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For a forest-rich country, Colombia faces a surprising economic dilemma. More than half of the country is covered by forest, and yet the growing demand for wood products is being supplied by imports – not local industry.
While the construction sector – the largest consumer of wood in Colombia – has grown by an impressive 7 percent between 2005 and 2014, the contribution of the forestry sector to national GDP has actually fallen over this time period, from 1.4 percent to 1.1 percent. Meanwhile, Colombian exports of wood products have stagnated around 3 percent of national production. Based on projections of future demand, this supply gap will only widen: by 2030, Colombian markets will need 4 million m3 more in raw wood materials than it currently produces domestically.[i]
These numbers suggest that Colombia is missing out on a significant investment opportunity, according to a new report commissioned by the Government of Colombia and the World Bank, with support from the Program on Forests (PROFOR).
The study finds that Colombia could not only use its own resources to meet all local demand for wood products, but also supply international markets, which are also on the rise: global demand for timber, pulp and paper products could quadruple by 2050.
Such an expansion would require an ambitious export scenario, where Colombia increases its commercial forest plantations by 464,000 hectares, but is well within the realm of possibility. According to recent land classifications, Colombia has 24.8 million hectares of land suitable for commercial reforestation, of which 30 percent (7.3 million hectares) are considered highly suitable. Eventually, the gross production value of Colombia’s forestry sector could be as high as 12 trillion Colombian Pesos (over 4 billion USD), while creating 35,000 permanent jobs in forest plantations and industries.
“Colombia has broad potential for developing commercial reforestation programs, given its excellent conditions for tree growth, as well as its strategic geographic location for foreign trade and numerous free trade agreements,” said Karin Kemper, World Bank senior director for the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Global Practice, at the official launch of the report in Bogotá, Colombia. “This effort would not only have important economic and social impacts by creating jobs and reducing poverty in the countryside, but also play a significant role in mitigation and adaptation to climate change.”
Indeed, commercial reforestation could contribute to Colombia’s pledge of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20-30 percent – a promise that the government takes seriously. "Colombia is committed to policies and tax reforms that help us successfully implement the Paris Agreement, as evidenced by the structural tax reform approved last year," confirmed Minister of Finance Mauricio Cárdenas.
"This report is fundamental in the context of transforming rural areas and the Colombian Government’s Green growth strategy,” said Silvia Calderón, director for environment at Colombia’s National Planning Department, in separate remarks. “Its recommendations will contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources and to the development of the forest economy."
Given Colombia’s high level of political support for green growth policies, what will it take, in practice, to fulfill the potential of the country’s forestry sector? The report lays out detailed recommendations for increasing the productivity of commercial forest plantations and the governance structure around them, as well as improving the competitiveness of Colombian wood processing industries in domestic and international markets.
“By providing very realistic and concrete recommendations, with set targets and timelines, we hope this report can guide the Colombian government in making the most of its exceptional forest resources, while also helping to protect natural forests that might otherwise be threatened by the growing demand for wood products,” said Franka Braun, World Bank senior carbon finance specialist. “Colombia has already expressed interest in commercial reforestation investments in the Orinoquía region, so this initiative is off to a promising start.”
 Unidad de Planificación Rural Agropecuaria (UPRA) 2014: Zonificación para plantaciones forestales con fines comerciales a escala 1:100,000, http://www.upra.gov.co/publicaciones/-/asset_publisher/Gcha9Rfz1eZm/content/zonificacion-para-plantaciones-forestales-con-fines-comerciales-colombia-escala-1100-000
[i] As measured in m3 of roundwood equivalents, defined as the volume of small logs typically used in the manufacture of wood-based products like wood pulp, paper, furniture and plywood.
Photo: Santiago Restrepo Calle/Flickr.com
Last Updated : 10-31-2017
The toolkit had multiple authors including Gill Shepherd and Jill Blockhus. Experts from CIFOR, IUCN, ODI, PROFOR, Winrock International and the World Bank contributed to this work.
