Press Release | Jun 20 2016

This week the Climate Investments Funds is celebrating the endorsement of three country investment plans under the CIF’s Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low-Income Countries Program (SREP) and Forest Investment Program (FIP).  

Cote d’Ivoire’s forests offer huge potential and rich biodiversity but the country has one of the highest rates of deforestation in Sub-Saharan Africa.  FIP funding of $24 million (USD) will focus on restoring the country’s forest cover by working with small-scale farmers to introduce agroforestry techniques and improve agricultural productivity.  It will also contribute to the protection of the vast forest area of Tai National Park - a world heritage site and one of the last major remnants of pristine forest in West Africa - conserving its biodiversity and carbon stocks.

In Mozambique FIP funding of $24 million (USD) will focus on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation while promoting rural development by supporting legal and institutional reform, addressing major drivers of deforestation as well as supporting communities to engage with the private sector.

In Cambodia SREP funding of $30 million (USD) – leveraging another $135 million USD from other sources - will focus on a solar energy development program, covering approximately 70% of total investment, which includes solar home systems, minigrids, rooftop solar systems and utility-scale solar farms.  The funding will also go towards a biomass power project as well as policy support and public awareness. 

Download the complete press releases here:

Press Release | Jun 12 2016

OAXACA - 12th June 2016 - This week Mexico is hosting the Climate Investment Funds’ governing body meetings as well as a knowledge exchange forum of the CIF’s forestry program. The meetings in Oaxaca bring together an audience of over 150 experts from about 50 countries, including representatives of developing and donor countries, international organizations and civil society.

Photo credit: CONAFOR

The official opening took place today, June 12, and included a welcome address by Mafalda Duarte, Manager of the Climate Investment Funds. “Mexico is a very fitting stage for these very exciting knowledge sessions. We have many countries in this meeting that offer valuable experiences about the sustainable use of forestry resources”, Duarte said, thereby referring to the $775 million Forest Investment Program (FIP) which is a funding window of the CIF and provides direct investments to benefit forests, development and climate.

The Mexican Government is presenting its community experiences in sustainable forest management to the 23 countries that make up the Forest Investment Program (FIP). Mexico was chosen in 2011 as a pilot country and has received 60 million dollars for four forestry projects.

Photo credit: CONAFOR

 “With the Forest Investment Program’s resources, matched by other funding sources of, for example, the World Bank, Mexican forestry communities have benefited from training and technical studies for forest land-use and land management”, said Jorge Rescala Pérez, Director-General of Mexico’s National Forestry Commission of Mexico (CONAFOR), during the opening session.

During this week’s meetings, the governing body of the CIF will decide on the future strategy of the funds. Other key issues concerning CIF’s Clean Technology Fund, its climate resilience fund (PPCR) and renewable energy program in low-income countries (SREP) will be discussed later this week. For the CTF, innovative ways to mobilize capital of institutional investors will be discussed. This would open up new investments into frontier areas, such as energy storage, distributed generation, sustainable transport, and residential and industrial energy efficiency, where an additional push could accelerate market development. Investment plans of Mozambique and Bangladesh, including funding envelopes, will be featured in designated committee meetings on forestry management and renewable energy, respectively.

Feature Story | May 19 2016

Indigenous Peoples are among the first to face the direct consequences of climate change.  Their close relationship with the environment means more extreme weather is exacerbating the difficulties they face and in some countries even threatening their survival.  They can also utilize their traditional knowledge to help tackle climate change.  So for climate investments to work effectively and for this knowledge to drive innovative solutions, Indigenous Peoples must be part of the design and implementation of climate-smart interventions.  

Credit: E. Benavides/Thomson Reuters Foundation

The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) recently spoke to many representatives from Indigenous Peoples Organizations and networks at a side event of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) hosted by the United States Permanent Mission to the UN.  CIF Program Manager Mafalda Duarte shared CIF’s work in this area, the lessons we are learning and our forthcoming plans. 

Duarte spoke about a number of areas, beginning with the Dedicated Grant Mechanism (DGM.)  This is a unique program funded by the Climate Investment Funds through its Forest Investment Program and led by the World Bank in nearly 14 countries.  This is the largest program of its kind that places funds directly to the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities to address the climate mitigation and adaptation issues they prioritize.

