One-quarter of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from the agriculture, forest and other land use sector (AFOLU)1 . So if we are going to turn down the heat, we need to bring down emissions from these sources.
One of the ways to ensure that reducing forest-based GHG emissions also generates development and biodiversity co-benefits is through capacity building. The Forest Investment Program (FIP) actively contributes to developing countries’ abilities to fully implement actions to reduce their emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) in a sustainable and fair manner through principles such as country ownership and coordination with other REDD+ mechanisms.
What is capacity building and why does it matter?
Capacity boils down to whether a country has the necessary financial, human, technological, legal and institutional resources to perform a function2 . This matters because implementing mitigation actions in the forest sector - including reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation - depends on the three Cs – circumstances, capacities, and capabilities, of each developing country3. Capacity building is also a key component of REDD+ readiness, or the process for putting in place the preconditions necessary to enable countries to implement REDD+4.
This is where the FIP comes in. It is an instrument designed to implement the national policies seeking to reduce emissions through deforestation and forest degradation - which includes capacity building. In fact, roughly 50% of FIP financing goes to capacity building, institutional strengthening and governance reform.
The FIP and capacity building
One powerful illustration of this come from the WFC’s host region of Africa. A key objective of Burkina Faso’s FIP investment plan is reducing deforestation through improved governance, local socio-economic development, and sustainable management of forest resources and wooded areas. Here, the FIP is investing USD 12 million to increase carbon sequestration capacity in gazetted forests while reducing poverty in rural areas, by developing a monitoring, reporting and verifying (MRV) system for REDD+, improving REDD+ forest governance, and establishing socio-economic support infrastructure for neighboring municipal councils5.
A Water and Forestry ranger surveys a field where trees have been illegally cut down within the Tiogo Forest, Burkina Faso on May 25, 2014.
In fact, capacity building is at the very core of all aspects of the FIP’s activities and has been in its DNA since the start:
1. Country ownership
FIP investment plans should be entirely owned by the country being financed. And without the ability to lead, manage and carry out an investment plan, countries will not be able to take ownership of their REDD+ process.
The FIP puts strong emphasis on creating explicit and concrete arrangements for country level management of investment plans through central coordination units or within sector ministries. These initiatives have helped in the establishment of national REDD+ mechanisms led by the government and include representatives from public sector agencies, civil society, private sector as well as multilateral and bilateral agencies, with a mandate to advise and provide oversight on REDD+ policies and initiatives6. For instance, all national REDD+ activities in Mexico are coordinated by the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR)
Dedicated Global Mechanism Global Steering Committee Meeting, Indonesia, July 25-27, 2015
2. Collaboration with other REDD+ partners:
Several multilateral programs assist developing countries in achieving REDD+ readiness, particularly the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility's (FCPF) Readiness Fund and the UN-REDD Programme. Coordination with such REDD+ partners helps ensure strong capacity for REDD+ readiness in FIP activities. In the Burkina Faso example above, the investment plan preparation grant was used to facilitate and finance the formulation of the readiness preparation proposal for the FCPF Readiness Fund. The single coordinated REDD+ strategy that resulted is now able to benefit from multiple sources of finance and has created a strong overarching capacity to govern REDD+ in-country7.
Xavier Mugumya of Uganda’s Water and Environment Department, highlighted the importance of this coherence: “The procedures and processes with FIP are very similar to the other programs we’re involved in such as the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, the Global Environment Facility and UN REDD. It’s important for the countries that we can report in similar manners to all the initiatives – and it means the initiatives are coordinated to help tackle our country’s challenges.”
Why does this matter?
The FIP seeks to pilot actions that go beyond business-as-usual to reduce a country’s emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, which can be reproduced again and can be scaled up. To be able to do so the human, institutional and technological capabilities must be present.
Through country ownership and collaboration with other REDD+ partners, the FIP is ensuring that country capacity is built in order to implement activities which both reduce country emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and generate benefits to society at large in the long term. It’s a twin ambition we need to deliver on if we’re going to tackle climate change and reduce poverty.
1/ Smith P., M. Bustamante, H. Ahammad, H. Clark, H. Dong, E.A. Elsiddig, H. Haberl, R. Harper, J. House, M. Jafari, O. Masera, C. Mbow, N.H. Ravindranath, C.W. Rice, C. Robledo Abad, A. Romanovskaya, F. Sperling, and F. Tubiello, 2014: Agricul- ture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). In: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Edenhofer, O., R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth, A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel and J.C. Minx (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
2/ Crystal Davis, Lauren Williams, Sarah Lupberger, and Florence Daviet. 2013. Assessing Forest Governance: The Governance of Forest Initiative Indicator Framework. Washington: WRI. .
3/ See paragraphs 70-74 of I/CP.16, Report of the Conference of the Parties on its sixteenth session, held in Cancun from 29 November to 10 December 2010.
4/ Climate Focus, 2014. Linkages between REDD readiness and the FIP.
5/ For more information on either project, please see the Burkina Faso Investment Plan here.
6/ CTF-SCF/TFC.8/5, Enhancing Country Coordination Mechanisms
7/ Climate Focus, 2014. Linkages between REDD readiness and the FIP.