In the News | Feb 12 2018

Over 11,000 people to benefit from awareness sessions and training to increase communities understanding of the linkages between climate change and their current land use practices. The project will be supported by $5.5 million funding from the Ghana Dedicated Grant Mechanism project.

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Photo - GhanaWeb: Okyeame Kwame  has been appointed as the Climate Change Ambassador
In the News | Feb 07 2018

Renowned musician Okyeame Kwame, real name Kwame Nsiah-Apau, has hit the ground running in his new role as the Climate Change Ambassador for the $5.5 million Ghana Dedicated Grant Mechanism project. The DGM is an innovative grant program for fighting forest loss is putting project design and funding decisions in the hands of indigenous peoples and local communities, giving them the power to set priorities and implement programs aimed at conserving their natural environment. It was conceived and designed by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and funded by the global community through the Forest Investment Program (FIP) to provide the resources to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities that will enable them to strengthen their participation in the FIP and other REDD+ processes.

 

Feature Story | Jan 24 2018
  • With over 10 million inhabitants in Kinshasa, traditional cookstoves in the capital have a very real and direct impact on deforestation in the country.
  • A change in the way Kinshasa families cook daily meals holds great potential for reducing emissions from deforestation.
  • An initiative is boosting the production and use of more efficient cookstoves in this Congo Basin country.

A year ago, 51-year old grandmother Janine Nyota-Nguburu traded in her traditional cookstove, about the size of a large metal lantern, for an energy-efficient version that she bought just around the corner from her small urban farmhouse in Kinshasa. The ceramic center of Janine’s new cookstove does a better job of harnessing radiant heat and reduces the amount of charcoal she needs to burn to prepare her signature fried beans. This also means a 70-kg bag of charcoal that costs about $20 now lasts her two months instead of two weeks.

But it’s not just the money she’s saving that has her breathing a little easier.

“My kitchen was always too hot, and the smoke from burning so much charcoal over many hours each day would burn our eyes and give us lung problems,” said Janine.

Traditional cookstoves cost about $2, whereas improved cookstoves cost between $8 and $70 (Photo: Catherine Sear, World Bank)

Cooking is now cheaper and safer in Janine’s kitchen, but according to the Congolese Alliance for Improved Cookstoves (ACFCA in French), only about 4% of households in Kinshasa use an energy efficient version. Families either don’t know they exist or they can’t afford one--traditional cookstoves cost about $2, whereas improved cookstoves can cost anywhere between $8 and $70.

With over 10 million people in Kinshasa, traditional cookstoves in the capital have a very real and direct impact on deforestation in the country. It is estimated that 84 percent of all harvested wood in DRC is used for charcoal and firewood. Charcoal is preferred over burning wood because it provides a slower, somewhat cleaner burn. But charcoal production is very wasteful. It takes about 6 kg of wood to produce 1 kg of charcoal, and at every stage of production and transport, more waste occurs. What’s more, fuelwood is usually sourced unsustainably from natural forests, creating vast, degraded areas around Kinshasa and other urban centers.

In an effort to protect tropical forests in DRC’s Mai-Ndombe province directly north of Kinshasa, the World Bank is implementing an Improved Forested Landscape Management Project, funded by the Forest Investment Program (FIP). It includes about $2 million to support the production and marketing of energy-efficient cookstoves in Kinshasa, work that’s being implemented by the Bureau d'Etudes et de Recherche pour le Développement on the ground. This demand-side approach to reducing the drivers of deforestation complements the project’s parallel supply-side agroforestry activities in Mai-Ndombe’s savannah lands, namely planting trees that grow rapidly for charcoal production in order to take the pressure off the area’s natural forests.  

Biso na Bino (BNB) is a Kinshasa-based Congolese company that produces energy-efficient cookstoves, much like the one Janine uses.