An estimated 1.2 billion people rely on forests for some part of their livelihoods. However, the importance of forests is often overlooked in national development processes such as poverty reduction strategies due to inadequate evidence documenting how forests sustain the poor.
To build better knowledge on this critical relationship, PROFOR developed a “Poverty-Forests Linkages Toolkit” to facilitate relevant data collection and analysis. The Toolkit was created in partnership with CIFOR, IUCN, ODI, and Winrock International, on the basis of case studies in Guinea, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Nepal, and Tanzania.
The first draft of the Toolkit was completed in April 2007, and was based on piloting and field testing in three different locations in Indonesian Papua (highlands, lowlands and a mangrove area) and in Tanzania. A consortium of national level organizations led by the International Institute for Economic Development and the Center for International Development and Training carried out further pilots of the Toolkit in four African countries - Cameroon, Ghana, Madagascar and Uganda.
What the Poverty-Forest Linkages Toolkit Includes
- A set of rapid appraisal methods to gather information on economic as well as other contributions from forests to households, especially the poor;
- Methods for analyzing field data for the potential role of forests in reducing poverty and vulnerability and policy options for improving the contribution of forests to rural livelihoods;
- Suggestions for how to frame the results so as to be relevant to the planners, government agencies and other institutions and organizations, at both local and national levels;
- An explanation of the PRSP process and identification of the strategies and skills needed for influencing the PRSP process (including potential entry points for forestry); and
- A Field Manual to support training and capacity building for local government forest officials, collection of information to understand forest dependence locally and hands-on application of participatory assessment tools
Field Tools and their Purpose
Purpose: Understand how poor househoulds use and depend on forest resources
Local Landscape Situation Analysis
Purpose: Understand how villagers use local resources
Timeline and Trends
Purpose: Record changes in forest resources agriculture, local livelihood strategies and income
Aim: Determine subsistence reliance on forests and the annual income from forests
Forests Problem and Solution Matrix
Purpose: Identify and rank forest problems and suggest solutions
Trees and Forest Products Importance
Purpose: Rank forest products by importance for cash or subsistence use
Millennium Development Goals Chart
Purpose: to show the contribution of forests to the achievement of the MDGs
Purpose: To express the contribution of forestry in monetary terms
- After piloting was completed in 2008, PROFOR developed a field-compatible version of the toolkit and started providing training in its use. Over 50 World Bank staff and external participants were trained during the World Bank’s annual Sustainable Development Network Forum in March 2009. The toolkit was also disseminated at the XIII World Forestry Congress in October 2009. The training of a dozen National Forest Programme Facility coaches at FAO in February 2010 concluded PROFOR’s direct engagement with the toolkit and transferred product and skills to the NFP Facility for roll out in their country activities.
- IUCN has used the toolkit extensively in its Livelihoods and Landscapes Strategy program, which is active in 23 countries. Using the toolkit, IUCN has extracted new information on the importance of cash and non-cash forest income for forest-dependent people.
- New needs are also arising from the REDD+ process as countries struggle to understand the link between livelihoods and depdendence on forest resources.
Author : The toolkit had multiple authors including Gill Shepherd and Jill Blockhus.
Experts from CIFOR, IUCN, ODI, PROFOR, Winrock International and the World
Bank contributed to this work.
Last Updated : 09-25-2017
Enhancing Capacity for Livelihoods Development in the Tonlé Sap and Cardamom Mountains Landscape in Cambodia
Over the last two decades, Cambodia achieved remarkable economic growth and graduated from a low- to a lower middle-income country. This growth has largely been driven by the country’s rich and diverse natural capital, which supports the livelihoods of millions of Cambodians but is rapidly being degraded from unsustainable use. For instance, agriculture - which is heavily dependent on natural resources and ecosystem services - contributed to 30 percent of GDP in 2015, and the livelihoods of more than five million people. However, according to official estimates, forest cover declined by 21 percent between 2006 and 2014, mainly due to the conversion of forests to agriculture or rubber plantations within economic land concessions.
