REDD+ Secretariat National Communication Strategy
Ethiopia is experiencing the effects of climate change. Besides the direct effects such as an increase in average temperature or a change in rainfall patterns, climate change also presents the necessity and opportunity to switch to a new, sustainable development model. Following the conventional development path would, among other adverse effects, result in a sharp increase in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and unsustainable use of natural resources. The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) has therefore initiated the Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) initiative to protect the country from the adverse effects of climate change and to build a green economy that will help realize its ambition of reaching middle income status before 2025. The government is now starting to transform the strategy into action and welcomes collaboration with domestic and international partners.
As part of the strategy, the government has selected four initiatives for fast-track implementation: exploiting the vast hydropower potential; large-scale promotion of advanced rural cooking technologies; efficiency improvements to the livestock value chain; and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). These initiatives have the best chances of promoting growth immediately, capturing large abatement potentials, and attracting climate finance for their implementation.
Among these initiatives, REDD+ offers the opportunity to implement forestry abatement levers and monetize the respective abatement potential in a structured way. Thus far the execution of the REDD+ undergoes three phases. In the first phase, which is the readiness phase where we undertakes readiness activities which mainly embodies the preparation of the REDD Readiness Strategy. Specifically this involves the development of National strategies or action plans, policies and measures and capacity-building activities. The second phase is the implementation of these national REDD+ Readiness Strategies or Action Plans that could involve further capacity-building and demonstration activities. The final phase can also be called Carbon Market phase where the country actually enters into the REDD+ Carbon market.
The strategy for an effective and efficient implementation of REDD+ mainly call for creating ownership through active involvement of all stakeholders. This involvement would be realized when the public and other stakeholders are informed of the REDD+, the R-PP process and when they are mobilized to support the process. Being a government-led process, it is essential that political and executive leadership is informed of the requirements and process for preparing Ethiopia’s Readiness and is regularly updated on the progress. Equally important is the fact that Ethiopia needs to effectively communicate to stakeholders on the progress towards readiness for REDD+. Without having a strategy that effectively reaches the predetermined target audiences, well developed compelling message and proper delivery of message to those critical audiences, attaining buy-in and meaningful engagement of stakeholders is very challenging. Hence, the need for communication strategy is certain.
The overall performance assessment of the Secretariat of REDD+ showed that many measurable results have been achieved which have helped the REDD Project to have a good start. However, the move towards ensuring meaningful engagement of all stakeholders through informing and advocating REDD+ has yet to be made. Gaining the buy in of the political and executive leadership and improving public awareness along with creating an enabling environment is now becoming an outstanding issue to be addressed in a more organized and systematic way . Designing an overarching approach to communication for REDD + is therefore timely and very essential.
Acknowledging the need for a systematic and strategic approach to communication REDD+ Secretariat has planned to prepare a communication strategic plan. To this end, it has contracted an individual consultant to design the communication strategy. This communication strategy should provide the leadership, management, staff, members, and other external stakeholders with a clear roadmap and priorities the Secretariat needs to pursue to realize REDD+’s vision and accomplish its mission in the Project life year and perhaps beyond that.
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