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REDD Plus Implementation in Malaysia

The REDD Plus mechanism was agreed at the 15th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP15) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 2009 in Copenhagen. The REDD mechanism includes reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, conservation, sustainable management of forest and carbon stock enhancement. It was also agreed that parties implementing REDD Plus would need an effective national strategy or action plan and a transparent national forest monitoring and governance system. Ultimately, this mechanism was created to provide an incentive for developing countries to protect, better manage, and wisely use their forest resources, thereby contributing to the global fight against climate change.

Following COP 15, the progress in the REDD Plus negotiations has been relatively rapid, with the most significant developments occurring in the last two years. Seven important decisions were adopted in 2014 for REDD Plus governing methodological issues on safeguards, measurement, reporting and verification (MRV), development of national forest monitoring systems, addressing drivers of deforestation, and technical assessment of reference levels. In addition, the modalities for institutional arrangements at the national level for REDD Plus implementation and results-based payments were also agreed.

The Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC) has submitted the forest reference emission levels (FRELs), results based actions and REDD Plus Safeguards Information System (REDD Plus SIS) in order to access the results based payments. National REDD Plus Strategy is another pre-requisite for the implementation of REDD Plus. The countries undertaking REDD Plus should develop procedures and approaches that ensure that REDD Plus activities do not have negative impacts on communities and the environment. At the national level, the MESTECC, is developing the REDD Plus Strategy. The Strategy underlines how the REDD Plus actions will be implemented in Malaysia based on current best practices.

REDD Plus is more than just a means of assigning monetary value to forest carbon stocks. It’s also about ensuring the livelihoods of those whose culture, survival and heritage depend on the forests themselves.

National Level

MESTECC, will play the leading role in implementing the Strategy. This includes undertaking the necessary coordination among stakeholders, establishing the appropriate institutional platforms, facilitating resource mobilisation and initiating review of the Policy, as necessary. MESTECC will be responsible for coordination among the various Federal ministries and states for the implementation of this strategy.

State Governments

The State Governments and their agencies have jurisdiction over and responsibility for the management of inter alia land, water and forests and will therefore play important roles in delivering the actions under the Strategy. The state government will ensure that the REDD Plus actions are implemented effectively.

Civil Society

The Strategy provides many opportunities for civil society to participate, either on its own or in collaboration with other stakeholders. Given their vast knowledge and their aptitude to work with indigenous peoples and local communities as well as with regional and international networks, civil society will play a very important role in translating the Strategy into action.

Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

The Strategy places emphasis on empowering and supporting indigenous peoples and local communities to undertake biodiversity conservation. They are envisaged to be active partners in managing our forest and the resources.

Private Sector

The private sector will play an important role in ensuring the objectives of the Strategy are met. Many of the actions identified in the Policy can be undertaken by the private sector, either on its own or in collaboration with other stakeholder groups. A framework for public –private partnership will be established under this Strategy.

Research and Education

Implementing the Strategy will require the best available scientific expertise and knowledge. Malaysia has a large research community at our universities and research institutions and this community has an important role to play in ensuring that the results obtained are reliable. Educators also make valuable contributions by increasing the community’s awareness on climate change through establishing practical partnerships and experiential learning.

The REDD Plus actions will be implemented by the respective State Governments but will be accounted at the national level, following the national legislation. The actions to be undertaken will not only improve the forest management and resilience towards climate change but also contribute towards achieving the Climate change agenda in Malaysia. The results based actions will contribute towards the achievement of the Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement.

In general, the REDD Plus Institutional arrangement will be implemented as follows:

  1. REDD Plus should be linked with the national climate change actions while supporting the some of the targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity;
  2. REDD Plus implementation should be coordinated at national level while implementation of actions at state level;
  3. REDD Plus reported and verified at national level; and
  4. Result based payments should be coordinated at national level for transparency and avoiding double accounting.

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