Credit: World Bank

The most unique aspect of the DGM is its governance. The governing bodies at the global and country level are led by self-selected Indigenous and local community members. So project design and funding decisions are 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.

As Duarte said: “It was the representatives of Indigenous Peoples globally who helped design this and decide on how it should be implemented and that’s what makes it innovative.  It’s always satisfying to me when Indigenous Peoples speak so highly of the program and would like to see it replicated in even more countries. ”

Credit: E. Benavides/Thomson Reuters Foundation

As well as sharing our experiences of the DGM, the CIF also updated the audience on our progress with the newly initiated Stakeholder Advisory Network (SAN.)  This builds on our experience in engaging stakeholders at all levels, which was complimented by Grace Balawag from Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education) who believes the CIF can offer a model which others can learn from: “The CIF platform for governance has defined guidelines on IP engagement and we would like this to be replicated in other climate investments, programs or mechanisms.”

Credit: E. Benavides/Thomson Reuters Foundation

Very practically, this Network will include partnership, networking, capacity building and information and experience sharing, provision of resources includes research and information materials, advocacy strengthening, coalition building, monitoring, evaluation, and engagement. 

The CIF is also expanding its work on traditional knowledge and technology with a report that looks at how these assets can contribute to climate solutions   As Mirna Cunningham, Center for Autonomy and Development of Indigenous Peoples (CADPI), said: “We have a lot of traditional knowledge systems that have been proven to maintain and conserve nature.  And we have gained capacity to share this with other people.  If this knowledge can really be included into policies related to climate change, I think we’d see good results.”  



Feature Story | May 16 2016

What do Leonardo DiCaprio and Prince Charles have in common?  They have demanded a halt to deforestation and called on world leaders and businesses to play their part.  Read on to learn more about forests:

Why do forests matter?

Forests comprise nearly a third of all land on earth, about 4 billion hectares.  However we lose around 7 million hectares a year of natural forests – at that rate, New York’s Central Park would vanish in under 25 minutes.  But forests are a crucial part of an equitable and sustainable world, tackling climate change and enabling millions of men and women in rural communities to secure greater prosperity.  

Climate change cannot be slowed and neither the Paris climate agreement nor the Sustainable Development Goals will be delivered unless we pay attention to forests.  Stopping deforestation can reduce as much as 19% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Up to another 10% of emissions could be sucked out of the atmosphere by re-growing forests which have been cut down.  That’s because forests act as a sink, soaking up carbon emissions which would otherwise pollute the atmosphere, and, left standing, avoid emitting carbon. 

Photo Credit: E. Benavides/Thomson Reuters Foundation

Sustainable forest management has been on the political agenda since 1992’s Rio Earth Summit and there’s been a decade of dialogue at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate (UNFCCC.)  There has been lots of progress in the past two years.  The New York Declaration on Forests – released at the UN Climate Summit in September 2014 – brought together a coalition of heads of governments, CEOs of companies and leaders of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and civil society with the shared goal of ending natural forest loss by 2030.  This helped build momentum towards the inclusion of REDD+ - which stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation – in the Paris agreement.  Essentially this provides financial incentives for developing countries to better protect, manage and sustainably use their forest resources.  In so doing, they help conserve biodiversity and tackle climate change. 

Why are forests particularly important for development?

75% of the world’s poor are rural and depend on healthy landscapes for their livelihoods, food security and development opportunities.  Forests can be engines of economic growth, energy generation and food security. Forests help to purify water and maintain water resources.  1.3 billion people – that’s one person in five – depend on forests in some way.  The formal timber industry contributes $600 billion to the global economic, about 1% of GDP.  In many developing countries, people depend heavily on wood for their household energy.  And for farmers, forests provide feed for livestock and filter their water.  In remote rural areas, forests are often the main resource on which to build an economy and can provide a safety net in times of extreme hardship, such as when droughts hit.

Forests are particularly crucial for Indigenous Peoples (IPs.) As the United Nations Forum on Indigenous Issues says: “IPs are vital to, and active in, the many ecosystems that inhabit their lands and territories.”  So when we lose forests – whether through deforestation or degradation - we exacerbate climate change and damage biodiversity, IPs and rural communities lose their greatest source of livelihoods and the social and cultural fabric is torn.


What is the Climate Investment Funds doing on forests?

