New US$280 million initiative for sustainable forest landscapes announced by top REDD+ donor nations
Warsaw, Poland -- 20 November 2013 – Top REDD+ donor nations of Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States renewed their commitment to REDD+ today at the global climate change meeting in Warsaw, announcing a new initiative, the BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes.
The initiative is launching with an initial commitment of US$280 million, with additional partners expected to join. The announcement reinforced REDD+ as one of the few success stories at this year’s global climate change meeting, and while applauded by WWF, the global conservation organization is calling on Parties to do more and fulfill their financial commitments made since Bali in 2007.
WWF is now calling on Parties to COP19 to follow the lead of these nations and come together to agree on a REDD+ Finance mechanism, and for all Parties to step up and show their commitment to meeting the large-scale financial bar they set of US$100 billion per year by 2020.
“The announcement by top donor countries to fund the new joint REDD+ programme, the Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes, with US$280 million committed so far, is a great example of nations coming together to address climate change in ways that benefit people and nature, but more needs to be done. WWF’s expectation is that nations fulfill their promise of $100 billion per year from both public and private sources by 2020,” said Josefina Brana-Varela, Policy Director of WWF’s global Forest and Climate Programme.
“The announcement, though, sends an important and strong signal that some key nations are willing to work together to both fund and implement REDD+ -- action that needs to be embraced by other Parties in order to achieve broad agreement on a REDD+ Finance architecture,” added Brana-Varela.
“Climate change is a global priority – nations must make decisions as a global community, and not negotiate on strictly national priorities. Top REDD+ donor nations have shown in launching their initiative that they are acting as global citizens, now is the time for other nations to step up and show that they too are responsible global citizens and to agree on a REDD+ finance mechanism. This is the only way to unlock large-scale and long-term REDD+ finance and to reduce forest loss carbon emissions to the level needed to fight climate change,” said Brana-Varela.
In launching the initiative, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “The Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes is a critical new tool to help us meet our responsibilities to future generations. It will help countries move forward on REDD+ and continue to make progress on sustainable land use practices.”
In their launch statement, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States also reinforced their commitment to REDD+ and their belief that REDD+ can and will play an important role in achieving sustainable development goals – and in providing the “food, feed, fibre and fuels on which all depend, and protecting biodiversity and livelihoods.”
WWF strongly supports this concept of REDD+ as part of a larger sustainability, or green development, strategy, and is working with governments, local communities, the private sector and other key stakeholders to implement REDD+ in this way. Our new report, Building REDD+ for People and Nature, highlights the success and challenges of this work over the last three years.
World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte reinforced the need for such a holistic approach, stating, “The fate of the climate, forests and agriculture are bound together.”
The new initiative also emphasizes the need for a landscape, or jurisdictional, approach to implementation of REDD+, an approach that is supported by WWF, and one that we have implemented in our work in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, the Mai-Ndombe region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the East Kalimantan region of Indonesia on the island of Borneo – encompassing more than 15.5 million hectares.
This large-scale jurisdictional approach to REDD+ was highlighted by Norwegian Minister for Climate and the Environment Tine Sundtoft, who said, “This initiative is needed in order to demonstrate REDD+ results that are large scale taking a cross-sectorial approach and allowing for different social, political and administrative circumstances.”
The Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes will be administered by the BioCarbon Fund, a public-private program housed within the World Bank that mobilizes finance for activities that sequester or conserve carbon emissions in forest and agricultural systems.