Covering more ground: 18 countries and the work to conserve forests

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Participants at the 13 th FCPF Carbon Fund meeting in Brussels, Belgium
Credits: FCPF Carbon Fund

With all eyes on Paris climate meetings in December, we are at a critical moment to show that our efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation are moving from concept to reality.

The World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, a 47-country collaboration, focuses on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, also known as REDD+; the Carbon Fund supports countries that have made progress on REDD+ readiness through performance-based payments for emission reductions.

At the 13th meeting of the Carbon Fund in Belgium, nine countries presented diverse ideas for large-scale emission reductions programs that ranged from reforestation efforts on reclaimed land to a canal project for more sustainable cocoa production through partnerships with private sector chocolate companies. 

The seven programs selected at this meeting, along with the 11 others already in the funding 'pipeline,' all share the common goal of changing land use at scale by addressing the primary drivers of deforestation and fighting climate change.

Let’s take a look at what’s proposed:

  • Côte d'Ivoire's emission reductions agenda combines political commitment and private sector initiatives. Its aim is to address the major agricultural drivers of deforestation. The program, which encompasses more than 4 million hectares, includes the country's last remaining forest block - in the Taï National Park area -  and is a current hot spot for cocoa, along with palm oil and rubber plantation development. 
  • In Madagascar, the plan of action is different from traditional conservation approaches. It’s a plan that connects forests, land use, and rural development into policy. The efforts will cover 4.8 million ha, which includes 14 watersheds across four regions, a place 3.1 million people call home. 
  • Mozambique's program is located in the Zambézia province, covers 3.8 million hectares which include 2.3 million hectares of forest area and some of the largest and most well-preserved tracks of miombo forests in East Africa. While the program is aimed at reforestation and conserving the areas' biodiversity, it’ll also provide jobs and new work plus extra income for producers through fair trade cashews and sesame crops. 
  • Forest fire management, increasing carbon stocks, reducing forest loss from illegal extraction and weak forest management, and extensive slash and burn agriculture and livestock farming are the top priorities in the Dominican Republic's proposal. 
  • Nicaragua's program covers than 7 million hectares, of which just under half is forest. The area is equal to about 90 percent of the forest cover in the country. Here the efforts will focus on reducing deforestation, contribute to forest-based adaptation for extreme climate events, and support rural development in poor areas, all while building on legally recognized indigenous territories and existing institutions. 
  • Fiji's emission reductions program includes 94% of the island nation's total forest area. Ongoing pilot projects have shown that efforts to help boost people’s incomes are one of the key ways to interest communities in sustainable forest management and forest protection. The team is looking forward to building on that foundation. 
  • Lao PDR's work covers six northern provinces that include 35% of national territory, as well as some of the poorest regions in the country. The program will tackle the primary drivers of deforestation, including uncontrolled logging, commercial agriculture, and new infrastructure. The Lao PDR efforts will also look at land tenure issues and how that impacts forest loss. The work will be an excellent opportunity to learn specifically if forest degradation from shifting cultivation could be effectively addressed through REDD+. 

The next step for the seven countries selected will be to sign a Letter of Intent, upon which they will receive up to $650,000 in funding to prepare an in-depth plan for how they will reduce emissions, track the work, and report on the results.

So as we look ahead to Paris, I am thrilled to say that we are moving on REDD+, and we are proud of the strides these seven countries have made. We can't fight climate change without conserving forests at scale. This year, perhaps more importantly than ever, the collaboration of forest and donor countries in this partnership of diverse stakeholders is covering more ground than ever before.


Ellysar Baroudy

Lead Carbon Finance Specialist, World Bank

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