For a country, ‘be Ready for REDD+’ means to develop a National Strategy or Action plan as part of the low-carbon emissions strategy, ensuring effective engagement and participation of stakeholders, including local people.
Selected as a REDD+ country in 2008 (FCPF) and committed to transform the country’s economy and achieve a Climate Resilient and Green Economy (CRGE) by 2025, Ethiopia started the elaboration of the Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) in April 2010, through a highly participatory process. Ethiopia Grant Agreement was signed for R-PP implementation in October 2012, and REDD+ Readiness Phase was officially launched in January 2013.
REDD+ Secretariat is the prime unit for the coordination and implementation of the National REDD+ Readiness process. It facilitates, coordinates and spearheads REDD+ process by bringing together relevant stakeholders and engaging them in decision-making and action.
In fact, consultation, participation and outreach is one key component to ensure transparency and accountability, information sharing and accessibility, disclosure of outcomes, and bringing engagement of key stakeholders.
Communication, thus, is one among many structures created in the REDD+ Secretariat to work towards the realization of these goals.
Since then, lots of commendable communication activities that help the project takeoff have been undertaken, and valuable outputs have been generated. Many REDD+ awareness raising sessions have been conducted at various levels. People were introduced to the concept and application of REDD+ and the Readiness process in Ethiopia. Awareness has also been expanded to the regional higher officials, senior experts, parliamentarians, research academic institutions and civil society in a series of workshops and seminars. Many of these events were covered by national and local media including radio, TV and newspapers. The overall preliminary assessment of awareness exercises and communication efforts of the secretariat showed so far provided a good indication of results.
Yet, more awareness creation and communication activities need to be made so as to fully and actively mobilize and engage the public through out in the process. After all, the move towards ensuring meaningful engagement of all stakeholders is not yet completed.
The R-PP process emphasizes more importantly on creating ownership through active involvement of all stakeholders. Without having a well-designed communication strategy, to effectively reach the target audiences and to proper delivery of the message to those critical audiences, attaining meaningful engagement of stakeholders is very challenging, if not impossible.
Hence, the need for comprehensive communication strategy that builds on the existing experience and structures is timely and very essential. It will help provide direction, coherence, and unity to organizational efforts there by improving performance; introducing synergy, enhancing dialogue; building teamwork and stimulating forward thinking. It is also expected to set out ways how key audiences such as government, local communities, and international communities are communicated and targeted.
For this purpose, the REDD+ Secretariat has procured a consultant to undertake the task of formulating a comprehensive and workable Communication strategy for REDD+ process.
Now that a national REDD+ communication strategy is being formulated combining contemporary and traditional techniques and channels, is expected to transform and speed up existing information sharing mechanisms.