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One indigenous peoples (IP) representative and one civil society organizations (CSO) representative have been appointed to the Executive Board of the UN-REDD Programme National Programme for Bangladesh. The appointments were made after a self-selection process by IP and CSO representatives that took place during two separate workshops held 22 and 23 March 2016 in Dhaka. Both workshops were attended by IP and CSO representatives from different parts of the country.

Mr. Goutam Dewan, ex-chair of Rangamati Hill District was elected as the IP board member, while Dr Farid Uddin Ahmad of the Arannayk Foundation was elected as the CSO board member. Both were elected by their constituencies to ensure the full and active participation and engagement of national IP and CSO institutions in the Bangladesh National Programme (NP) – as well as the REDD+ Stakeholder Forum, a proposed national multi-stakeholder platform.

Mr. Rakibul Hasan Mukul, Assistant Chief Conservator of Forests and Director of the NP, welcomed the participants during both events and expressed willingness of the department to work closely with partners to achieve greater forest cover in the country.

Ms. Pauline Tamesis, Country Director of UNDP Bangladesh, on 22 March, welcomed the IP representatives to engage in the preparatory phase of REDD+ implementation, especially policies and measures to be developed to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation under the NP. In her welcome remarks, she emphasised that, “It is the communities who are affected the most and therefore, policies designed should involve their input. So, the selection of the IP representative institutions to the Executive Board is an important contribution to the Programme.”

The Chakma Circle Chief and self-selected focal point for IP on REDD+ in Bangladesh,  Barrister Raja Devasish Roy said, “This is a win-win approach where the interests of forest dependent communities and indigenous peoples will be preserved through formulating and amending forest governance laws and policies.”

On 23 March, Mr. Nick Beresford, the Deputy Country Director of UNDP Bangladesh, in his welcome remarks to CSOs, referenced the drawing power of the Programme in bringing different actors together globally, regionally and nationally to find a common solution for climate change.

The selection criteria for IP and CSO Executive Board members are (i) national-level CSO and IP representative organizations; (ii) national network(s) with effective and functional mechanisms to share information among the networks once selected, enable consultations and solicit feedback; and (iii) willing to commit time in a voluntary role. The Executive Board will focus on governance and management of work planning, budgeting and reporting of the NP.

In addition to the self-selection processes, participants at both workshops also shared their experiences and lessons learned in engaging in the natural resources, forestry and community development sectors. Through this exchange, participants identified strategic entry points for their engagement in the national REDD+ process.

Mr. Tek Vannara, the former Asia Pacific CSO member of the global UN-REDD Programme Policy Board, was in Dhaka to share regional experiences, with a view to strengthen existing participatory approaches for REDD+ readiness.

 

A report on both workshops and all report presentations are available here.

 

 

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