Photo Credit: E. Benavides/Thomson Reuters Foundation

The CIF has a funding window dedicated to forests – the $771 million Forest Investment Program (FIP), which operates in 23 countries.  It’s the world’s largest source of REDD+ finance. 

The FIP supports countries to maximize their forests’ contribution to sustainable development and it brings together government departments, multilateral development banks, the private sector and indigenous peoples and local communities. This convening capacity is crucial because maximizing forests’ climate and development impacts requires all actors working together and champions at the highest levels of government – forests are complex ecosystems and sometimes their governance and management is complex too.

How does the FIP do this?

The FIP takes a ‘Total Forests’ approach.  That means further developing initiatives such as the Dedicated Grant Mechanism, which puts Indigenous Peoples and local communities in charge of design and funding decisions for projects that fight forest loss.  That means putting forests at the heart of rural development, delivering jobs and powering local economies. 

The program’s concessional financing can be the key to unlock larger sums of public and private investments.  And when these investments are driven by country needs and delivered through in a way that provides cohesion between all the elements of climate-smart development, real transformation can happen and innovation can flourish: 

Managing land use in Ghana

Through coordinated actions by four ministries, the private sector, and local communities, $50 million USD from FIP aims to rehabilitate degraded natural forests and introduce sustainable agricultural practices, in particular cocoa production and plantation development. Over 12,000 people - half of them women - will benefit from capacity building support, provision of seeds and equipment, and financial incentives to develop forestry, agroforestry, and alternative livelihoods activities.

Empowering communities in Mexico

FIP is implementing a financing line accessible by communities and ejidos (a collective ownership system unique to Mexico) to finance low carbon activities and projects in forest landscapes, and will strengthen their financial inclusion through technical assistance and capacity building. Ejidos are the powerful guardians of Mexican forests and the FIP is on track to deliver significant benefits for ejidos and help them fight deforestation and forest degradation.

Innovative grant program: the DGM

Photo Credit: DGM Global

Conceived and designed by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and funded by the global community through the Forest Investment Program (FIP), the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (DGM) provides the resources to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities that will enable them to strengthen their participation in the FIP and other REDD+ processes. This 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.

Forests provide opportunities for all – environmentally and economically – for this generation and the next.  Keep checking this website, our YouTube channel and our Twitter feed for the latest on how the FIP is contributing to utilizing this opportunity.  

Pope Francis to the UN: environmental degradation threatens ‘the very existence of the human species’
In the News | Oct 20 2015

NEW YORK — Before Congress Thursday, Pope Francis’s words on the environment were relatively conciliatory. He sought “dialogue” – a word the pontiff used 12 times. He did not even explicitly mention the word “climate change,” though he did call on Congress to help “avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity.” But speaking to the United Nations General Assembly Friday, Francis transformed into an international policy, law, and development wonk – and above all, the spirited author of “Laudato Si” (“Praised Be”), his stirring encyclical on the environment.

IDB aims to double financing for climate change
In the News | Oct 20 2015

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the goal of doubling the volume of its climate-related financing by 2020. In order to increase investments in adaptation, particularly for countries within the region that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, the Bank also committed to screen all relevant projects for climate risks and resilience starting in 2018.

Head of Climate Investment Funds says momentum is building on climate action
Press Release | Sep 24 2015
Kalonga Canal, Zambia: Strengthening Climate Resilience Project

Since 2008 Climate Investment Funds (CIF) have been funding a quiet, billion-dollar revolution aimed at reducing carbon emissions and transforming the economies of countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.    

And with a number of events this week highlighting the urgency and importance of tackling climate change, Mafalda Duarte, Program Manager of the Climate Investment Funds says “the momentum is building on climate action.”

She said: "With the Pope bringing his message to the United States, Climate Week taking place in New York, and the United Nations adopting new goals for sustainable development, the momentum is building on climate action.  Climate change affects us all but it’s hitting poor people first and worst.  Climate change threatens to wipe out decades of development progress."  

