EU REDD Facility: Supporting developing countries to slow, halt and reverse deforestation

EU REDD Facility: Supporting developing countries to slow, halt and reverse deforestation

How EU work to reduce emissions from forest loss is improving land use governance and tackling the drivers of deforestation

The EU REDD Facility works in Africa, Asia and South America. It empowers stakeholders to explore innovative solutions to reduce emissions from deforestation and improve land use governance. It is building an enabling environment for forest friendly development and investment.

Valerie Merckx, REDD+ Team Leader

CONTEXT

As part of its efforts to mitigate climate change, the EU supports work to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+) in developing countries. In the past, climate negotiators gave little consideration to drivers of deforestation and forest degradation such as weak governance and lack of tenure clarity. Now, thanks to cooperation at a national level with the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, REDD+ can push forward forest governance reforms, improve stakeholder engagement and help balance competing interests over natural resources.

OBJECTIVES

  • Develop innovative ways to address the drivers of deforestation and degradation by improving weak land-use governance, inadequate law enforcement and lack of transparency at national and subnational levels.
  • Improve clarity over tenure, access rights and the legal frameworks that guide land allocation. This is important for communities, governments and the private sector.
  • Provide lessons on how to ensure agricultural commodities are produced with little or no deforestation whilst increasing food security and respecting the livelihoods of smallholder producers.

RESULTS

  • The Republic of the Congo improved an existing model for revenue distribution in the forest sector to share the benefits of REDD+ effectively and equitably.
  • Cameroon progressed on the implementation of its 2011 land-use planning law by making use of the Common Mapping Platform (CMP). The CMP is a tool developed by the EU REDD Facility and its partners that brings together social, environmental and geographical data to inform land-use planning decisions and provides stakeholders access to relevant information.
  • Côte d'Ivoire’s major chocolate manufacturers showed how REDD+ could make it cost effective for agricultural commodity production to go deforestation-free. In result, Côte d’Ivoire’s National Determined Contribution highlights the transition to zero-deforestation agriculture as a major strategic policy measure. Major chocolate manufacturers are now engaging with the government to discuss how to source zero-deforestation cocoa and making zero-deforestation agriculture a reality in collaboration with smallholders.
  • Indonesian partners have developed principles for a system to monitor the sustainability of land use at provincial and district levels. The project developed indicators, performance milestones and criteria for good land-use governance.
  • The EU REDD Facility, the Global Canopy Programme and the Stockholm Environment Institute developed Trase to help private and public institutions worldwide make decisions that reduce the risk of deforestation associated with supply chains and investments. Transparency for Sustainable Economies (Trase) is an online platform aimed at improving the transparency, clarity and accessibility of information on the commodity supply chains that drive tropical deforestation.
  • In the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo, methodologies were developed and tested to expand the Independent Monitoring of FLEG to REDD+ and broader land-use governance. This allows Non-State Actors to undertake field investigations in the forest sector and hold various stakeholders accountable for not respecting the legal and institutional frameworks regulating the land-use sector. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an innovative approach was tested using REDD+ incentives to strengthen legal compliance by logging companies. Companies that engage in the Emission Reduction Program (funded by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility) will benefit from technical support to help them comply with DRC forestry laws.

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FACTS AND FIGURES

  • 6 – the number of countries in which the EU REDD Facility is active
  • 5 – the number of Member States supporting the EU REDD Facility in addition to the European Commission (France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, United Kingdom)

TESTIMONY

Brice Baketiba, National Technical Assistant for local development funds, Likoala Department, Republic of the Congo

Our work in the Republic of the Congo helps communities receive benefits from logging operations to support local development projects. Companies release the funds, but the money often gets lost through inefficient spending, bureaucratic hurdles and corruption. Villagers are still waiting for basic necessities like fishing equipment, farming supplies and water pumps.

I work in the densely forested Likoala Department of the Republic of the Congo. Communities here are impoverished, and administrative bodies lack the basic capacity to channel concession funds into projects that benefit local residents.

We find that the beneficiaries, the local communities, want to be involved and become really committed. The project’s approach is to fine-tune the system that is there rather than develop a new benefit distribution model from scratch. Improvements can be made by drawing on existing knowledge and experience.

We noticed that there were a lot of problems with the previous system. The money was not reaching the beneficiaries, the projects were badly designed, or there was no proper monitoring. We are therefore creating safeguards to make the process more accountable. Treasury administrators often receive funds in cash, without proper accountability processes. To avoid misuse of funds, proper monitoring is needed to ensure transparency. You can support community micro-projects, but if there is no effective monitoring, the project cannot be completed.

In the context of REDD+, the Republic of the Congo is exploring ways to engage communities to reduce deforestation and promote climate smart agriculture. Projects are already underway that compensate local communities for undertaking low forest impact activities. And these types of incentive systems are set to grow in number.

All the improvements that we made were of interest to the National REDD+ Coordination Committee in the Republic of the Congo. They consider this work to be a model that can be adapted to the REDD+ mechanism more widely.