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Archive for the ‘funding’ Category

With the approval of the readiness plans for Guyana and Panama, the World Bank moves its Forest Carbon Partnership Facility forward despite civil society protests World Bank Information Center, 29 June 2009

bicThe third meeting of the Participants Committee (PC) of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) was held in Montreaux, Switzerland, from 15-18 June 2009. On the agenda for this meeting were readiness plans (R-Plans) from three countries: Guyana, Panama and Indonesia. While there was significant debate within the PC around weaknesses in all three R-plans, the political pressure to move the process forward won the day, with approval of the Guyana and Panama plans, and approval pending for Indonesia.

The TAP reports for Guyana, Panama and Indonesia all noted significant weaknesses in the R-Plans, one of the main complaints being that their analysis of the drivers of deforestation was incomplete and poorly aligned with their proposed strategies. Another big issue is the weak governance of forests in the majority of REDD countries, Guyana and Panama being among those with relatively strong institutional frameworks. Because many of the last remaining areas of forest in the world are home to indigenous peoples who are, in many cases, responsible for their preservation, states must finally recognize the land and natural resource rights of their indigenous peoples. Such recognition must be accompanied by demarcation, land titling and effective protections against encroachment by miners, loggers and settlers. This requires political will at the top level of government, and entails some degree of confrontation with powerful economic interests who are currently profiting from deforestation.

The approval of the R-Plans also places the spotlight on the governments of Guyana, Panama and Indonesia, who, as the first countries to formally begin REDD readiness under the auspices of the World Bank, will be carefully scrutinized. The experiences of these pilot countries will be used to assess whether the FCPF process is capable of facilitating sustained and effective engagement with civil society and indigenous peoples, and of producing high quality plans for reducing deforestation that are credible both nationally and internationally.

Read the World Bank article [html]…

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Cutting corners: how the FCPF is failing forests and peoples Kate Dooley, Tom Griffiths, Helen Leake, Saskia Ozinga, FERN, November 2008

cutting cornersIn December 2007 the World Bank launched its Forest Carbon Partnership Facility to act as a ‘catalyst’ to promote public and private investment in ‘REDD’ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and to support demonstration pilot projects for developing and implementing national REDD strategies. To access the funds gathered by the Facility countries had to submit Readiness Project Idea Notes (R-PINs).

This FERN-FPP report analyses nine of the first 25 R-PINs1 approved to try to assess the extent to which the Facility is fulfilling some key social commitments set out in its Charter, and to determine whether or not it is addressing some of the main concerns raised by indigenous peoples and
civil society organizations relating to REDD, including governance, human rights, land tenure, and Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

“Overall, this review finds the process to date has been rushed, implicitly directed towards a market based REDD and dominated by centralized government, with little to no consultation with indigenous peoples, local communities or civil society organizations. The poor quality of some R-PINs that have been approved suggests that the Bank’s carbon finance unit is keen to get the Facility up and running as quickly as possible, and this accelerated approach has meant that approval of R-PINs has been rushed and corners have been cut. Furthermore, the review finds that the FCPF is not meeting some of the key social commitments it has made.” – Extract from Cutting Corners

The report concludes that both the process and the proposals adopted do not respect the Bank’s own guidelines. The report also includes an annex which details the World Bank funded REDD process.

Download Cutting Corners [pdf]… Also available in French and Spanish.

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Financing Flows and Needs to Implement the Non-Legally Binding Instrument On All Types of Forests: A study prepared for the Advisory Group on Finance of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests with the support of the Program on Forests (PROFOR) of the World Bank, October 2008

UN Forum on Forests

Written by Markku Simula, this background paper was prepared for the Advisory Group on Finance of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, in advance of the meeting of the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Finance of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF), which will be held from 10-14 November 2008, in Vienna, Austria. The paper maps the needs and available sources and mechanisms for funding, taking into account recent developments, including in the climate change regime.

