Blog

Entries with tag climate change .

The EU REDD Facility’s 10 lessons for ending tropical deforestation

By Christophe van Orshoven


Since its inception a decade ago, the EU REDD Facility’s ambition has been to support dialogue and partnership between state and non-state actors to strengthen efforts to ensure tropical forests meet their potential to limit climate change.

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Facility, we’re taking the opportunity to reflect on lessons learned over these years, as we worked towards empowering stakeholders to strengthen the rule of law, promoting sustainable land use and investment, and enhancing supply chain transparency.

It’s fitting that we share these insights as the 14th edition of the EU Development Days on the Green Deal for a Sustainable Future gets underway. The EU has a strong track record of global leadership in dealing with deforestation and forest degradation, and the European Green Deal commits to measures to support deforestation-free value chains. Our work is aligned with this ambitious response to the continued widespread destruction of the world's forests.

Significant progress has been made over the past few years towards ending deforestation and understanding the drivers and solutions to this complex problem. Yet governments, the private sector and citizens all over the world need to urgently step up action to protect and restore the world’s forests. We hope that the lessons we have learned over the past decade help to shape and accelerate future action: Ending tropical deforestation: 10 lessons for laying the foundations

1. There must be clear and well-enforced legal frameworks for land use.

Unclear legal frameworks — and a lack of implementation and compliance with these frameworks — often lead to illegal land allocation and forest conversion, including for the expansion of commercial agriculture. Giving forest and agriculture sector actors incentives to comply with the law strengthens efforts to make commodity production and trade deforestation-free. It also promotes better land-use governance and helps achieve climate targets.

2. Participatory and informed land-use planning is key to reduce land conflicts and deforestation.

Inclusion and collaboration are important for designing and implementing land-use plans. If all stakeholders at different levels – including local communities and organisations – are involved in important official decisions about land use, there is more compliance with land laws, and more sustainable outcomes are achieved for everyone.

3. Partnership approaches build an enabling environment for sustainable land-use.

Clarifying definitions and responsibilities, sharing credible information for decision-makers, and fostering trust between partners builds transparency and accountability in the forest and land-use sectors. These efforts build an enabling environment for forest-friendly development and investment, and help countries put their climate change targets into action.

4. Open, reliable information on global forest-risk commodity supply chains is needed to build trust on both sides of the trade. 

The complexity and opacity of global supply chains has made it difficult to tackle deforestation in mainstream markets. For most commodities with deforestation risks, there’s simply no information to support action and policy implementation. Improving supply-chain transparency helps to hold global supply chain players – including producing and consuming governments – accountable to their commitments to deal with deforestation and risks linked to products in their supply chains.

5. Consensus on definitions and data is needed to track progress towards sustainability.

Agreed sustainability definitions and monitoring systems help authorities improve their governance of land and forests. By developing these indicators through multistakeholder consultation, trust and legitimacy are entrenched. Using simple and objective ways to verify sustainability performance, grounded in national laws and regulations, is a mutually beneficial approach for producer and consumer countries.

6. Nationally Determined Contributions offer opportunities raise the profile of forest and land-use governance.

The majority of tropical countries have integrated forests and agriculture into their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Robust and participatory NDC processes offer opportunities to address the drivers of deforestation by combining climate, aid and trade-related interventions, and raising the profile of forest and land use governance. Failing to address underlying governance drivers of deforestation puts the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change at risk.

7. Community forestry can improve livelihoods and achieve climate commitments.

Communities protect, manage, and use their forests in many ways. Some rely on logging and the timber trade to make a living. This trade needs to be economically viable and support livelihoods, while at the same time supporting sustainable management and protecting against deforestation. Legal timber production can unlock livelihood opportunities for vulnerable groups, while also reducing illegality, deforestation, and forest degradation.

8. Tracking investments in land-use helps to deploy resources for supporting forest and climate objectives.

Tropical forest countries can get valuable support from international public finance sources to help achieve their climate and forest goals, but these funds can’t meet the scale of investment needed. By presenting a transparent analysis of land-use investments and plans to improve the coherence of forest and climate-friendly spending, countries can attract private finance and make the case for more international support. There are opportunities to redirect the hundreds of billions spent annually on land-use activities around the world towards low emissions, without sacrificing productivity or economic development.

9. Socio-economic factors driving smallholder land-use decisions must be considered.

Smallholder farmers are central to the transition towards sustainable production, but they can’t invest in sustainable practices when they live in poverty and have limited access to finance. For change to happen at scale, initiatives offering financial incentives to smallholders must not only support the initial costs of agroforestry and replantation, but also provide opportunities to diversify their incomes. Understanding the economy of smallholders and the potential profitability of new production models is a prerequisite for transitioning towards more sustainable land-use practices.