Biso na Bino (BNB) is a Kinshasa-based Congolese company that produces energy-efficient cookstoves (Photo: Guy Ngazi) 

With support from the FIP project, they have been able to relaunch their industrial production facility. As of today, the company manufactures more than 1,500 cookstoves per month, making them Kinshasa’s largest producer. As production grows, the company saves on fixed costs, which in turn allows them to make the stoves more cheaply and sell them for less.  Prior to FIP’s support, BNB’s smallest cookstove sold for $30. That same model is now available to distributors for $15, though that’s still considerably more than a $2 traditional cookstove. This is why the FIP project has also earmarked funds to support organizations that can help promote the threefold benefits of energy-efficient cookstoves to communities.

“Spending a bit more on an improved cookstove can save money because it burns charcoal more efficiently. They can also improve air quality and reduce pressure on forests for fuel, which in turn helps protect DRC’s natural assets,” said Yvon Mutombo, Executive Director of the Congolese Alliance for Improved Cookstoves. The Alliance is working with BNB and dozens of smaller artisanal cookstove producers to reduce production costs and raise awareness among consumers.

“We need to make energy-efficient cookstoves more popular across the developing world” said Dr. Bernard Ndaye Nkanka, a professor at Kinshasa’s Renewable Energy Research Center (CERERK, in French), the only center in Central Africa that tests and certifies cookstove efficiency. BNB is currently working with CERERK to run comprehensive tests and acquire certifications for its stoves. Dr. Ndaye Nkanka and his team have also participated in knowledge exchanges with several countries, including Honduras, Senegal, Uganda and the United States. He says energy-efficient cookstoves are a small, but important part of the solution in tackling climate change.

These cookstoves can both improve livelihoods and help protect the planet – and that’s a recipe for success.

In the News | Dec 01 2017

November was a busy month for the Dedicated Grant Mechanism (DGM), with several representatives traveling to Bonn to participate in the DGM's 2nd Global Exchange and the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP 23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Now that COP 23 has ended, we are eager to share some updates and celebrate a major achievement for indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) through this special edition of the DGM Digest. In this issue:

  • Learn more about the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform, which will help to facilitate the exchange of experiences, best practices and lessons learned on climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Johnson Cerda reflects on the progress made by Indigenous Peoples in climate action

These stories and more in the November issue.

 

In the News | Nov 03 2017

The Dedicated Grant Mechanism (DGM) of the Forest Investment Program (FIP) is designed to enhance the capacity and support the priorities of indigenous peoples and local communities to strengthen their participation in the FIP and other initiatives related to the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). In the October newsletter: 

  • Brazil launches call for subproject proposals
  • Mozambique selects a national executing agency
  • Sharing Knowledge
  • Gender Considerations

Read these stories and more in the October Issue

Feature Story | Aug 14 2017

The city of Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, will play host to the 2017 Forest Investment Program (FIP) Pilot Countries Meeting, on September 27-29. The FIP provides indispensable direct investments to benefit forests, development and the climate, with a parallel focus on enhancing partner learning and coordination. Annual pilot country meetings bring together participants from government, the private sector, civil society, Indigenous Peoples, local community groups, and colleagues from the multilateral development banks (MDBs) that implement FIP-funded projects, to foster peer-to-peer learning among the 53 pilot countries—from practical issues related to the design and implementation of FIP investment plans to other forestry activities.

The last FIP Pilot Countries Meeting brought together over 100 participants from all 23 FIP countries, in Oaxaca, Mexico, June 12-14, 2016.

This will be the first Pilot Countries Meeting in which FIP and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) collaborate to bring peer-to-peer learning to over 50 countries, for a meeting of minds that represents the newest strides in forestry and REDD+.

The host country, where forests cover about 40% of geographical area, was one of the first 8 pilot countries to benefit from FIP funding. Lao PDR’s FIP Investment Plan aims to complement ongoing REDD+ initiatives, including a focus on strengthening legal and regulatory frameworks. FIP resources are also being used to support participatory forest management and sustainable environmental services at all levels (national, provincial, district), both in and out of designated state forest areas.

