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By: Patricia Toquica, UN-REDD Programme, Knowledge Management Specialist, Latin-America and the Caribbean.

As a result of their participation in the UN-REDD Programme’s Latin America and Caribbean Regional REDD+ Academy (October 2015), several countries have started to apply the Academy learning materials, resources and methodologies to adapt them to their local contexts and capacity building needs, and to develop national versions of the REDD+ Academy.

Honduras’ experience

Honduras has been the first Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) country to apply REDD+ Academy learning related to stakeholder engagement. The country has now included in its REDD+ national programme results for 2016 the creation of spaces to enable effective stakeholder participation, including women, at the national and subnational level, during the preparation of the REDD+ National Strategy. 

To advance in this area, during 2015 Honduras conducted and finalized a Stakeholder Mapping and Characterization and a Participation Road Map, which together allowed the country to identify key stakeholders, participation spaces, objectives and strategic moments to engage these audiences, either for information, capacity building, consultation, collaboration or decision making for the construction of the REDD+ National Strategy.

As a result of these processes, Honduras developed a Capacity Building Plan which corresponds to their national version of the REDD+ Academy. In Honduras the Academy is conceived not as a single national multi-stakeholder event, but as the whole process of capacity strengthening with prioritized audiences.  The national capacity building effort will include over 20 workshops with different sectors including government, indigenous peoples, civil society, as well as campesino and agro-forestry organizations.

This process started already during February and March 2016 with Training of Trainers (ToT) sessions that engaged 35 regional technical leads from key government institutions including the Ministry of Environment and the Forest Conservation Institute (IFC) that will replicate the Academies at the subnational level with 14 workshops that will cover forest governance authorities in the 298 municipalities of Honduras during the period from April to July 2016.

The experience of the REDD+ national team in Honduras with this undertaken is already resulting in key lessons, processes and methodologies that are being shared with other countries in the region.

Upcoming versions in Colombia, Peru and Argentina

National versions of the REDD+ Academy are in early development and planning stages in Colombia, Argentina and Peru. These countries have done considerable work in complementing the learning journals with local context information, and adapting formats, exercises and presentations according to the needs of their targeted audiences.

In Peru, the Academy materials have been instrumental in the REDD+ capacity building and stakeholder engagement processes that have involved 166 representatives (30% women) from 13 nations of indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazonas as part of UN-REDD Programme Targeted Support to assist with REDD+ preparation. This process began in November 2015 and will conclude in June 2016.

In Colombia, the local REDD+ Academy will target indigenous peoples with a one-week Training of Trainers (ToT) event in May 2016, with possibilities of having another version for government sector officials later in the year.

In Argentina, efforts have also been made to turn the Academy into a more formal and continuous institutional capacity building and academic process in partnership with academia, Government and civil society organizations.

Online modules in practice in the Caribbean

In the Caribbean, Anglophone countries that are members of the UN-REDD Programme, including Jamaica, Suriname and Guyana, are already using the REDD+ Academy e-learning courses to deepen their knowledge and understanding at the institutional level.

The 12 online modules (available in English) support self-directed learning by those interested in REDD+, and have been instrumental in strengthening REDD+ capacities, especially in Suriname and Jamaica.

The specific experience of Jamaica and the views of how the country has benefited with Academy online courses will be shared in a future article of the REDD+ Academy series.  

For more information about the REDD+ Academy, please contact Mihaela Secrieru .

To learn more about the REDD+ Academy experiences in LAC, please contact Patricia Toquica, .

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