Advancing forest and land-use governance in tropical forest countries

Advancing forest and land-use governance in tropical forest countries 

Eight things the EU REDD Facility learned 

The EU is exploring ways to step up efforts to address deforestation and strengthen implementation of its Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan on illegal logging. 

Over the next five years, the EU REDD Facility will support these positive trends by focusing on improved legality in land allocation, improved sustainability of land use management and investment and increased transparency in forest-risk commodity supply chains. 

Through work in these areas — at the core of our new strategy new 2018-2022 strategy — the Facility will further its contribution to improving land-use governance as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. 

Photo by CIFOR

The Facility’s plans draw on its experiences over the past five years at the intersection of REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries) and FLEGT. Here are eight key things the Facility has learned.

  1. Improved forest governance is key to addressing deforestation and forest degradation. It reinforces inclusive decision-making and transparency in the forest sector and promotes the rule of law. Bottom-up approaches strengthen and build national ownership of FLEGT and REDD+ processes and catalyse synergies between them. 
  2. Addressing land-use governance challenges requires consensus building, political support, multifaceted coordination and strong institutional capacities. It often requires governments to change the way they do business and to address land-use challenges at the level of economic and development planning.
  3. Addressing drivers of illegal logging and deforestation requires a broad range of approaches and incentives, including development assistance, REDD+ result-based payments, climate-resilient investments and greening of existing agricultural finance from domestic and international sources. Trade and market access provide a powerful lever for governance reform.
  4. Increased transparency and accountability in global forest-risk commodity supply chains is essential. It enables companies, financial institutions and governments to understand and address social and environmental impacts, and live up to their commitments. 
  5. Funding for ‘REDD+ readiness’ has built capacity and institutions to address deforestation and forest degradation, but challenges remain in moving from readiness to implementation. In many countries, land-use investments are not yet aligned with REDD+ objectives. Opportunities to redirect existing investments to more sustainable uses need to be identified and pursued. 
  6. REDD+ processes benefit from integrating FLEGT approaches. For instance, FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements provide valuable lessons on approaches for inclusive multistakeholder decision-making and comprehensive supply chain monitoring systems. Applying such approaches to REDD+ has helped stakeholders work together on inclusive land-use planning, climate change mitigation and private sector involvement in zero-deforestation initiatives. 
  7. The REDD+ focus on drivers of deforestation and forest degradation has fostered momentum for implementing the EU FLEGT Action Plan. It broadens the range of options available to address illegal logging and related conversion of forests. It also broadens efforts to sectors and actors beyond the forest sector, and provides additional levers and incentives to action.
  8. Small but strategic pilot actions can inform and influence national and international discussions, and drive change and progress, even on sensitive issues related to land allocation, planning and investment. They are also key to building partnerships and local ‘intelligence networks’ to achieve impact and develop robust understanding of the realities on the ground. 

Read more in our recent publication “Making FLEGT and REDD+ work together: An overview of work and achievements 2013 – 2017” and our new strategy for 2018-2022