Putting Forests First: Global Forest Initiatives Enhance Collaboration with Forest-Rich Developing Countries
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 6, 2010— In recognition of the urgent need to accelerate and improve international support for the world’s tropical forests, the governing bodies of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), Forest Investment Program (FIP) and UN-REDD Programme – three of the largest global initiatives helping developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) – met in Washington, D.C. over the weekend. The gathering of representatives from 31 countries (both developing and industrialized) and a wide range of forest stakeholders, emphasized the continued work required to support forested developing countries in their efforts toward climate-smart and sustainable management of forests and low-carbon emissions development.
To date, 48 forest-rich, developing countries are collaborating with at least one of these three initiatives, which at times may subject countries to multiple but similar processing requirements. To streamline their support to these countries, the FCPF, FIP and UN-REDD Programme came together at this first joint meeting to advance a common approach for REDD+ assistance centered on individual country-led strategies and the phased approach to REDD+ supported by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
This harmonized support from the FCPF, FIP and UN-REDD Programme helps forested countries, and the people whose livelihoods depend on forests, to develop and benefit from more coherent national strategies, joint capacity-building efforts, and strengthened institutions and investment plans. The meeting was a dynamic gathering of country and other stakeholder participants to discuss collaborative approaches for the three initiatives and other strategic partners.
Now, just weeks away from the UNFCCC Climate Change conference in Cancun (COP16), this increasingly targeted and coordinated support for climate action in the forest sector is a crucial step, as governments and development partners continue to recognize the primacy of forest ecosystems as the “lungs of the earth".
“We should keep in mind the bigger picture and the need for a coordinated approach to meet the big challenges of our time: poverty, food security, the degradation of ecosystems and dangerous climate change”, said Alexander Müller, Assistant Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in his opening remarks at the meeting. "On behalf of all three UN-REDD agencies, we are very encouraged with this special relationship with the World Bank on REDD+… we believe that in this way we bring the comparative advantages of the World Bank and the UN together to serve country needs," Müller said.
The meeting was also addressed by Andrew Steer, the World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, and Monique Barbut, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Observers from civil society, Indigenous Peoples and the private sector participated actively in the open dialogue throughout the meeting, as well as other global partners, including the UNFCCC and the UN Forum on Forests.
“With no international treaty to protect the world’s forests, it is encouraging to see how forest sector concerns are becoming part of a more cohesive daily focus of this set of global initiatives,” said Juan Carlos Jintiach, COICA, “particularly in support of the UNFCCC work. Today, four billion hectares around the globe – nearly a third of the earth’s surface – is forest. And we must ensure that we don’t lose any more. The rights of Indigenous Peoples and forest dwellers need to be part of the solution, and our dialogue with these three REDD+ initiatives including on issues such as free, prior and informed consent is key. This collaboration holds promise for an effective REDD+ impact globally.”
The joint meeting was structured to allow for open dialogue among the participants from governments, institutions, civil society, indigenous peoples, and private sector, to consider ways to maximize the impact of REDD+ activities at the country level. In the meeting, participants presented their perspectives, experiences, and reflections on progress, challenges and opportunities in implementing REDD+ initiatives around the world.
Together, the FCPF, FIP and UN-REDD Programme support REDD+ readiness and investment activities in 48 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacifi c and Latin America.
The FCPF, FIP and UN-REDD Programme will build on and complement one another, specifically to develop ways to maximize the impact of REDD+ activities at the country level. The FCPF Readiness Fund and the UN-REDD Programme assist forested developing countries in becoming ready for REDD+. The FIP provides financial assistance for transformational REDD+ investments, building on these readiness achievements. The FCPF Carbon Fund will provide performance-based payments for emission reductions from REDD+ activities, including potentially those financed by the FIP.
What is REDD+?
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is a mechanism to create an incentive for developing countries to protect, better manage and use their forest resources wisely, contributing to the global ﬁght against climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. REDD strategies aim to make forests more valuable standing than they would be cut down, by creating a ﬁnancial value for the carbon storage and other benefits of forests. “REDD+” goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in reducing emissions.
About the Initiatives
The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is a global partnership of more than 50 countries (both developing and industrialized) and a broad range of REDD+ stakeholders – civil society, Indigenous Peoples organizations, the private sector and international institutions – facilitated by the World Bank. The FCPF became operational in June 2008 with two mechanisms. Its Readiness Fund is providing assistance to support forested developing countries in their efforts to prepare national strategies and systems for REDD+. The FCPF Carbon Fund will further support REDD+ by piloting and testing approaches to demonstrate that forested countries can receive performance-based payments for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through REDD+.
The Forest Investment Program (FIP) is a targeted program of the Strategic Climate Fund, one of two funds within the framework of the Climate Investment Funds. The FIP supports developing countries’ efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and promotes sustainable forest management that leads to emission reductions and the protection of carbon reservoirs by financing transformational investments in and outside of the forest sector as well as capacity building. It is an implemented joint partnership of the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank Group.
The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Programme) was established in 2008 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Building on the expertise of these three UN agencies, the UN-REDD Programme supports the development and implementation of nationally-led REDD+ strategies in developing countries across Africa, Asia-Paciﬁc and Latin America.
UN-REDD Programme – Cheryl Rosebush +41 79 555 9843