Annual report

EU REDD Facility: Highlights from 2021

Developing solutions to tackle drivers of deforestation

The EU REDD Facility works with partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America to understand the governance challenges driving deforestation and develop pragmatic approaches to advance land-use governance and sustainable development.

To this end, we work on:

  • Clearer and enforced legal frameworks
  • Sustainable land-use planning investments
  • Transparency in supply chains

In November 2021, the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use was adopted during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). The Declaration brings more than 140 countries to work collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.  

Also in November, the European Commission proposed a regulation to curb deforestation and forest degradation associated with EU consumption and production with the aim to step up the EU’s efforts to reduce deforestation.

These developments have increased partners’ interest and commitment to work with the EU REDD Facility to strengthen engagement and dialogue to promote sustainable land use, commodity production and supply chains.

This report presents highlights from our work in 2021.


Facilitating trust and understanding to support partner countries' efforts towards sustainable commodity production and trade

Over the last decade, a growing awareness of the climate change impacts of deforestation has led countries and companies to commit to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. An increasing number of companies are also anticipating emerging market requirements for deforestation-free products in the EU and other markets.

Transparency and traceability are key ingredients to enable deforestation-free and sustainable production of agricultural commodities. To achieve this, a shared commitment from all concerned parties is needed.

Cocoa sector stakeholders in Ecuador and Colombia have developed a shared vision for enhancing transparency and traceability. In Ecuador, the Facility supported a multistakeholder dialogue leading to the development of a proposal for a cocoa sector transparency and traceability system and implementation roadmap. There is strong ownership of this process, including from private sector representatives.

We facilitated a similar process in Colombia, to ensure the development of a cocoa sector traceability and transparency system is continued as part of the national zero-deforestation commodity dialogues.

Through technical backstopping to the EU Cocoa Talks and national-level cocoa dialogues in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the Facility supported increased understanding of cocoa sector stakeholders on issues related to traceability, transparency and accountability regarding deforestation and sustainability.

We consolidated the lessons learnt from our work on palm oil in Indonesia, cocoa in West Africa and Latin America, and Brazilian soy into an innovative approach, the ‘Transparency Pathway’.

This tested method assists commodity-producing countries’ transition towards legal, deforestation-free and sustainable production and trade. It demonstrates the importance of a stakeholder engagement process to build trust and shared understanding among trade partners and improve the sustainability, governance and reputation of a sector or supply chain.

Cacao pods

Cacao pods

Source: Shutterstock

Cacao pods

Source: Shutterstock

Facilitating participatory planning processes to assist transitions to sustainable land use

Demand for agricultural commodities will continue to rise to feed a growing world population. Already, unsustainable levels of agricultural expansion are leading to greater pressure on land use and forests.

Companies and state actors are increasingly committing to participatory and informed land-use planning processes to ensure that land developments do not give rise to conflicting demands for land.

We support the facilitation of participatory planning processes to assist subnational governments transitioning to sustainable land use. More participatory processes enable communities to have a greater voice in decisions about the land on which they live and work, and to benefit from the economic opportunities that can arise from sustainable land management.

This year, we launched a new version of the Land-use Planner, which is serving a growing community of users and practitioners. The tool helps stakeholders develop land-use scenarios in a simple and participatory way, compare social, economic and environmental impacts, and estimate the costs and benefits of policy decisions.

In 2021, we provided training on inclusive land-use planning to over 20 organisations and more than 100 participants involved in land-use planning processes across the globe.

The Congolese private sector welcomed the socioeconomic and environmental impact analysis of land-use scenarios for palm oil development at departmental level, which were developed using our Land-use Planner. The analysis allows them to make investment decisions in line with Congolese environmental commitments and development goals.

In addition to supporting land-use planning processes through our Land-use Planner, we tested a participatory land-use planning methodology in two municipalities in Cameroon in collaboration with the ministries in charge of land-use planning and of decentralisation and local development. The work is now being scaled up, with other technical partners adopting this participative approach.

In the Republic of the Congo, we supported the Ministry in charge of land-use planning in the development of a departmental level land-use planning methodology, expanding the work from Cameroon. Lessons from the work in Congo will inform CAFI’s upcoming support on land-use planning.

Launch of the PLADDT process in Mintom municipality

Launch of the PLADDT process in Mintom municipality

Source: Rainbow EC

Launch of the PLADDT process in Mintom municipality

Source: Rainbow EC

Strengthening stakeholder participation in forest policy and law reform

To ensure that forest policy is implemented in the best interest of different forest users, it’s important to strengthen the involvement of these stakeholders in forest policy and law reform processes to better reflect their concerns.

Our support has helped strengthen the participation of civil society and private sector stakeholders in decision-making processes. This is essential to ensure that the benefits of forests are shared equitably and that deforestation is prevented.

We provided technical and methodological support to the REDD+ civil society platform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (GTCR-R). The GTCR-R is now increasingly recognised as a strategic partner able to hold the government accountable and convey informed positions based on sound evidence and analysis. This has contributed to the GTCR-R’s ability to influence decision making on issues of critical importance to the country’s forests and the future of its forest sector.

In Côte d’Ivoire, we informed the private sector about the opportunities and limitations of the current legal framework for (agro)forestry investments in the rural domain. The policy brief, developed in partnership with ClientEarth, supports financial institutions and private companies in their risk assessment. It was discussed at various national and international workshops and meetings.

