US$60 million proposal for Congo’s largest-ever forest carbon emissions reduction project submitted to World Bank Carbon Fund

Posted on 08 April 2014    
Forest in DRC, Mai Ndombe region.
© Julie Pudlowski/WWF
In a major step forward, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has recently submitted an Emissions Reductions Program Idea Note (ER-PIN) to the World Bank-managed Carbon Fund of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), entering the short list of countries aiming to unlock US$60 million in emissions reductions payments. DRC’s project will be the first jurisdictional-scale REDD+ programme in Africa, covering 12.3 million hectares of land – including approximately 9.8 million hectares of forest and two and a half million hectares of mixed agricultural lands and savannah.

In DRC, the project will focus on the proposed province of Mai-Ndombe, where WWF has been an initiating partner with the government of DRC of the ER-PIN. Mai-Ndombe is an important landscape as it is on the front line of deforestation from Kinshasa, and it includes the world’s largest Ramsar site as well as critical habitat of the endangered bonobo – a great ape that lives only in DRC.

WWF has supported the government of DRC in drafting the first and current revised versions of the ER-PIN with numerous other organisations also contributing. The REDD+ preparation activities in DRC have also succeeded in demonstrating some of the important co-benefits of REDD+, including the recognition of land rights by indigenous peoples and local communities.

The revised DRC ER-PIN includes a coherent approach to drivers of deforestation, a new institutional model and more detailed principles for benefit sharing. A new estimation of carbon and adjustments is also included as well as a detailed budget that starts to consider how to manage payments to achieve the most effective mix of enabling and emission-reducing interventions across the landscape.

“As DRC’s Mai-Ndombe Emissions Reduction Programme will be the first jurisdictional REDD+ programme in Africa, it sets an important precedent for the implementation of global climate agreements in the continent and must apply the highest possible standards in programme design and implementation,” said WWF REDD+ Landscape Director Paul Chatterton.

DRC’s revised ER-PIN was prepared with the participation of more than 30 organisations which contributed through stakeholder consultations, meetings, workshops and working groups and by commenting on drafts. Drafting was finalized by the government REDD+ agency CN-REDD, with support from WWF, Wildlife Works Carbon and the local NGO umbrella group, the “Groupe de Travail Climat REDD” (GTCR). As an implementer, but not a beneficiary of credits or payments, WWF will continue to provide technical support as requested by the government of DRC. WWF has also recommended that an independent facilitator/design manager be hired to lead the design phase reporting to CN-REDD. This will be essential to ensure efficiency and avoid conflicts of interest and to ensure that the process is transparent, inclusive and systematic.

WWF considers the FCPF an important player in making REDD+ a reality and values the role it plays in working with countries to progress through the phases of REDD+ readiness and implementation.
Forest in DRC, Mai Ndombe region.
© Julie Pudlowski/WWF Enlarge

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