According to the paper, avoiding deforestation would be among the lowest cost mitigation options to avoid increasing CO2 emissions and possibly also increasing carbon sinks. At the same time, other benefits like biodiversity conservation, poverty reduction and climate change adaptation could also be
enhanced. Through carbon revenue, prospects for the economic viability of SFM in developing
countries are expected to substantially improve as at least part of the ecosystem services that
forests provide could be remunerated.

“REDD compensation as a win-win instrument is being increasingly supported by practically all stakeholders for a variety of reasons. For tropical country governments REDD can represent an opening of a new source of financing for national priorities; for donor countries it can be a low cost option for carbon offsets; for environmental NGOs REDD can generate additional resources for biodiversity conservation; for the rural poor badly needed income and financial support to community development as well as a means to improve their forest tenure rights; for the private sector REDD can be an additional source of funding to make SFM financially viable; for political elites yet another opportunity of income; for multilateral development banks REDD can open up new ways of doing business in the context of maintenance of global public goods; and for intergovernmental organizations it offers a new area of intervention in technical assistance and a new funding source.” — Markku Simula, extract from Financing Flows and Needs to Implement the Non-Legally Binding Instrument On All Types of Forests

The report notes that meeting such a broad range of varied interests in REDD schemes will be difficult and several issues need clarification: (i) uncertainty about co-benefits, (ii) risk for violating the rights of indigenous and other local populations, (iii) possible impact on land prices, (iv) equity in distribution of REDD payments, (v) governance arrangements of REDD schemes, (vi) slowness of necessary national-level policy and legal reform processes, (vii) stakeholder participation, (viii) limited access to REDD financing by only forest-rich countries, (ix) possible exclusion of countries which have already addressed deforestation, (x) possible exclusion of drylands and other low carbon intensity forest lands, (xi) definitions and methodologies for treatment of land degradation and restoration of deforested areas, (xii) measures to address underlying causes for deforestation and forest degradation, (xiii) lack of proper understanding on the role of timber harvesting in carbon stock management, (xiv) the level of REDD application (national, sub-national or project), (xv) use of a market mechanism or a fund mechanism, (xvi) possible flooding of the carbon offset markets with REDD credits, (xvii) transaction costs, etc.

Download the Financing Flows and Needs to Implement the Non-Legally Binding Instrument On All Types of Forests paper [pdf]…

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Life as Commerce: the impact of market-based conservation on Indigenous Peoples, local communities and women
Global Forest Coalition, CENSAT Agua Viva, COECOCEIBA,
EQUATIONS, Alter Vida, the Timberwatch Coalition, October 2008.

Life as commerce report“Life as Commerce” features case studies from India, Costa Rica, South Africa, Paraguay and Colombia about the impact of market-based conservation mechanisms like ecotourism, forest certification, biodiversity offsets and carbon trade on Indigenous Peoples, local communities and women. These impacts are particularly important in light of the proposal by some countries to include forest conservation into the global carbon market.

“The report provides a number of fascinating real-life stories on how these mechanisms work out at the community-level. It forms an important addition to the increasing number of studies that focus on the potential benefits of these mechanisms for local communities and the rules and standards that are needed to generate these benefits. As the case studies describe, such rules and standards seldom exist, and even where they exist, they are not well-implemented as market mechanisms make it attractive for powerful actors to circumvent them. The costs of these mechanisms, also in terms of undermining community governance, seem to outweigh the benefits in real-life situations.” — Simone Lovera, Managing Coordinator, Global Forest Coalition

Market-based mechanisms are often seen as solutions to the lack of funding for public conservation, but they are false solutions. The current economic crisis has also shown the unreliability of global markets as a potential funding source for conservation.

Download the Life As Commerce report [pdf]…

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High Demand Prompts Forest Carbon Partnership Facility to Expand Beyond Original 20 Developing Countries
World Bank | 24 October 2008

WB CFU

With more than 40 developing countries asking to become part of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, the FCPF has announced that it aims to expand its expected number of developing country participants from 20 countries to 30. T

Twenty-five developing countries selected so far to benefit from the FCPF are working with 11 industrialized countries and one non-governmental organization in an innovative partnership and international financing mechanism to combat tropical deforestation and climate change. The FCPF is comprised of two components—a Readiness Fund and a Carbon Fund.

