First Steps to Save Burkina Faso’s Forests
In the News | Jul 23 2013

Burkina’s $30 million FIP program will work in four regions of the country, each representing a different ecosystem. In addition to reducing emissions and enhancing stocks of carbon-storing forests, it is expected to have significant benefits in terms of poverty reduction, preservation of biodiversity, and adaptation to climate change.

Brazil's Indigenous Groups Take Reins of Green Projects
In the News | Jul 17 2013
An indigenous Terena man peels manioc under a shed at the Araribá indigenous reservation, 200 miles away from Sao Paulo.

By Rafael Spuldar originally published July 17, 2013 on Thomson Reuters Foundation. Photo: Rafael Spuldar/TRF

EKERUÁ, Brazil (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - On the Araribá indigenous reservation, 200 miles away from Brazil’s largest city of Sao Paulo, 20 Terena people work from very early in the morning peeling and washing manioc under an improvised shed. The crop is a traditional one for the Terena, and now part of their hopes for making a living from the land in a sustainable way.

With support from Brazil’s indigenous foundation and the Sao Paulo state government, the Terena have taken part in workshops  to learn to handle and process manioc more efficiently. The long-term goal is to use the extra income to support agroforestry projects, in which crop agriculture co-exists with forests – just as it did for many Brazilian indigenous groups before the arrival of the Portuguese colonizers in 1500.

This project should enable the Terena to finance reforestation through their own economic activity, with no need for direct government funding, the normal source of support for reforestation efforts in Brazil, experts say.

The project – one the 500-member Terena community chose themselves in local assemblies – is just one of a range of similar projects now taking place in Brazil, aimed at building the capacity of the country’s indigenous groups to participate in managing their livelihoods and the forests their territories often include. The aim is to build their resilience to climate change, and help them support efforts to slow or reverse deforestation, a major contributor to global warming.

One of the latest is the Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (DGM), funded by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF). In Brazil, the effort is being implemented by the World Bank.

Over five years, the DGM will invest $6.5 million in Brazil with two goals. The first is to empower indigenous people throughout Brazil and to strengthen their institutions, particularly to participate in REDD+, an effort aimed at “reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.”


The second, more specifically, is to improve local capacity to sustainably manage natural resources in Brazil’s tropical savannah “Cerrado” region – South America’s second largest major ecosystem, located in Brazil’s central region and comprising 24 percent of the country’s territory.

According to Alberto Coelho Gomes Costa, the World Bank’s  Latin American senior social development specialist, the Cerrado is strategic in terms of environmental, economic and food security issues. The biologically rich region has significant carbon stocks, and is important to water cycles in the region.

But as agriculture expands in Brazil, the Cerrado has become even more threatened than the Amazon, and because it is less known it attracts less funding for protection, experts say.

“A significant proportion of forest burns in the Cerrado affect indigenous lands and traditional territories, especially in areas in contact with the Amazon”, said Gomes Costa. Altogether only about 10.5 percent of the Cerrado is protected, he said.

Under the DGM project, indigenous people are being consulted about what activities they would like to see financed on their land. A first meeting was held recently in the state of Mato Grosso’s capital of Cuiabá, and two more rounds are expected at Montes Claros (in Minas Gerais) and Imperatriz (in Maranhão) before a final meeting in Brasília.

According to Gomes Costa, the DGM is supposed to work in relation with Brazil’s own National Policy for Indigenous Environmental and Territorial Management (Política Nacional de Gestão Ambiental e Territorial de Terras Indígenas, or PNGATI), created in 2012 in order to guide all sustainability practices in indigenous areas.

The effort to improve manioc and forests at Araribá fits within that effort, and is supported by a program called Indigenous Environmental and Territorial Management Projects (Projetos de Gestão Ambiental e Territorial Indígena, or Gati), created by the National Indian Foundation (Fundação Nacional do Índio, or Funai), Brazil’s government branch in charge of monitoring and aiding indigenous peoples.

Through the Gati program, Funai aims to empower Brazilian indigenous groups so they can explore natural resources on their lands in a sustainable way and have financial returns without harming ecosystems.


Four days a week, the Terena from Ekeruá – one of the four Indian settlements in the Araribá reservation – spend the whole morning working on the manioc in order to sell it to buyers that come by truck around noon.

At first they gather the manioc harvested that day on all of Araribá’s four settlements. Later, under a shed, they peel, wash and cut the manioc root, then wait for the buyers to arrive. Araribá’s manioc production is 2,500 kilos a day, four days a week.

“Some (of the Terena) come here to work at 5 in the morning. Many of them are relatives of mine, like cousins and uncles”, said Lourenço de Camilo, 38, one of Ekeruá settlement’s leaders and a manioc planter since he was a child.