The CIF has been working with partners to support the expansion of investments in renewable energy technologies at an unprecedented rate to stimulate markets and increase energy access in 33 countries worldwide.  Close to 60 percent of CIF funding—$4.8 billion—is focused on renewable energy development, especially geothermal and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP).
"A low-carbon economy can deliver more jobs, increase growth, and reduce climate impacts.  And with our investments in renewable energy—from geothermal to Concentrated Solar Power — the CIF is demonstrating the power of well-placed concessional financing to stimulate climate action”, said Duarte:

Climate change is affecting poor countries disproportionately and in different ways – droughts can destroy a harvest, floods can wreck homes and schools, and extreme weather can have a devastating impact on countries’ economies.  So building countries’ resilience to adapt to a changing climate is crucial, says Duarte:
"Attention must be given to managing current and future impacts of climate change to protect lives and livelihoods.  With our investments in adaptation, the CIF is well-placed to share lessons on how to help communities and countries not just survive but thrive."

About the Climate Investment Funds 
The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is providing 72 developing and middle income countries with urgently needed resources to mitigate and manage the challenges of climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The CIF allocates financing through four funding windows:

  • The $5.3 billion Clean Technology Fund (CTF) provides middle-income countries with highly concessional resources to scale up the demonstration, deployment, and transfer of low carbon technologies in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable transport.
  • The $785 million Forest Investment Program (FIP) supports efforts of developing countries to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and promote sustainable forest management that leads to emissions’ reductions and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+).
  • The $1.2 billion Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) is helping developing countries integrate climate resilience into development planning and offers additional funding to support public and private sector investments for implementation.
  • The $796 million Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program (SREP)is helping to deploy renewable energy solutions for increased energy access and economic growth in the world’s poorest countries. 

About Mafalda Duarte 
Mafalda Duarte is the Manager of the $8.1 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF).  She has over 15 years of work experience and in-depth knowledge in development and climate change. She has been responsible for the design and implementation of several funding mechanisms and new thematic programs. She holds degrees in international relations, economic policy management and climate change.

CONTACT: Martin Hall: +1 202 4585540 /

CIF Observer awarded prestigious forestry award
In the News | Sep 18 2015
Gertrude Kabusimbi Kenyangi, winner of the Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award 2015, XIV World Forestry Congress 2015

During the recent World Forestry Congress, Ugandan civil society observer to the Forest Investment Program (FIP) of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) and Executive Director of Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN), Gertrude Kenyangi Kabusimbi was conferred with the 2015 Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award. 

The award, inaugurated in 2012 by the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), recognizes outstanding efforts to improve and sustain forests.  It is named in honor of the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Kenyan environmentalist, Wangari Maathai. 

Kabusimbi has dedicated more than two decades of her career to safeguarding tropical forests in the Mbarara and Ntungamo districts of Uganda. Working with SWAGEN, she has overseen the planting of more than one million trees in the Rwoho Natural Forest buffer zone leading to significant climate, social and economic benefits. 

In the context of the CIF, civil society observers are vital to supporting the transparency and accountability of decision making as well as action on the ground. Having been an observer since 2012, Kabusimbi has been a strong advocate for targeted forest action at the grassroots level and the sustainable management of natural resources. 

Speaking in support of Ms. Kabusimbi, Mafalda Duarte, Manager of the Climate Investment Funds stated: “Gertrude’s recognition with such a prestigious award is a testament to her wonderful work with sustainable forestry, not least in her role as an observer to the FIP where she has helped ensure even greater country ownership for those countries working with the FIP.” 

Looking ahead, Kabusimbi intends to replicate and scale up the grassroots approaches with which she is familiar in an effort to influence global policy. 

The CPF is an informal, voluntary arrangement among 15 international organizations, including the World Bank Group, seeking to promote sustainable management of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term-political commitment to this end. 

Photo by ©FAO/Giuseppe Carotenuto.

Integrating Landscapes and Forests
In the News | Sep 16 2015

Global competition for natural resources is intense and the supply of those resources is increasingly more constrained by climate variability and change. Governments and international development agencies have the dual responsibility to meet the socio-economic needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people while preserving and enhancing their natural capital. These responsibilities often are at odds with each other and different stakeholder groups have prioritised one over the other. This paper suggests that the landscape approach provides a solution for stakeholders to achieve climate change mitigation, adaptation, and poverty reduction goals, though not without some trade-offs.

"The landscape approach looks across wider, connected geographic areas to understand natural resource conditions and trends natural and human influences, and opportunities for resource conservation, restoration and development. It seeks to identify important ecological values and patterns of environmental change that may not be evident when managing smaller, local land areas" (Managing rural landscapes in the context of a changing climate, Kutter & Westby, 2014)

Building Capacity for REDD+: Lessons from the Forest Investment Program
Feature Story | Sep 10 2015

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