The second World Land Trust (WLT) workshop on “Carbon as a funding mechanism for conservation” was held in May in Kibale National Park, Uganda and was hosted by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). This followed the first knowledge exchange for African NGOs in Ghana in February.
Eight participants attended, representing organisations from Burundi, Ethiopia, Senegal, Togo, Kenya, Uganda, Burkina Faso and Cameroon. A representative from IUCN Uganda also attended in an observational capacity to help strengthen their role as a facilitator for REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) projects in the future. The workshops received excellent feedback and confirmed the need and demand for capacity building as currently very few African NGOs are making use of carbon as a funding mechanism for forest conservation or ecological restoration. It is clear that good, innovative demonstration projects are needed to get policy-makers to start talking with project implementers and to help link the climate negotiations to practical experience. Successful pilot projects are seen as important for leveraging more political acceptance and stakeholder interest. WLT hopes the training workshops will assist these NGOs in participating in their country’s national REDD programmes in the future.
The aim now for the final phase is to help refine project proposals for submission to donors, whether for a full REDD proposal or smaller capacity building initiatives, which may then lead onto REDD at a later date. Although WLT is nearing the end of the training programme, this is obviously the starting point for these African NGOs. WLT will be monitoring their progress and is already discussing links between participants and potential donors who may be able to assist with initial funding.