreement based on EU FLEGT
The Perception before VPA Govt. Industry Stool Land Owners Stool Land Owners Civil Society Forest Communities Forest Communities
Case of multi-stakeholder participation in the VPA Phase 1;Dec 2003-April 2007 (technical) -largely internal government process -no inclusion of broader civil society Phase 2; April 2007-June 2008 (consultative) – Start-up discussions with the EU on a VPA in December 2006. – EU’s requirement for creation of VPA in countries was consultations with different sectors of society to develop the country’s negotiation position. -Broader inclusion of CS groups -Stronger CS activity
VPA Process Literature, Study Outputs, Process Review National Stakeholder Consultation/Consensus Building Technical Working Group Consolidation of Stakeholder Views Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee/Policy Sub-Comm. Country Position on Elements of VPA Established at Ministerial Level
VPA Consultative Process Consultation plan put in place and consultative meetings held to solicit general feedback on stakeholders’ concerns and aspirations for a VPA in Ghana and submission to VPA Steering Committee: – Civil society: 30 July - 3 August 2007 – Private sector: 24 - 26 September 2007 – Traditional Authorities (National House of Chiefs): 6 December 2007 – Internal meetings with FC staff across the country for feedback on VPA process
Successes of Multi-stakeholder Involvement The process of broader stakeholder consultations significantly altered final outcomes of the VPA process: -governance vision, legal definition of timber, legality assurance system, industry restructuring and the domestic market situation. A greater awareness of the role of civil society in policy making and agenda setting considering the degree to which it engaged a wide variety of stakeholders. A greater acceptance of the role of external stakeholders in the policy process
Challenges What does ‘consultation’ mean? -VPA SC reps- how were they feeding back? -depth and process of consultation differed For example, it was not clear what were the specific roles and responsibilities of representatives on the VPA SC in terms of taking information back to their constituents and soliciting their feedback No clear guidance about how the consultations should occur, there were varying degrees in the quality and quantity of engagement within different stakeholder groups. Unclear how the VPA institutional structure incorporated stakeholder comments into on- going discussions
Challenges cont’d Frequent change of timelines and deadlines frustrated and /or rushed consultations Insufficient funding for intra- stakeholder group discussions and consensus building Institutional structure technically focused Representation-of interests or of numbers? -is information flow sufficient? -are feedback mechanisms available? Working? accountable? Shortcomings will be addressed and consultations would be improved in future processes.
Lessons Learnt Real community buy-in is necessary for success in any consultation process Social contract can only be achieved in a participatory manner Institutional structure should actively express the values of consultation but have political clout Civil society is interested and willing to work-, communities, academics, land owners, etc Put some action into the proposed policy, legislative and institutional review process agreed under the VPA
Factors for REDD Readiness Consultations Begin with the consultative process -what is it we want to do with REDD? What are the issues? Current condition of national forests Current policies and legislation to halt deforestation and forest degradation Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation Land tenure, carbon rights Forest governance Inclusiveness in the design and implementation of REDD strategies Equitable benefit sharing mechanisms Reliable monitoring, reporting and verification systems to account for CO2 emissions and removals due to changes in forest cover and changes in carbon stocks on a timely basis at the national level Construct a stakeholder process Keep the consultation fluid Put in place a workable institutional set up Re-think tenure and community rights. REDD depends on clarification and protection of carbon property rights (including community rights) R-Plan calls for multiple stakeholder participation in developing the REDD strategy Accountability, transparency, compliance, conflict resolution procedures, etc. are necessary
10 Principles for Consultation REDD process will adopt the following principles for effective consultative process: 1.Engage diverse stakeholders 2.Institute reliable operating structure and process management 3.Practice transparency 4.Use effective communication channels 5.Foster focus on interests, not positions or personalities 6.Allow for independent verification 7.Be responsive to all concerns 8.Make use of existing networks 9.Incorporate capacity building 10.Allow for process adjustments
REDD & VPA Forests and People play central roles in both initiatives Both have to tackle the informal sector issues, e.g. how to formalise it? Forests & People Both are about reducing deforestation and forest degradation (illegal logging) and ensuring social/ecological benefits Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation Both require Stakeholder Consultations, Participation, Collaboration and Sensitisation. Role of civil society is key Access to Stakeholders Both require an improved governance environment to succeed. Transparency & accountability are very crucial Creation of Governance Environment Legal definitions are key in removing conflicting and outdated legislation Adjustment in Legislation Both initiatives require and could share the use of robust monitoring, reporting and verification systems. Clear standards are vital. Systems for Quantifying Biomass Removals 15
REDD & VPA cont’d Since the two processes have similar aims, VPA measures can pave the way for REDD – which could help pay for VPA
CONCLUSION Some conclusionsfCCCccon Clear opportunities exist for REDD to build up on the VPA governance platform as well as link up with policy initiatives/reforms under the VPA REDD should be as a major incentive for improved governance Clarification of carbon rights and tenure is fundamental Broad stakeholder consultation and participation in the formulation & implementation of national REDD strategy is key Appropriate consultation processes at national and local institutions will be an essential part of Readiness Plan