Work facilities are precarious right now in Araribá, which hampers earnings. The improvised shed in which manioc is worked is expected to be improved soon. More modern equipment to process the manioc are expected soon as well, bought with resources from Gati , including machines to peel, wash, cut and wrap the product, and to recycle the peel for animal feed.

“To sell the manioc already clean, cut and wrapped would add value to it. It raises the selling price and we earn more,” Lourenço said.

The revenue from planting manioc in Araribá – as well as other products planted on a smaller scale, such as mangoes and sweet potato – makes the Terena hopeful they also will have funds to finance on their own a more ambitious, more profitable and more sustainable project: a rubber tree forest.

Around 2,500 rubber seedlings are already growing at Ekeruá. The process of grafting and planting the trees is expected in September 2014. In seven years the rubber-trees will be ready for “bleeding,” which is having their sap extracted for producing rubber – an activity much more profitable than manioc.

The Terena from Ekeruá also will have the option of planting the rubber-trees with enough room between them so that other plants – such as manioc, fruit trees and medicinal herbs – can also grow. Such inter-cropping would be a form of agroforestry.

The rubber project, with its higher income, would also enable the Terena to finance reforestation through their own economic activity, with no need of direct government funding, which supports much current reforestation in Brazil.


Indigenous groups throughout Brazil decide where to apply Gati’s funds in local assemblies. In the case of Araribá’s Terena community, some members initially were reluctant to invest in a long-term project such as planting a rubber tree forest.

“Indians want to have it all right away, they don’t like to wait”, said the Ekeruá settlement’s chief, Jazone de Camilo, 78. “But the way I see it, it’s like our savings account. It’s something that will be a good income source many years from now.”

Funai’s Jaime Siqueira, the national coordinator of Gati, says Araribá’s experience is a good example of what the Gati programme can achieve, as the Terena now have gained good technical expertise to help them push forward their project.

 “In other reservations we see less accumulated experience” so progress has been slower, he said.

According to Siqueira, 32 indigenous areas have benefitted from the program since it started in 2011. Total investment is around 60,000,000 BRLs ($26.5 million), of which 40,000,000 BRL ($17.6) has come from Funai and 12,000,000 BRL ($5.3) from the Global Environment Fund (GEF). The rest comes from Brazil’s Ministry of Environment and by partner non-governmental organizations such as German-based GIZ and The Nature Conservancy from the US.

Gati’s regional bureaus are not only in the Amazon – where most of Brazil’s indigenous reservations are located – but also in other regions in the South, Southeast and Northeast, as well as the Cerrado.

Siqueira says the work done so far is an example of how broader PNGATI goals might be implemented.

Nevertheless, the Gati project has its critics. Some Terena at Araribá’s Ekeruá settlement complain of bureaucracy and of the long wait until they have the much-anticipated equipment to process their manioc more quickly and efficiently. De Camilo, the settlement’s chief, said Funai has long since announced the purchase of the machines and no more time should be wasted.

 “We need this equipment so we can earn our money”, he said.

Funai’s Dafran Macário, who works as Gati project’s coordinator in the Southeast region, says that purchases like this take a long time because of their complexity and because of the way the federal government functions. He says the equipment will arrive at Araribá by September this year.


For more information, please contact:

Steven Shalita, CIF Communications

Beyond the Blame Game: Advancing Solutions to Deforestation
Reclassify | Jul 11 2013

Commentary By Andrea Kutter, Senior Program Coordinator, Forest Investment Program, CIF

Fires ravage a forest in Vietnam. - Photo: Shutterstock

Over the past few weeks, the media have prominently covered the massive forest fires in Riau Province, Sumatra Island in Indonesia; whose haze stretched to areas of Singapore and Malaysia across the Strait of Malacca.

The hype around the fires was justified. Their damaging impact was so serious that at one point the Pollutant Standard Index rose to 831, far above the normal range of 0-50. But little has been reported about the root causes of these fires. Instead, a raging blame game has ensued on who should take responsibility.  

These fires added urgency to the Tropical Forest  Alliance (TFA) 2020 workshop on Promoting Sustainability and Productivity in the Palm Oil and Pulp & Paper Sectors,” organized by the governments of Indonesia and the U.S., and the Consumer Goods Forum on June 27-28. Established as a solutions-oriented forum for the sustainable production of commodities with a zero-deforestation target, the TFA 2020 periodically holds workshops to develop business proposals in a particular sector with the goal of building viable private-public partnerships.

The expansion of palm oil plantations into natural forests and logging for producing pulp and paper are some of the most aggressive drivers of deforestation in countries like Indonesia. In my capacity as Sr. Program Coordinator for the Forest Investment Program(FIP), I was invited to participate in a panel on how public finance can support public-private partnerships to ensure a deforestation-free commodity chain.

