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Strengthening the Implementation Capacity of Forest-based NDC Commitments in Central America


The objective of this activity is to strengthen the capacity of Governments in Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) to develop strategies for a low-carbon emission economy in line with the commitments made at COP21 (also called the Paris Climate Conference) through a broad based regional policy and technical dialogue. The activities supported by PROFOR will specifically target the land-use, land-use change, and forest sector and will create synergies with other sectors identified in the countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), such as agriculture, water, transport, and energy. In addition, the proposed activities will support regional dialogue and exchange at high policy levels, technical exchanges through field visits and targeted workshops (South-South Knowledge Exchange), and analytical work responding to knowledge demand as identified by the countries.


Central America is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and natural disasters. Given the mountainous terrain and distinct coast lines, the sustainable management of forests, including mangroves, is a core element in enhancing the countries’ resilience to climate change and natural disasters. The importance of sustainable management of forests and trees is confirmed by the fact that all Central American countries have identified forestry as a key sector in their NDCs and are REDD+ countries.

However, Central American countries continue to struggle with the implementation of their NDC commitments. While the mobilization of financial resources is commonly seen as the most challenging aspect for NDC implementation, developing implementation plans and associated monitoring systems, establishing functioning institutional arrangements, and strengthening the capacity for economic analyses for decision making are similarly challenging. Although Central American countries share this common set of challenges in a broad sense, there are many differences between the institutional and technical capacities of these countries for managing forest resources and addressing NDC targets. The spectrum ranges from countries like Costa Rica that have achieved worldwide recognition for their massive reforestation achievements over the past decades, to countries like El Salvador and Guatemala that are still characterized by large-scale deforestation and land degradation.


The activity was organized into three pillars: Regional Dialogue, Strengthening Institutional Capacity, and Developing Strategies and Plans. They were accomplished through Technical South-South Exchange and Analytical work. The activity was fully integrated into the World Bank’s programmatic approach on “Supporting Central American Countries in Implementing COP 21 Commitments,” which addressed the needs of Central American countries for implementing their NDCs and providing a platform for regional exchange and dialogue, technical and financial assistance, learning and capacity building initiatives in support of NDC implementation. The activities supported by PROFOR targeted LULUCF and created create synergies with activities in other sectors that were supported through complementary funding sources.


This project has been completed.

Main Outputs:

  • Regional workshop
  • Analytical Framework, completed by each country
  • A roadmap for each country, including the prioritized forest actions to be implemented to achieve their NDC commitments, highlighting countries’ assistance needs. 

Main Outcomes

  • Improved understanding of national and regional challenges to implement NDCs.
  • Enhanced inter-institutional capacity to assess potential interventions in the forestry sector derived from COP21 commitments.
  • Improved capacity of countries to prioritize activities and identify complementary sources of funding to support LULUCF related activities.
  • Enhanced national capacities to formulate forest related NDC frameworks.
  • Improved ability of countries to implement forest related activities that contribute to NDC goals.
  • Improved regional cooperation on LULUCF, including an established collaboration platform.
  • Identification of specific commitments in the forest sector.


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Last Updated : 05-04-2020