banner-aerial-view-buluq-sen-village-indonesia-cifor.jpg

Briefing

Tackling deforestation through sustainable land use & commodity production

EU REDD Facility support to partnership approaches

EU action on deforestation

The EU has a strong track record of global leadership in dealing with deforestation and forest degradation. The Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan (FLEGT) to fight illegal logging and associated trade has been in place since 2003. In 2019, the EU set out a new plan to protect and restore the world’s forests. The EU Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World's Forests outlines priorities for protecting and restoring forests – particularly primary forests – and for significantly increasing biodiverse forest cover around the world. Most recently, the European Green Deal provides a basis for further action, committing to regulatory measures to support deforestation-free value chains.

This ambitious European approach is a response to the continued widespread destruction of the world's forests. The main drivers of this deforestation – primarily in tropical regions – are demand for food, feed, biofuel, timber and other commodities. The EU imports and consumes more than a third of internationally traded crops and livestock products associated with deforestation in the countries of origin.

Aerial views of Buluq Sen village

Aerial views of Buluq Sen village

East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Source: Nanang Sujana, CIFOR

Aerial views of Buluq Sen village

East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Source: Nanang Sujana, CIFOR

The EU REDD Facility

The EU REDD Facility, funded by the European Commission and EU Member States, works in Africa, Asia and South America. It helps tropical forest countries develop innovative solutions and approaches to improve their land-use governance. This entails work on legal frameworks and enforcement, sustainable land use, finance and incentives, and transparency in supply chains. The Facility also supports the European Commission and EU Member States as they implement new policies that promote sustainable land use and investment.

In all of this work and through the various tools the Facility develops, it engages with, and promotes dialogue among people with varied interests in forests — from policy-makers and business leaders to representatives from civil society and local communities.

These ways of working align with the EU’s prioritisation of partnership approaches to help reduce pressures on forests in commodity-producing countries. Definitions and responsibilities are clarified, credible information for decision-makers shared, and trust between partners is fostered. This results in increased transparency and accountability in the forest and land-use sectors. Through these efforts, the Facility builds an enabling environment for forest-friendly development and investment, and helps countries to implement their targets under the Paris Agreement on climate change, also known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The Terpercaya initiative

The Facility is developing ways of demonstrating progress — at the level of subnational jurisdictions in Indonesia — towards the sustainable production of agricultural commodities such as palm oil. The idea is that this could create incentives to sustainable production models and help smallholder farmers to gain market visibility. The project is called Terpercaya – after the Indonesian word meaning ‘trustworthy’, as it aims to generate credible information and risk analysis for authorities and market operators, and build the understanding and trust needed to promote sustainability, trade, and cooperation.

The initiative also collaborates with Transparency for Sustainable Economies (Trase), an online platform developed by the Facility, the Global Canopy Programme and the Stockholm Environment Institute. Trase is developing a comprehensive and visually engaging tracking system for Indonesia’s palm oil sector based on diverse, publicly accessible data sources.

By consulting extensively with stakeholders, the project developed a set of indicators for measuring progress towards sustainability based on national laws and relating to governance as well as environmental, social and economic concerns. As a result, Indonesia now has a working definition of sustainability at the district level. The indicators can support Indonesia’s progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals and commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change, and inform market operators about the legality and sustainability of commodity production.

Palm oil harvesters

Palm oil harvesters

Indonesia

Source: Lucy McHugh, CIFOR

Palm oil harvesters

Indonesia

Source: Lucy McHugh, CIFOR

Sustainable cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire

Major international companies are making ambitious commitments to end the deforestation associated with cocoa production. But few companies really know how to make this happen. To help address this, the Facility worked with the multinational chocolate manufacturer Mondelez to assess the economic viability of agroforestry practises for smallholders in Côte d’Ivoire. The work shed light on the trade-offs between the environmental and socio-economic outcomes of the agroforestry models implemented by the industry and fostered dialogue between the public and private sectors on risks and opportunities for scaling up sustainable production.

The Facility also launched the 1 for 20 Partnership with UN Environment to help Côte d’Ivoire mobilise resources to scale up deforestation-free cocoa production. Through this work, public-private partnerships are being supported to set up scalable projects, economically viable production models with incentives for smallholders are being identified, and dialogue among Ivorian stakeholders is being enhanced.

Cocoa plantation

Cocoa plantation

Nawa region, Côte d'Ivoire

Source: EU REDD Facility

Cocoa plantation

Nawa region, Côte d'Ivoire

Source: EU REDD Facility

Land-use finance mapping in Vietnam

With the EU REDD Facility, Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment mapped and analysed planned public investments in land use in the Central Highlands region. This innovative research identified the main sources of finance and their spending patterns related to land and forests, and the contribution of public investment spending to supporting Vietnam’s National REDD+ Action Plan. The study also examined broader land-use finance and its potential negative impact on forests, with the aim of identifying opportunities for ‘green’ investments and aligning them with national REDD+ commitments.

The project deployed the Facility’s Land-use Finance Tool, developed with Climate Policy Initiative to help tropical governments and their partners better understand and influence investments affecting forests at national and sub-national levels. The tool provides a set of guidelines, templates and training materials to help analyse financial flows.

The project reinforces the EU’s commitment to ensuring that its support of the land-use sector does not contribute to deforestation, and that partnerships are sufficiently resourced.

Overview of planned public investments in land-use

Overview of planned public investments in land-use

Central Highland Region, Vietnam

Overview of planned public investments in land-use

Central Highland Region, Vietnam

Clarifying legal frameworks in the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Indonesia

By helping tropical countries clarify and implement legal frameworks governing land allocation, land use and forest conversion, the Facility supports efforts to reduce deforestation and meet climate change goals. Clear, well-enforced legal frameworks create an enabling environment for investors, and for commodity producers to meet EU market standards. The Facility works with partner countries on governance reforms and enabling environments, and encourages commodity production that is sustainable and forest-friendly.

In the Republic of the Congo, the Facility helped clarify the legal framework governing land allocation and forest conversion, in particular in relation to the palm oil sector. This created an enabling environment for national stakeholders to engage with land allocation and forest conversion in light of the country’s commitments on zero-deforestation palm oil production.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Facility is supporting the REDD+ civil society capacity, by developing a platform and methodology for enhancing participation in forest reforms. The Facility is also examining legal requirements for stakeholder consultation and participation in national-level decision-making.

In Indonesia, preliminary research by the Facility and its partners suggests that full compliance with national laws could considerably reduce the country’s deforestation-related greenhouse gas emissions. The project provides policy-makers with information on the extent and type of illegal forest clearance in selected districts, and shows how legal and governance reforms and the rule of law could help Indonesia to implement its NDCs.

Community-level consultations

Community-level consultations

Republic of the Congo

Source: theIDLgroup

Community-level consultations

Republic of the Congo

Source: theIDLgroup