In his opening remarks, the President of Indonesia, His Excellency Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, made direct reference to, and expressed his full commitment to stop the fires in Riau, Sumatra. But more importantly, he underscored his government’s pledge to protect the Indonesian forests and to work with all stakeholders, including the indigenous peoples and the private sector, to reduce the deforestation rate in Indonesia.

President Yudhoyono was joined by other high-level participants, including  His Excellency, Kunturo Mangkusubroto, Head of the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight and Chairman of the Indonesian REDD+ Taskforce, and Mr. Paul Polmann, the CEO of Unilever and representative of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020. Never before has such an extraordinary group of people come together to discuss palm oil and pulp and paper, commodities known to contribute to large-scale deforestation and forest degradation. 

No stranger to REDD+ or forest-related meetings dominated by the public sector, I was not surprised to see familiar faces from governments and organizations such as the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and United Nations Development Program (UNDP).  

What made that meeting unique, however, was getting to know a  group I had not previously encountered: representatives from companies committed to the use of sustainable, traceable, and deforestation-free commodities for their products, including Coca Cola, Colgate, Unilever, the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), and Nestlé, just to name a few. Representatives from Google and the World Resources Institute also attended and demonstrated the latest technology to ensure the traceability of commodity chains. It was fascinating to see satellite images of Riau overlaid by concession boundaries; the hotspots were easy to identify.

For two days both public and private sector participants worked together on proposals to address causes of deforestation within the palm oil and paper and pulp industries. We discussed how to connect small and medium-scale oil palm growers to mills and ways to increase the productivity so growers are not tempted to extend their plots of land into natural forests.

There was great interest in the FIP’s competitive concessional funding of $50 million for innovative programs and projects that engage the private sector in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and promote sustainable forest management. With the August 15, 2013 deadline for submitting proposals fast approaching, I am looking forward to seeing socially and environmentally responsible companies take on these types of investments to advance the goals of the TFA 2020 and help countries like Indonesia to avoid devastating fires such as the ones in Riau.

I was also energized and encouraged by the level of discussion and commitment expressed by this diverse group of people all focused on growers’ needs in terms of finance and capacity. The next TFA 2020 workshop will focus on other commodities driving deforestation, namely soy beans and beef. If commitment is equally high, the four most important commodities associated with deforestation—palm oil, pulp and paper, soy beans, and beef—could be produced under a very different yet convincing sustainable business model. I believe consumers would appreciate it, and the people of Indonesia and Singapore would certainly breathe easier.

Andrea Kutter, Senior Program Coordinator, Forest Investment Program, Climate Investment Funds
A physical geographer by training, Andrea Kutter has been since 2009 the Senior Program Coordinator for the Forest Investment Program (FIP) and the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF). Prior to that, she was the Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist in the Secretariat of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). She has also worked as a Technical Officer for Deutsche Gesellschaft für InternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Argentina focusing on sustainable land management in dry zones, and she began her career in the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) working on Agenda 21 and land use planning.

Lao PDR is Scaling-Up Participatory Sustainable Forest Management
Press Release | Jun 10 2013

With a $12.83 million grant from the FIP, Lao PDR is moving forward with its project to expand community participation in forest management in priority areas and piloting forest landscape management in four northern provinces. Lao PDR’s 2020 Forest Strategy aims to improve the quality and quantity of forested areas and to generate a sustainable stream of forest products.

Reaching Out to New Partners
Reclassify | Jun 06 2013

Funke Oyewole introduces visitors to the CIF and listens to their inquires and ideas at the 10th Carbon Expo in Barcelona, Spain on May 28-31. (Photo: CIF AU)


Commentary by Funke Oyewole, CIF Deputy Program Manager

“What do you do, and how can you help us do what we do?” That was the recurring question from visitors to the Climate Investment Funds’ (CIF) booth at the 10th Carbon Expo last week in Barcelona, Spain from May 28-31. The first forum of the UNFCCC’s Standing Committee on Financebrought us to town, but we stayed to take advantage of the proceeding expo to introduce the CIF to a wider audience.  Considered the leading global platform for dialogue between climate finance and carbon markets, industry, and technology, the Carbon Expo was a perfect opportunity for the CIF to reach out to new partners and start some new conversations.

And that we did.  Over three days, approximately 100 people visited the CIF booth and engaged directly with us, while still more browsed our colorful exhibit. Consulting firms stopped by interested in exploring business prospects. Social entrepreneurs were looking for funding. International companies sought procurement opportunities. Government representatives from developing nations not involved currently in the CIF asked how they could join. Academics requested information on CIF lessons learned. Even our multilateral development bank partners, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, came by to see what was new. 