The SUFORD (Scaling Up Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development) Project is just one good example of FIP investments at work in the host country. Watch the video to learn more about the project.

The project’s core objective is to reduce carbon emissions through sustainable forest management in priority areas and to pilot forest landscape management in four northern provinces of Lao PDR. SUFORD has seen early success in developing community action plans and village livelihood activities, which divert villagers out of the forests and through sustainable livelihood opportunities. This approach protects forests from deforestation and degradation.

Participatory sustainable forest management of this nature will be one of many topics for discussion at the meeting, along with how countries can take ownership of communicating their experiences and lessons learned. The FIP recognizes that the management of forests requires a long-term perspective. That is why opportunities like this, which provide countries with a platform for ongoing knowledge exchange and peer-to-peer learning, remain a top priority for the program.

In the News | May 23 2017

Sound management of the vast forest resources in sub-Saharan Africa is key to enhance climate change response in a continent worst hit by the negative impacts of that phenomenon, scientists said Monday.

Feature Story | Apr 12 2017

Across the globe, demand for wood products is increasing and expected to quadruple by 2050. This trend is exacerbating deforestation and forest degradation. But it also presents an opportunity for a better approach to farming and managing forests.

A new report, Harnessing the Potential of Productive Forests and Timber Supply Chains for Climate Change Mitigation and Green Growth, shows how sustainably harvesting wood products can help meet growing demand while providing jobs, mitigating climate change and conserving primary forests.

While it’s well known that trees and forests provide an important carbon sink, the carbon stored in forest products is often overlooked. Forest products and materials such as those used for construction and furniture store carbon for decades and even centuries.

Choosing wood products over other non-renewable materials, such as concrete and steel for construction materials, also offers climate benefits. Concrete and steel require fossil fuel to produce, making these alternatives much more carbon intensive. For example, producing a concrete wall puts 15 times more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than making a wooden one.

The new report, funded by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and the Program on Forests (PROFOR), examined the economies of six countries - Ethiopia, Colombia, Mexico, Mozambique, Peru and Vietnam - to estimate the potential climate mitigation benefits from forest-based supply chains. Together, the six countries could sequester more than 150 million tons of CO2e (see table below) by 2030 with adequate investments in forest restoration and the increased production and use of wood products. Such an approach could help countries meet their climate commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Investing in wood supply to meet demand through landscape restoration and other means also brings benefits, especially by creating new forest industry jobs in rural areas. Potential employment benefits in the six countries studied are depicted in the table below. In addition, projected demand for wood products could encourage the private sector to make long-term investments in productive forests, plantations, and wood processing.

Moving forward on sustainably harvesting forests is a delicate balance between production and conservation. If promoting forest products leads to deforestation, then climate mitigation is lost. To get the balance right, governments must create an enabling environment through better law enforcement and governance. That would help to protect and more sustainability use forests, improve land tenure, and provide the incentive mechanisms to attract private sector investments. Plantations will be key for renewable energy - sustainable charcoal and wood chips - in the future.  Private investors, rural communities and forest owners also need technical assistance to help with forest management and production, as well as easier and quicker access to market information.

“Investing in sustainably managing and using forests offers longer-term benefits over the frequently under-productive and disorganized use of many forests today,” says Gerhard Dieterle, program manager for the World Bank’s Forest Investment Program. “As found in this study, doing so would unquestionably benefit people and the planet.”

In the News | Jan 26 2017

Africa’s forests, landscapes, and ecosystems have many contributions to development. They contribute directly to the well-being and food security of poor people. 

Press Release | Jan 12 2017

With support from the African Development Bank (AfDB), Burkina Faso has been awarded a US $4-million loan from the Climate Investment Funds’ Forest Investment Program (CIF FIP) to revive its cashew sector and mitigate climate change. 

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