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BRIEF September 23, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions: The PROGREEN Global Partnership for Sustainable and Resilient Landscapes

Hills and Forests seen form above, Bhutan. Photo credit: Mares Lucian/Shutterstock.com

Photo credit: Mares Lucian/Shutterstock.


What is PROGREEN?

PROGREEN, the Global Partnership for Sustainable and Resilient Landscapes, is a World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund that supports countries’ efforts to improve livelihoods while tackling declining biodiversity, loss of forests, deteriorating land fertility and increasing risks such as uncontrolled forest fires, which are exacerbated by a changing climate. Through an integrated landscape approach, PROGREEN helps countries meet their national and global sustainable development goals and commitments, including poverty reduction, in a cost-effective manner.

PROGREEN focuses on three priority areas:

  • Management of Terrestrial Ecosystems
  • Management of Land-Use Changes from Agriculture
  • Management of Landscapes Involving Select Sectors

Cross-cutting issues – engaging communities and vulnerable groups; climate change mitigation and resilience needs; and leveraging and mobilizing finance for development – are integrated into the program.

Why is PROGREEN needed?

Healthy forests and land-based ecosystems provide multiple, essential services to life on the planet, such as water cycle regulation, carbon sequestration, and habitat for biodiversity.  They also sustain livelihoods, providing people with food, fuel, shelter, and jobs. However, forests and landscapes are under significant and increasing threat due to deforestation and land degradation driven by land conversion for agriculture, infrastructure, mining and other activities and unsustainable management of natural resources. This loss of forests and productive lands impacts rural areas the most, where 78 percent of the world’s poor live. PROGREEN was established to help countries tackle these challenges in an integrated manner.

What is the World Bank already doing on forests and landscapes?

The World Bank supports countries in their efforts to harness the potential of forests to reduce poverty, better integrate forests into their economies, and protect and strengthen the environmental role forests play—locally and globally. The Forest Action Plan for FY16-20 (FAP) guides the Bank’s engagement with a focus on two priority areas: investments in sustainable forest management; and “forest-smart” interventions that take a holistic look at forest landscapes, so that investments in sectors like agriculture, transport and energy do not erode forest capital. Since the adoption of the FAP in 2016, the World Bank’s forest portfolio increased from US$1.8 billion to US$3 billion in 2019.

How does PROGREEN fit into the World Bank’s overall work on forests and landscapes?

Building on the Forest Action Plan for FY16-20, the World Bank combines a landscape approach with the reform of national policies for governance, fiscal, trade and financial systems to promote an integrated, multi-sectoral approach to sustainable landscape management. PROGREEN’s goal of maintaining and improving ecosystem services in resilient production and conservation landscapes aligns closely with this approach. The World Bank is committed, under the Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience, to support interventions through a Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM) approach for avoiding deforestation and promoting landscape restoration or sustainable forest management for 120 million hectares of forests in 50 countries by 2025.

How is PROGREEN different from other global funds?

PROGREEN is unique in several respects:

  • PROGREEN’s primary focus is to enable countries to deliver on their national development objectives and global commitments on forests, biodiversity, landscapes and climate change, in an integrated and cost-effective manner.
  • PROGREEN intends to achieve this by on improving the livelihoods of the rural poor through interventions that increase economic opportunities and food security, while also slowing deforestation, restoring degraded lands, conserving biodiversity and helping to mitigate climate change.
  • PROGREEN brings together sectors that are the main drivers of deforestation and forest and land degradation – such as agriculture, infrastructure, and extractives – to work together with the shared goal of creating sustainable landscapes. This is a significant shift from business as usual where such sectors usually work to maximize their short-term interests.
  • PROGREEN enables impact at scale by reorienting national policies (fiscal, governance, trade and financial sector policies and institutions) to create incentives for sustainable landscape management practices such as responsible commodity value chains, sustainable land management and nature-based solutions.
  • PROGREEN has been created in a way that is flexible and responsive to individual country conditions and evolving priorities.

How much money have donors put into PROGREEN?

Germany, the seed funder for PROGREEN, is contributing 200 million Euros to kickstart the program. This commitment underscores Germany’s strong focus on forests, landscape restoration, and biodiversity more generally. Other key donors have shown strong support for PROGREEN and the goal is to ultimately raise about USD$1 billion for the fund.

How does PROGREEN help countries tackle forest fires?

Forest fires are a problem across the globe, in Africa, Indonesia and the Amazon, to name a few places. Forest and land degradation along with global warming exacerbate the risks from fires. PROGREEN will develop innovative fire management tools, such as early warning systems and fire management guidelines. It will strengthen fire preparedness, involving key stakeholders such as local communities, and facilitate dialogue across sectors on managing disasters such as fire.  It will also address some of the underlying and challenging causes of forest fires, such as unclear tenure security in forested areas. 

Last Updated: Sep 23,2019