To advance legal knowledge and action for REDD+ development and climate change mitigation, IDLO, in collaboration with the UN-REDD Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), prepared country studies on Legal Preparedness for REDD+. The first three Country Reports on Mexico, Vietnam and Zambia distill and share legal innovations and challenges for REDD+ nationally and internationally. REDD+ is a climate finance mechanism, agreed in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 16th Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Cancun, Mexico, for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. It seeks to foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, while respecting indigenous and forest dwellers rights, providing for fair distribution of benefits, and other safeguards. Deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for approximately 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, a leading cause of climate change. 80% of the Earth’s above-ground terrestrial carbon and 40% of below-ground terrestrial carbon is in forests. Addressing deforestation and forest degradation has been identified as one of the most cost-effective ways to lower GHG emissions.
The three Reports on Legal Preparedness for REDD+ in Mexico, Zambia and Vietnam review existing laws and regulations relevant to REDD+, identifying and analyzing legal challenges and innovations for REDD+ implementation. By doing so, the studies support Mexico, Vietnam and Zambia in strengthening their legal and institutional capacity for REDD+ initiatives. They were prepared through the training of local legal specialists, a detailed review of relevant laws, regulations, policies and governance frameworks relating to REDD+, and in-country consultations with key stakeholders, including government, civil society groups and local community experts, using country-specific approaches to analyze legal challenges to ongoing REDD+ developments and opportunities. National Review Workshops were conducted in Mexico, Vietnam and Zambia in October and November 2011.
The Reports were launched on December 4 at a High-Level Reception in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban, South Africa. At this occasion, Her Excellency Mary Robinson, former President of the Republic of Ireland highlighted the studies as leading examples of cutting edge legal research with a significant and direct impact for vulnerable groups in developing countries. The Reports also benefited from a thorough review and commentary in an expert panel chaired by Alberto Sandoval of FAO, during the international conference on “Climate Law and Governance in the Global South,” co-organised by IDLO in Durban during the COP17 on December 3 & 4. They were further discussed by developing country policymakers and international legal experts in a COP17 official Side-Event hosted by IDLO on December 8, which was chaired by Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, Head of Economic Growth & Trade, IDLO and Thais Linhares-Juvenal, Senior Officer, UN-REDD Programme Secretariat.
The legal analysis, drafting and editing of the reports was led by Sarah Mason-Case, IDLO Legal Specialist in Climate Finance. Lead authors for the Mexico Report included Liliana del Villar, IDLO Legal Specialist, Hector Velasco Perroni, CAAM President and IDLO Legal Specialist, and Frederic Perron-Welch, Legal Research Fellow at the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL). Lead authors for the Vietnam Report included Hung Phan, IDLO Legal Specialist. Lead authors for the Zambia Report included Sarah Mason-Case.