To counter the rapid decline in forest area, the Royal Government of Cambodia has adopted several policies, strategies and plans to encourage improved forest use and protection. While these changes are positive, many institutional, information and investment challenges remain. In particular, more comprehensive cost-benefit analyses are needed to assess potential investments in sustainable livelihoods and ecosystem services. In addition, implementation of an integrated landscapes approach to forest programming requires strengthening institutional capacities at the national and subnational levels, as well as improving information and decision-support systems.
The key components of this activity will be:
- The development a national forest monitoring system. Efforts will be made to coordinate with complementary efforts by other development partners and NGOs, to bring together maps and data on forestry, land use, biodiversity, ecosystems, water resources, and soil conditions, to effectively inform decision-making at the local levels. Spatial mapping platforms and GIS resources will be used to compile an interface for informing suitable and sustainable livelihoods and projecting impacts from climate change and economic development.
- Carrying out an institutional development needs assessment, at the national and sub-national levels. It will include the identification of implementation needs for operationalizing the government’s new “corridors approach” for the integrated management of forest landscapes, as well as for anticipated reforms to the environmental code and the framework on the co-management of forests and natural resources.
- Undertake an options assessment of investments in sustainable livelihoods and natural assets. This will help determine the various livelihoods options that could be implemented to build community resilience, protect natural resource assets, and promote a sustained and green growth pathway in the Tonle Sap watersheds and Cardamom Mountains landscapes. The PROFOR Forest Poverty Toolkit will be applied, building additional layers of detail specific to Cambodia, including through by using key informant interviews and focus group discussions. Based on these findings, policy recommendations will be generated on the way forward for landscape-level planning, programming, and investment typologies.
This activity is ongoing. Findings will be shared on this page when they become available.
Last Updated : 09-25-2017
This PROFOR activity aims to build the necessary evidence base and rationale for developing a regional and harmonized program on landscape restoration and sustainable management in the arid, semi-arid, and desert areas of sub-Saharan Africa, the Maghreb, and the Mashreq.
In MENA and sub-Saharan African countries, there is a growing awareness of the important social, economic and environmental roles played by forests, rangelands, and oasis landscapes. All of these ecosystems face threats from agricultural expansion and increasing demand for food, fiber, fuel, and minerals, as well as misguided agricultural policies.
There is also growing evidence of significant negative externalities from landscape degradation - including the impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss, air pollution, soil erosion, rural poverty, and migration. These issues are gaining political attention at the global, regional, and national levels, but while several initiatives have been launched to combat landscape degradation and strengthen resilience to climate change, more transformative investment is needed.
This activity will first review existing literature on the extent, impact, and economic costs of land degradation and desertification over the last couple of decades in MENA and Sub-Saharan African countries.
Subsequently, the team will assess progress made by national and regional restoration programs, and identify the primary barriers to furthering that progress using PROFOR’s PRIME framework. Other land restoration programs will be evaluated for lessons learned and applicability to the targeted regions, including experiences from China (e.g. the Green Wall Initiative) and the United States (e.g. actions taken to combat the Dust Bowl phenomenon).
Based on this analysis, this activity will explore how the World Bank can best leverage its convening power to bring together (and finance) restoration initiatives. An economic feasibility study will be carried out, looking at the potential for a regional program on landscape restoration and sustainable management.
This activity is ongoing. Results will be reported as the implementation of this project progresses.
Last Updated : 07-21-2017
Building National-Scale Evidence on the Contribution of Forests to Household Welfare: A Forestry Module for Living Standards Measurement Surveys
Forests and trees in rural landscapes contribute to human wellbeing in a variety of ways. They provide a range of goods—from fruit to timber, fodder to firewood—and services such as pollination, hydrological regulation, and carbon sequestration that support the livelihoods of millions of people. Despite these contributions and growing recognition of the importance of landscape approaches, forests and trees often remain peripheral in wider development policy discussions. Part of the reason for this marginalization is that developing country decision-makers and planners lack the most basic information about the role and importance of the forestry sector to their national economies. Researchers, advocates, and policymakers alike increasingly recognize that a variety of assets and activities beyond agriculture underpin rural livelihoods, but the picture is incomplete in many circumstances without reliable national-scale data on the contribution of forests and trees.
