The increasing pressures on natural resources in Panama, in particular forests resources, is the reason an incentive-based approach to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD – as considered under the Bali Action Plan) is urgently needed. This proposal aims to establish the capacity for Panama to reconcile the promotion and financing of a change in the way forest resources are used, the creation of an environmental culture directed at conservation for sustainable development, and the opportunities that Panama offers to participate in the global effort to reduce emissions, achieving a competitive, low carbon economy.
The overall objectives of the Programme are to recover or increase the forest cover, measured against a national baseline, so that forests provide ecosystem services and new revenue sources for communities ; and to strengthen overall environmental management in Panama.
The Government of Panama has identified a number of challenges to implement a REDD mechanism. These include fragmented data on the causes, dynamics and rates of deforestation in Panama (currently being assessed for the year 2008); a lack of capacity and investment for monitoring and protecting forests, in particular at the district level; a lack of cross-sectoral cooperation; institutional weakness at the regional and local level in implementing national policies; a lack of clarity in the legal framework; a lack of awareness on the benefits provided by forests; a limited understanding of the underlying causes of deforestation in certain regions; lack of clarity on rights to carbon on indigenous and non-indigenous lands; and insecure tenure.
The Panama UN-REDD Programme comprises two main outcomes:
- Institutional Capacity established for the efficient coordination and execution of a REDD programme in Panama, contributing to:
- The design of a valid legal framework for the implementation of the national REDD strategy that includes recommendations on carbon rights and clarity on land tenureOperational framework for the implementation of the REDD strategy
- The elaboration of an operational framework for implementing the national REDD strategy, including an analysis of the current and future causes of deforestation, an assessment of existing programmes, logistical, infrastructure and financial needs at the national and local level, the establishment a carbon registry mechanism for coordination and supervision, and planning for consultation with all Indigenous, civil society and private sector stakeholders
- Strengthening national capacities for the implementation of the REDD strategy, with a focus on MRV systems, financial models, legal framework, monitoring and evaluation, participatory management, information systems, conservation of biodiversity and local management
- The design of a transparent, valid and operational system of payments and benefit distribution;
- Stakeholders consultation process
- Technical capacity to monitor, measure, report and verify the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through:
- The design of a national inventory and monitoring system for forest carbon that allows for full participation of local experts in data collection as to build capacity
- The establishment of a reference emissions scenario, based on consolidation and harmonization of existing but discrete data, that presents several options
- The design of a system for carbon accounting and for generating information on emissions, exploring possible national synergies.