“I am impressed by the level of interest expressed in the FCPF by developing countries… We thought 20 would be a reasonable target, but more than 40 countries have said they were interested. Countries are investing considerable time and resources to prepare themselves for REDD, and they should be commended for taking these steps.” — Katherine Sierra, Vice President, Sustainable Development, the World Bank

The developing countries accepted into the Facility include 10 in Africa (Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Republic of Congo and Uganda); 10 in Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru); and five in Asia and the South Pacific (Lao PDR, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Vietnam).

The FCPF aims to reduce deforestation and forest degradation by compensating developing countries for greenhouse gas emission reductions. Tropical and sub-tropical countries will receive grant support as they build their capacity to tap into future systems of positive incentives for REDD, in particular by establishing emissions reference levels, adopting REDD strategies, and designing monitoring systems.

In addition, indigenous peoples will benefit from one of the first decisions of the FCPF Participants Committee, elected this week in meetings in Washington. Made up of 10 donor and carbon fund participants and 10 developing country participants, the committee approved a Capacity Building Program for forest-dependent indigenous peoples and other forest dwellers—a US$1,000,000 ‘small grants’ program to build effective links with forest-dependent indigenous peoples and other forest dweller communities on REDD through the FCPF.

Read the full press release…

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News: Forest Peoples’ Rights Key To Reducing Emissions From Deforestation
ScienceDaily | 20 October 2008

Unless based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and forest communities, efforts by rich countries to combat climate change by funding reductions in deforestation in developing countries will fail, and could even unleash a devastating wave of forest loss, cultural destruction and civil conflict, warned a leading group of forestry and development experts at a recent meeting in Oslo.

Rights and Resources conference logo

The experts are gathering in Oslo with policymakers and community leaders for a conference on rights, forests and climate change. The conference was organized by two non-profit organisations, Rainforest Foundation Norway and the US-based Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI).

Speaking at the meeting, Norway’s Minister of Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, says efforts towards reduced emissions from deforestation in developing countries should be based on the rights of indigenous peoples to the forests they depend on for their livelihoods, and provide tangible benefits consistent with their essential role in sustainable forest management.

“There are growing conflicts between indigenous peoples and both forestry companies and conservation organizations. Imposed forest management initiatives are only viable if they respect the customary rights of forest peoples and ensure they have control about what happens on their lands. Indigenous peoples must be accepted as full and fair participants in all climate negotiations,” — Joji Carino, Director of Tebtebba – Indigenous Peoples’ International Center for Policy Research and Education

Conference organizers worry that REDD could fuel corruption and provoke tensions and land grab situations unless good governance, policies and the rule of law are first put in place.

Read the full article…
Read the Rights, Forests and Climate Change meeting blog…

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Pay indigenous people to protect rainforests, conservation groups urge
The Guardian [UK] | 17 October 2008

From Exclusion to OwnershipRich countries should try to cut the greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation by first investing in the people who live and use forests, rather than relying on the financial carbon markets to encourage conservation, leading development experts have proposed.

If not, they risk unleashing a wave of land grabs, corruption, cultural destruction and civil conflict, said the Washington-based Rights and Resources Initiative, a coalition of of UN- and government-funded research organisations including the World Conservation Union and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

A study by Jeffrey Hatcher, an analyst with Rights and Resources in Washington, found that it costs about $3.50 (£2) per hectare to recognise forest people’s land. The costs of protecting forests under Redd have been estimated as about £2,000 per hectare.

“There is lots of evidence from around the world that communities conserve their forests when their [land] rights are recognised. There are now about 400m hectares of forest formally owned by communities. These 400m hectares conserve about 20-40m Gigatonnes of CO2. This means that it costs about $1.6bn (£925m) to achieve this conservation. The Eliasch review suggested it would cost about $17bn year to to stop deforestation, which works out as far more expensive” — Jeffrey Hatcher, Rights and Resources

Read the full article…
Download the From Exclusion to Ownership? Challenges and Opportunities in Advancing Forest Tenure Reform July 2008 report [pdf]…

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