Comparative research in a variety of developing country settings demonstrates the important contribution that forests can play in mitigating and reducing poverty (see, e.g., recent PROFOR and CIFOR studies). However, available evidence is primarily site specific and it is not clear whether results can be extrapolated to the national level. The absence of national-scale evidence on forests-poverty linkages impedes holistic understanding of the role forests can play in providing pathways out of poverty and the development of policies to achieve sustainable reductions in poverty and inequality. Lack of such data also limits capacity to establish adequate baselines, track changes over time, and assess the impact of forest-related investments on poverty.
This activity will help address this knowledge gap by developing a forestry module and sourcebook on its use in the context of the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS), LSMS-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) and other similar national survey instruments. The objective of this activity is to mainstream the collection of national scale data on the contribution of the forestry sector to household welfare by developing and disseminating the forestry module and sourcebook. In addition to PROFOR and LSMS, this activity is a collaboration of the FAO Forestry Department, the Poverty and Environment Network (PEN), coordinated by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) research network, and the University of Copenhagen.
The main outputs of this activity is the sourcebook ‘’National socioeconomic surveys in forestry: guidance and survey modules for measuring the multiple roles of forests in household welfare and livelihoods." Field-testing was successfully carried out in Tanzania (financed by PROFOR) and Indonesia (financed by CIFOR). Based on the results of these field tests, the module and sourcebook were revised and finalized. The outputs were disseminated at the World Forestry Congress (September 2015) and at the FAO during the International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (October 2016), targeting national statistical agencies, forestry departments and related agencies.
Author : The World Bank , PROFOR , FAO 
Last Updated : 03-03-2017
Trees have the potential to be an important crop in the overall agriculture, food security, and poverty debates in setting appropriate policy in Sub-Saharan African countries. However, there is currently insufficient knowledge and appreciation of the benefits of on-farm tree planting (and agroforestry) to agricultural production and farmers’ livelihoods.
This activity aims to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the role of on-farm trees in forestry (as a share of total forest land), agriculture, and farmers’ livelihoods in Africa. The study proposes to establish a baseline for further benchmarking and tracking the evolution of on-farm tree planting within the broader context of Africa’s forestry developments. Policy discussions will be informed by more nationally representative, data-driven analysis and evidence-based in-country dialogues on the role of on-farm trees in Africa’s forestry and agricultural policies by linking the rich, geo-referenced socioeconomic data sets of households with secondary information on forests.
The final report Prevalence, Economic Contribution, and Determinants of Trees on Farms across Sub-Saharan Africa was published on August 2016.
Significantly, this report provides the first national-scale evidence on the contribution of trees outside of forests to household incomes in Africa. The report summarizes data collected from the Living Standards Measurement Study–Integrated Surveys on Agriculture in five countries: Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The report findings show that trees on farms are widespread. On average, one third of rural smallholders grow trees. In fact, trees account for an average of 17 percent of total annual gross income for tree-growing households and 6 percent for all rural households. Gender, land and labor endowments, and especially forest proximity and national context are key determinants of on-farm tree adoption and management. These new, national-scale insights on the prevalence, economic contribution and determinants of trees on farms in Africa lay the basis for exploring the interaction of agriculture, on-farm tree cultivation, and forestry. This will improve our understanding of rural livelihood dynamics.
Finally, a key achievement has been that our work has placed trees on farms more squarely on the agenda for World Bank-supported national household survey data collection in the coming years. Further investment in the inclusion of forestry modules in household surveys can help strengthen the information base on on-farm tree growing. Otherwise, the contribution of trees on farms risks being ignored and left out in agricultural and landscape policy design.
