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Environment and Forests Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Sunday said Bangladesh has taken a major move to take the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) agenda ahead.
Bangladesh joined the UN-REDD programme in August 2011. Hasan Mahmud said Bangladesh is now ready to move forward in a coordinated and planned way through the three phases of REDD+.
“Bangladesh doesn’t see REDD+ as a climate-financing mechanism only; sustainable forest conservation and management and halting the trend of deforestation and degradation are also equally critical for Bangladesh as is the need to protect the livelihoods of millions of extreme poor,” he said.
The Forests Minister said this at a national workshop at Cirdap auditorium, organised by the Bangladesh Forest Department with the support of UNDP and FAO to share and discuss the progress of the national Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) Readiness Roadmap in Bangladesh.
UNDP Bangladesh, together with FAO, has been supporting the development of a Roadmap for the Readiness phase of a National REDD+ Programme, through a technical advisory team of international and national experts.
Currently, UNDP and FAO are assisting the Bangladesh government to implement two targeted support activities funded by UN-REDD on corruption risk assessment, social impact assessment and monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV), brining Bangladesh closer towards a comprehensive plan to realise the role of forests in tackling climate change.
South and West Asia Division (SAWAD) Chief, UNDP Elena Tischenko, addressed the event as special guests. REDD+ specialist Dr Anasarul Karim, chaired the session. UNDP Country Director Pauline Tamesis, FAO representative Yunus Ali, Chief Conservator of Forest, Haradhan Banik, UN-REDD Focal Point were among the other speakers.
A large number of participants, representing a wide spectrum of government and civil society stakeholders, attended the event.
UNDP Country Director Pauline Tamesis appreciated the government efforts in forest conservation and sustainable forest management which has seen notable successes.
She said, “The government of Bangladesh endeavors in social forestry, coastal green belt and co-management of protected areas are recognised both nationally and internationally.”
She emphasized UNDP’s partnership with the GoB in REDD+ readiness, which is targeted towards building the capacity of the government to access future climate financing in the forestry sector.
Elena Tischenko, SAWAD Chief assured the government and people of Bangladesh about UNDP’s commitment to the UN-REDD Programme in partnership with FAO and UNEP to support and strengthen countries’ capacity for REDD+.
Participants engaged in a lively discussion about the opportunities offered by a REDD+ programme, and the challenges that Bangladesh will face in implementing the roadmap.