Goal 8: Provide support for the development and implementation of strategies to reduce forest emissions

Key Messages

  • Combined bilateral and multilateral ODA committed to climate change mitigation and the forestry sector in developing countries increased from US$548 million in 2013 to US$739 million in 2014. This increase was due to the doubling of bilateral ODA commitments, while multilateral ODA saw a small decrease. Major donors include Germany, Japan, and the UK.
  • We lack satisfactory datasets to track public finance flows among developing countries, domestic spending in developed and developing countries to reduce forest-related emissions, or private investments in strategies to reduce forest emissions.




This goal focuses on communicated ODA supportxv for strategies to reduce forest emissions. ‘Strategies’ are defined as concerted efforts to reduce emissions from forests, whether through high-level policies or laws, government programs, private sector initiatives or local projects. In the 2015 report, we defined five criteria, listed in Table 8. This update is focused on Indicator 1.1, the only indicator for which updated data are available to measure quantitative progress.


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Criterion 1: International public climate finance targeted at forestry in developing countries

Indicator 1.1: Climate-relevant ODA for forestry committed by OECD countries

According to OECD data, overall ODA commitments to climate change mitigation in the forestry sector increased substantially between 2013 and 2014, from US$548 million to US$739 million. Bilateral ODA relevant to this indicator has doubled since last year, from US$268 to 535 million in 2014, while multilateral ODA saw a decrease from US$280 to 204 million (Figure 6). In both years, grants were the main financial instrument of bilateral ODA, while multilateral ODA was largely given in the form of loans and in the case of a few donors, equity. The large increase in bilateral ODA was primarily due larger allocations from three of the top five donors, in particular the UK, Japan, and Germany. Note that United States ODA for forests is not officially linked to climate mitigation, but to biodiversity, which excludes the significant amounts of US forest assistance from our data.




New disbursement mechanism for forest finance through the GCF

A new multilateral funding opportunity for forests is expected to come through the new disbursement mechanism for forest finance by the Green Climate Fund. Within its finance matrix, the GCF has established “scaling up finance for forests and climate change” as one of its five investment priorities.(38) By scaling up disbursements to programs that reduce forest carbon emissions (e.g. agroforestry, forest conservation and management), GCF plans to provide additional investment for projects and programs that support and complement results-based incentives.


Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) to prevent deforestation

CAFI, a coalition between the European Union, Germany, Norway, France, the UK and Central African partners, such as the Central African Republic, the DRC, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon, as well as Brazil, was launched in 2015 to increase international financial support for REDD+ in the Central African region.(39) CAFI’s goal is to initiate forest policy reform as well as support measures that address direct and indirect drivers of deforestation.

The CAFI fund has an initial target of US$500 million until 2025 and is administered by the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office. In October 2016, commitments amount to US$250 million. DRC is the first country with an approved investment plan and will receive up to US$200 million in a combination of investment and results-based finance. Other partner countries are in the process of developing their investment plans.


World Bank’s support for forests

In its Forest Action Plan for the financial years 2016-20, the World Bank expresses its goal to take further steps in linking forest protection with sustainable economic and social development.(40) The plan defines two focal areas for action: sustainable forest management and forest-smart interventions in other sectors. In addition, in its Climate Change Action Plan, the World Bank further commits itself to help developing “REDD strategies in more than 50 countries, develop/implement a large-scale, multisectoral program promoting “forest-smart” development and mobilizing IBRD/IDA/REDD+ financing in 10 countries, and prepare Country Forestry Notes in at least 20 countries”.(41) As part of the African Climate Business Plan from 2015, the World Bank reinforces its support to Africa’s forest agenda by pledging to support forest protection and sustainable forest management practices.(42) Expected outcomes, understood to be conservative estimates, include 20 million hectares of conserved forest cover, 40 million tons CO2e in emission reductions and carbon sequestration, and around 8 million hectares under biodiversity protection.




Data on ODA commitments for climate change mitigation and forestry are available from OECD. Transparency could be enhanced if OECD members would differentiate between results-based finance as disbursement category and provide information not only on pledges, but also on disbursement of forest finance. For all other indicators, there is a complete lack of data sources that provide comprehensive, continuous globally comparable information on funding.