Global partnership to protect tropical forests expanded with eight new countries
GENEVA, Switzerland, December 16, 2013 – In a further boost for global efforts to combat climate change and tropical deforestation, Norway has pledged $100 million to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), the World Bank administered facility that was set up to compensate developing countries for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions achieved by preserving their forests.
“This latest support to the FCPF is a vote of confidence in an initiative that will show that tropical forests are worth far more alive than dead,” said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development. “Increasingly, the world recognizes that paying tropical countries for verified success in keeping their forests standing is critical to combating climate change.”
The FCPF consists of two funds: The Readiness Fund (now at US$360 million) provides grant financing to countries to develop their national strategies for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), and put in place the systems and institutions for implementing these strategies. The Carbon Fund (US$390 million) will provide payments upon verification that emissions have been reduced.
The announcement by Norway of $100 million to the readiness fund was made during the 16th FCPF Participants Committee meeting, which wrapped up yesterday in Geneva.
“Protecting the world's remaining forests is one of the best ways to achieve effective emissions reductions and preserve biodiversity,” said Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and Environment in Norway. “I am pleased by the strong interest in joining the FCPF. The expansion is an important step forward, because forest preservation on a large scale will be difficult without building capacity in more countries.”
On another positive note, the UK also confirmed during the meeting that it stands ready to contribute further to the carbon fund.
The financial boost to the readiness fund made it possible to select eight of the so called “candidate countries” into the FCPF. The countries - Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Fiji, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Togo – have been allocated readiness grants totaling $30.4 million.
“The Democratic Republic of Congo welcomes the additional funding announced by Norway and the UK,” said Vincent Kasulu, Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment of the Democratic Republic of Congo. “Being a pioneer of the REDD+ process in Africa, it is our hope that the additional contribution to the Carbon Fund will facilitate the selection of a variety of countries with different deforestation rates and different areas under forest cover into the portfolio of the Carbon Fund, thus allowing the Congo Basin countries to fully contribute to combating climate change.”
In advance of the committee meeting, a landmark decision was taken at the 8th meeting of the FCPF Carbon Fund Participants in Paris. After several days of intense negotiations, participants approved a set of rules, called the Methodological Framework, that guide the design and implementation of large-scale forest conservation and restoration programs.
“Building on the momentum created at COP19 with the “Warsaw Agreement” on REDD+, the progress made in Geneva and last week’s breakthrough agreement in Paris creates new impetus to advance REDD+ processes at the national and global level,” said Ellysar Baroudy, FCPF Coordinator.
“With a set of standards on how emission reductions resulting from forest conservation can be measured across diverse country contexts, the agreement gives the Carbon Fund a roadmap for implementation and opens up access to $390 million to its Participants.”