Southeast Asia Regional Training Workshop on Social and Environmental Soundness in REDD+ Programs and Projects
This workshop summary report details a training workshop in November 2012 at USAID’s Asia Regional Training Center in Bangkok, Thailand, that presented on the social and environmental soundness (SES) of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and Sustainable Landscapes (SL) programs in Southeast Asia.
There were 43 participants at the workshop from eight Asian countries, and more than 40 percent of participants were women. The approach of the workshop was interactive and participatory to help share lessons learned and draw from experiences of the attendees. The workshop was split in two parts with the first part open to all participants (four days), and the second part (final day) aimed at USAID programming requirements, which was open to all participants but designed for USAID staff and implementing partners.
The workshop goals and objectives, as well as the purpose of this report, is to integrate the programs key principles, approaches, and more for social and environmental soundness in relevant natural resource management (NRM) sectors, identify and work on social and environmental soundness issues, and apply principals, lessons, and approaches to country-specific situations.
Excerpt from the report:
Throughout the week, the workshop participants discussed and debated how best to ensure social and environmental soundness in the programming and implementation of programs and projects aiming to support REDD+.
- Social and environmental soundness is a concept for sound development, based on sound analysis and sound process. It aims to ensure the feasibility and compatibility of development with local cultural, socio-economic and environmental conditions.
- To ensure soundness in REDD+ programming, it is important to view the REDD+ issues in a broader development context, looking at issues such as systems models, theories of change, scale, stakeholder engagement, sustainability, gender and other social and biodiversity analyses.
- Although work on REDD+ issues is relatively new, decades of relevant experience in natural resource management, community forestry, integrated conservation and development, landscape approaches to biodiversity conservation and development, payments for environmental services – and other broader development experience – can provide useful guidance and building blocks for REDD+.
- Even though work on REDD+ social and environmental issues is already well underway in many countries, it is still useful to consider the broader framework, to analyze whether or not any important gaps exist, and if so, how they can best be addressed.