Under our memorandum of understanding with the Lao Department of Forests, we supported multistakeholder participation in the ongoing forest policy reform process in Laos. Through the organisation of multistakeholder consultations on the Forestry Strategy 2035, in partnership with the Centre for People and Forests (RECOFTC), we supported the involvement of non-state actors in the development of the country’s forest strategy. This has enhanced the legitimacy of the strategy and enables it to effectively contribute to the Government’s forest development priorities.

We shared lessons (EN, FR) from our work on the role of Independent Monitoring in the context of deforestation and climate-related processes in Central Africa with national and international stakeholders during COP26 in Glasgow. This helped clarify the role Independent Monitoring can play in enhancing forest and land-use sector transparency and accountability, and in implementing Nationally Determined Contributions and legal/sustainable supply chain approaches.

Thinning in a teak forest

Thinning in a teak forest

Source: J. Kouao

Thinning in a teak forest

Source: J. Kouao

Promoting progress towards legal and sustainable commodity production at subnational level

When natural resources are managed at the subnational level, it can have a significant impact on the long-term sustainability of commodity production. Commodities can be produced in a way that is most appropriate to the local environment and needs of the people who live in the area.

Subnational authorities are also looking with growing interest at ways to demonstrate their efforts towards creating an enabling environment for market operators and investors to comply with emerging market requirements, such as under the proposed EU regulation on deforestation-free products.

Similarly, private actors are increasingly aware of the need to support subnational approaches that can address challenges beyond their supply chains. By working with subnational authorities and other actors, companies can promote progress towards achieving their broader sustainability goals.

Building on this interest and the experience of the Terpercaya Initiative in Indonesia, we started to explore ways to build subnational monitoring approaches in Central and West Africa and South-east Asia. These approaches aim to generate lessons for future partnerships between consuming and producing countries.

With private sector support, the Tropical Forest Alliance African Palm Oil Initiative in the Republic of the Congo started to develop a subnational monitoring framework in selected departments. The objective is to enable the collection of information on key performance indicators, thereby measuring the sustainability of commodities produced in these departments, such as palm oil, cocoa, rubber and cashew nuts. These measurements can in turn inform governance reforms.

We also developed a proposal for a subnational approach to promote zero-deforestation commodity production in Côte d’Ivoire. This included the design of an information platform dedicated to assessing regional sustainability, allowing subnational authorities and stakeholders to demonstrate progress made towards legal and sustainable land use and production. It also aims to faciliate monitoring of policy implementation, such as the Strategic Development Plan of the Mé Region.

In South-East Asia, the Facility initiated preparations to support local stakeholders in the development of similar jurisdictional monitoring approaches, targeting coffee production in the Central Highlands in Vietnam and palm oil production in South Sumatra. Early lessons to inform subnational and national policy makers, as well as partnership approaches by technical and financial partners are expected by the end of 2022.

The Terpercaya Initiative

Watch this video to learn more about The Terpercaya Initiative. You will find an introduction (0:00 - 3:32), an overview of the outputs (3:33 - 9:45), and a section on the advantages of the Terpercaya approach (9:45 - 12:31).

The Terpercaya Initiative

Watch this video to learn more about The Terpercaya Initiative. You will find an introduction (0:00 - 3:32), an overview of the outputs (3:33 - 9:45), and a section on the advantages of the Terpercaya approach (9:45 - 12:31).

Mapping financial flows to avoid deforestation from private land-use investments

To ensure countries can achieve their forest and climate objectives, public and private investments are needed. By mapping the investments, countries and investors can trace the volume and nature of past and current investments, understand which ones drive deforestation and forest degradation, and which actors are involved in land-use financing.

The aim is to ensure that public and private investments are aligned with countries’ REDD+ and other sustainability goals and to assist the development of innovative strategies to secure long-term funding to achieve these goals.

Together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), we reviewed lessons learnt from private finance mapping and proposed methodological options for private land-use finance mapping. The findings will help the development of a new private finance module for our Land-Use Finance Tool, which currently focuses on public finance mapping only.

To assess the feasibility of private land-use finance mapping in Ecuador, we partnered with the Ministry of Environment, the NDC Support Programme and PROAmazonia to develop a private land-use finance mapping methodology.

In Colombia, we supported an initial dialogue with key partners of Herencia Colombia, the national conservation programme, and government partners, such as the National Planning Department, which oversees climate finance tracking. This preparatory work delivered an implementation roadmap for the private finance mapping. It will also inform Herencia Colombia to design future financial strategies for various conservation and deforestation-free landscapes.

Together with the Climate Policy Initiative and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) we organised a practitioners’ webinar aimed at sharing experiences and lessons on domestic climate finance mapping and tracking.

We also shared lessons from our private land-use finance work at a side-event co-organised with UNEP at COP26 in Glasgow.

Partnership approaches build an enabling environment for sustainable land-use

Partnership approaches build an enabling environment for sustainable land-use

Source: EU REDD Facility

Ending tropical deforestation: 10 lessons for laying the foundations

In 2021, we also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the EU REDD Facility’s founding and shared 10 lessons learnt over the last decade. We have found that combining climate, technical and trade-related interventions has great potential to address the drivers of deforestation, and that working alongside governments to facilitate difficult changes is key.

We’ve also seen that protecting forests and creating incentives for sustainable land use are only possible if governments, the private sector, and civil society partner to generate change. In coming years, we look forward to focusing on legality in land allocation, improved sustainability of land use, and increased transparency in commodity supply chains associated with deforestation.

Partnership approaches build an enabling environment for sustainable land-use

Source: EU REDD Facility

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