All were looking for new and different approaches, mechanisms, and markets to expand low carbon growth, and many saw the CIF mitigation programs—the Clean Technology Fund(CTF), the Forest Investment Program(FIP), and the Program for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries(SREP)—as a possible conduit for innovation. Carbon markets alone, especially in their current state of disarray, cannot propel the global mitigation effort needed to achieve a consolidated low-carbon energy system by 2050. They have to be a part of a broader suite of financial instruments that will provide an incentive to mobilize increasingly higher levels of capital into low carbon infrastructure. These realities did not, however, stop some participants at the Expo from exploring the CIF’s programmatic approaches and interventions at scale. If anything, these discussions helped to establish clearly the need for injecting new innovative thinking in the climate finance landscape.

The CIF is part of this climate finance landscape, and we told all these visitors about the CIF’s own brand of innovation in fostering a programmatic approach to low carbon, climate resilient development. We explained how CIF concessional financing is building private investor confidence in middle and low income countries by supporting government policies and reforms conducive to climate-smart business. We showed how the CIF is catalyzing investments and attracting significant co-financing by supporting risky upfront costs of tested-but-young climate approaches and technologies at a scale never before affordable. We discussed how the lessons being learned on the ground by our 49 pilot countries are shaping the CIF’s way forward, as well as that of the Green Climate Fund.

Engaging the private sector is central to the CIF’s success, and visitors were keen to learn more about opportunities to participate, especially through the CIF’s open call for innovative project proposals that engage the private sector in REDD+, climate resilience, and renewable energy in the pilot countries of the FIP, the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), and the SREP. Over $200 million has been set aside in these three funding windows for this competition, and deadlines are fast approaching in August 2013. 

The energy at the Carbon Expo was high, and the mood enterprising. The feeling lingers as we follow up with phone calls and emails to continue the conversations we began in Barcelona. We are not certain where it will all lead, but the CIF is steadfast in its goal to scale up climate finance and knowledge.

Private Sector Investing in Climate-Smart Enterprises in Mexico, Colombia
Reclassify | May 28 2013

Inter-American Development Bank recently approved the first-ever private sector FIP operation, which aims to bolster 60 community forest enterprises in Mexico. The private sector will also engage in Colombia’s CTF project for credit access to energy service companies.

Over $200 Million Available to Spur Private Sector Engagement
Reclassify | Apr 23 2013
CIF Learning: Exploring REDD+ Stakeholder Collaboration
Reclassify | Mar 22 2013

The Forest Investment Program (FIP) supports developing country efforts toward reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) and promoting sustainable management of forests that leads to REDD and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+). Achieving the goal of REDD+ requires transformational changes in the way forest resources are governed and managed, including new and effective partnerships between governments, civil society, Indigenous Peoples, local communities, private sector, and international financial institutions.

Cover of FIP: REDD+ Stakeholder Collaboration report


A new report and four accompanying videos in the CIF Learning series, FIP: REDD+ Stakeholder Collaboration (pdf), identify common challenges encountered by different stakeholder groups in FIP pilot countries who are engaged in REDD+ processes and explain how collaboration can be further enhanced at the country-level as FIP investments are developed and implemented. Based on interviews with over 200 REDD+ stakeholders in four FIP pilot countries —Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, and Peru — the report proposes key opportunities and lessons for FIP policy makers regarding consultations, capacity building, and transformational change.

Image of Incentivizing the Involvement of the Private Sector in REDD+


An extension of the report, Incentivizing the Involvement of the Private Sector in REDD+: A Review of Early Experiences and Lessons Learned in the Forest Investment Program(pdf), offers policy makers and development partners a more detailed description of the private sector, the opportunities and constraints private investors face when considering REDD+ involvement, and how the FIP’s engagement and incentive models work to increase their participation in the planning, financing, and implementation of REDD+ investments. The review also shares the perspective of different stakeholder groups towards private sector involvement in the FIP.

GhanaWeb reports "$50m for Forest Investment"
In the News | Dec 14 2012

Recently endorsed for $50 million, Ghana's FIP investment plan will support efforts to strengthen institutional capacity in forest resources management, expand and diversify management options, improve governance, as well as enhance regulatory framework to streamline tenure and tree rights.

Asia and Pacific Countries Receive $160 Million for Climate Change Action
Reclassify | Nov 07 2012

“At a time when demand for climate change financing far outstrips supply, we are pleased that a substantial amount of CIF funding has been secured for countries in Asia and the Pacific, a crucial battleground in the global war against climate change,” said Woochong Um, Deputy Director General of Regional and Sustainable Development Department at the Asian Development Bank (ADB).