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High-Level Opening Session

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The main event at the high-level session was the presentation of the 1st GLOBE Forest Legislation Study. The study analyses legislation related to REDD+ and provides recommendations for legislative reform in the key forested countries Brazil, DRC, Indonesia and Mexico.

Commissioned by: The Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE International) Authors: Ludovino Lopes (Brazil), Augustin Mpoyi (DRC), Laode Syarif (Indonesia), Julieta Lira & Andres Avila Akerberg (Mexico), John Costenbader and Darragh Conway (Executive Summary and Indonesia). Edited by John Costenbader and Darragh Conway of Climate Focus, Adam Matthews, Marlene Grundstrom, Chris Stephens and Thais Narciso of GLOBE International.

Key findings fromt the Study

  • Countries do not have to wait for the international process to act.
  • Pro-active passing of national legislation can influence international negotiations and help advance REDD ahead of 2015
  • There are a growing number of REDD+ demonstration sites and pilot projects, however, these are not underpinned by adequate national legislation, leaving forest communities in a legal void.
  • National legislation is crucial for REDD+ to be implemented in a way that is effective, efficient and equitable, and that reduces the risk of corruption. Parliaments, if adequately supported, can play a key role in providing oversight of REDD+ financial flows and increase the public's participation and confidence in REDD.
  • Reforms that are essential for REDD+ implementation include approval procedures for REDD+ projects and programmes and clarifying which state institutions are responsible for supervising REDD+
  • Bilateral and multilateral donors should engage on legal issues not only with government ministries but also more widely with parliaments and parliamentary committees International donors such as the World Bank and the UN-REDD should provide capacity building on legislative drafting, oversight and scrutiny to parliamentarians

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Summary of key messages from keynote speakers

Graham Stuart, UK Member of the House of Commons, Chairman of the Board of GLOBE International: 'REDD is currently not much more than the first few lines of an architectural drawing, scribbled by technical experts on a piece of paper. You, as elected representatives of your people, and national lawmakers, are providing the building blocks and willpower to transform it into something real.'

Congresswoman Rocio Abreu, GLOBE Mexico: 'Mexican REDD+ legislative reforms passed in 2012 have included defining reference levels and MRV for REDD, institutional reinforcement allowing for enhanced public participation and transparency of REDD funds and decision-making.'

Barry Gardiner, UK Member of the House of Commons, Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment & Fisheries: 'Countries do not have to wait for the international process to act. Pro-active passing of national legislation can influence international negotiations and help advance REDD ahead of 2015.'

Senator Jesus Casillas, GLOBE Mexico: 'With the support of GLOBE, the Mexican Congress passed groundbreaking REDD and forest legislation in 2012, as one of the first countries in the world to do so.'

Senator Joao Capiberibe, GLOBE Brazil: 'In Brazil, the parliament plays a key role in controlling public expenditure with an impact on forests.'

Hon Tshimanga Buana, President of GLOBE DRC: 'Members of Parliament in the DRC have agreed on a road map for legislative reform related to REDD+ and forests. There is significant political will to pursue such reform. This will contribute to both poverty reduction and climate objectives.'

Mr Per Fredrik Pharo, Government of Norway: 'The GLOBE Forest Legislation Study contains very useful recommendations, which the Norwegian Government will study and see how we can integrate into our REDD initiatives'.

Mr Ian Gray, Global Environment Facility: 'Parliamentarians have a leadership role in REDD+. Supporting parliamentarians and building their capacity is very important.' 'We see a potential for expansion of GLOBE's efforts to support parliaments in the context of REDD+ to a larger number of countries'

Mr Jorge Rescala, Director General, National Forest Commission, Mexico: 'We need the political will of Members of Parliament to succeed. The work that GLOBE has done in Mexico has resulted in the modification of central laws on forests.'

Mr Vincent Kasulu, Secretary General, Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation & Tourism, DRC: 'We need a land code that recognizes the rights of indigenous peoples.' 'We don't want a scenario of 'carbon cowboys' reaping the benefits of REDD. We want to facilitate equitable benefit sharing in the DRC'

Mr Heru Prasetyo, UKP4, Government of Indonesia: 'The GLOBE Forest Legislation study resonates well in Indonesia. It covers both land use and agriculture legislation reform. REDD is ultimately both about land/agriculture and forests.'