10. Commodity and trade approaches provide a powerful lever for governance reform.

To address forest and land-use governance challenges, it’s useful to look to commodity and trade approaches like the EU’s Voluntary Partnership Agreements. There are lessons from the timber sector for creating the basis for zero-deforestation production and related trade. It’s essential to capitalise on initiatives that are effectively bringing visibility, support and competence to forest and land-use governance.

In the years ahead, we’ll continue to support countries to find innovative approaches and solutions to their land-use governance and development goals, and to find opportunities for dialogue and partnership. We look forward to sharing new lessons along this journey.
 

 


Christophe van Orshoven

Team leader

EU REDD Facility

 

Mapping climate finance to influence policy, plan investments, and measure progress

By Adeline Dontenville and Angela Falconer


As climate change impacts grow ever more apparent, it becomes more urgent to stop carbon flowing into the atmosphere and increase resilience to rising threats. Much will depend on how and where finance flows. Countries are enacting plans for adapting to and mitigating climate change, so they need to know what money is available and — crucially — if any flows of finance are working against their climate objectives.

Monitoring past, present, and future spending and investment patterns is therefore essential. Such information can help countries to measure progress, identify gaps, and align flows and instruments for maximum impact and scale. It can optimize the deployment of public resources in a way that can effectively and efficiently unlock private investment at the transformational scales needed.

To discuss how best to do this, the EU REDD Facility, Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) gathered experts from governments, donor agencies, and organisations that are engaged in tracking domestic climate finance during the COP25 climate change conference.


Sankey diagrams are a useful and effective resource to provide an overall picture of the land-use finance mapping results by EU REDD Facility
 

Varied approaches

Different approaches and tools are already used by countries to map and track domestic climate finance. These include: climate budget tagging; land-use finance mapping; climate public expenditure and institutional reviews; private sector climate expenditure and institutional reviews; and investment and financial flows assessments. Countries like Nepal and Kenya have been at the forefront of developing such national systems and are now joined by many countries around the world following similar approaches.

There is also something called the ‘climate finance landscape approach,’ which CPI developed with partners in 2011. It tracks the life cycle of climate finance flows – from provider of finance, through intermediaries, instruments and disbursement channels to end uses. This approach has been key in helping policymakers understand who finances what, and the extent to which finance is aligned with policy objectives.

It also identifies barriers to investment, potential incentive mechanisms, and provides a baseline for monitoring progress in mobilising resources. CPI and the EU REDD Facility have since developed an open source tool that makes this methodology available to countries. Côte d’Ivoire is among the countries to have used it to map investments related to their climate and forests objectives.

During the event, a panel of country representatives, practitioners, and partners shared their experiences of monitoring and planning domestic climate and land-use finance. They gave examples of positive outcomes, but also raised a number of challenges. These ranged from the methodological —such as a lack of data gaps and a lack of clarity about definitions of climate finance in the national context — to the institutional, such as a lack of capacity and poor inter-ministerial coordination.
 

Taking it to the next level

Given the challenges, it is clear that simply quantifying financial flows is itself a big step. The next level is using those estimates to influence policy, plan investments and measure progress. Critically, mapping finance can also help to mobilize new money and redirect old towards climate objectives. So how do we move from producing nice reports to bringing systemic changes to budgeting and spending patterns at domestic level?

Participants spoke of a need to simplify information and present it visually to facilitate dialogue among stakeholders and garner support for proposals. They also raised the need for more transparency, better sharing of data and a greater understanding of best practices based on what has worked in different countries. To support this, governments would also need to improve coordination among ministries and ensure their staff have adequate capacity through training.

Summing up the event, Dr. Barbara Buchner, Global Managing Director at CPI, highlighted the need for improved coordination among technical partners to develop and share methodologies, tools and potentially data. One suggestion was that continued and regular exchanges among the participants and other interested parties would help start to create an informal community of practice enabling us to share experiences and best practices. With this in mind, CPI and the EU REDD Facility are planning to organise a follow-up and virtual half-day workshop at the end of 2020. If you want to know more about climate finance tracking and mapping, or if you have experiences to share, we hope to see you there.


Read the report summarizing the event:

 


Adeline Dontenville

Land-use finance and Côte d'Ivoire

EU REDD Facility

 

- Dr. Angela Falconer, Associate Director in Climate Policy Initiative’s climate finance division, is also an author of this blog post.
- The workshop was funded by the EU REDD Facility and International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
- This blog post was originally published on 14 February 2020.

 

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the EU REDD Facility, or other contributors to this site.