Author : LSMS-ISA, Worldbank 
Last Updated : 05-23-2017
At the heart of whether growth in a country is green and sustainable is the issue of accumulation of wealth. It is wealth — broadly defined to include manufactured capital, natural capital (including forests), human and social capital— that underlies the generation of national income. Gross domestic product (GDP) has conventionally been used to assess economic performance, measuring economic growth from one year to the next. But GDP does not take into account depreciation and depletion of wealth, and therefore does not provide an indication of whether growth is sustainable: an economy could appear to be growing in the near term by running down its assets such as its forests. Assessments of economic performance should therefore be based on both measures of annual growth (such as GDP) and measures of the comprehensive wealth of a country, which indicate whether that growth is sustainable in the long term.
For the past 15 years, the World Bank has provided indicators to measure the sustainability of a country’s growth path, such as Adjusted Net Saving (ANS), adjusted Net National Income (aNNI), and comprehensive wealth estimates. Underpinning these indicators are data on natural resource rents (from forests, minerals, and energy) which provide policy makers with information on potential revenues from natural capital.
The comprehensive wealth accounts, which have been published for 1995, 2000, and 2005, include estimates for forest wealth which is calculated as the sum of the net present value of rents from timber extraction and annual benefits from non-timber resources, including minor forest products, hunting, recreation, and watershed protection. ANS, which is published annually and covers the period 1970-present, is defined as net national saving adjusted for investments in human capital, depletion of natural resources (including forests), and damages to human health caused by pollution, and provides an estimate of the annual change in wealth.
Recent findings suggest that while wealth data and ANS data are used by researchers and policy analysts, the greatest demand is for data on natural resource rents. However, while minerals and energy rent data have gained a lot of traction, rent data for forests are not used as frequently. Interviews have revealed concerns with the credibility of the underlying data, such as the FAO data on forest area and growing stock. The authors of the indicators have also concluded that a number of methodological changes could improve estimates for forest wealth, potential forest rents, and net forest depletion.
This activity hopes to increase the use of improved World Bank forest data (forest rents, net forest depletion, and forest wealth), so that countries and data users are better equipped with credible and more accurate information on the physical area and value of forest resources. Countries should consider not just the flow of revenues from forest resources, but also the sustainable management of the asset (stock of forest resources).
- Data on the value of forest wealth, its share in total wealth, and how the value is changing over time can help governments assess the contribution of forests to current development outcomes and whether forests are being managed sustainably.
- Data on potential forest rents when combined with information on actual rent recovery and use of these revenues will allow governments to assess whether contribution of forest resources to sustainable development is being realized and who is benefitting from the revenue. Such data and assessments can equip policymakers to better manage forest resources, improve forest governance, increase transparency in the rent captured, and ultimately lead to increased reinvestment of forest rents in other forms of capital to grow the total wealth of the country.
- These policy changes could, in turn, promote the sustainable management of forest resources for poverty reduction and economic growth.
The activity has been successfully completed.
A report is being finalized and will be released soon. The report reviews the latest literature, explores improved data sources, evaluates key parameters and assumptions in the methodology, and outlines the steps and resources required to improve the data and methods.
An implementation plan for updating the forest database that includes a plan for country surveys if the report finds insufficient global data will be finalized in the coming months.
Author : PROFOR , WAVES , RFF 
Last Updated : 02-24-2017
PROFOR and the World Bank
A benefit-sharing mechanism among relevant stakeholders defines who will receive benefits, in what form they will be received (i.e., monetary or non-monetary benefits) and when they will be received. Establishing well-functioning mechanisms is important for providing effective incentives to participants for undertaking - or refraining from - specified actions. In other words, benefit-sharing mechanisms fundamentally determine how stakeholders contribute to resource management; sustainability; and the way desirable development outcomes are generated, distributed and reinvested. While establishing effective and equitable benefit-sharing mechanisms in the forest sector is clearly important, it has been a severe challenge in many countries, especially in those countries that lack the institutional and legal foundation to secure land, forest and carbon rights, or who fail to identify and provide proper incentives for sustainable forest management.
The major objective of this activity is to develop country roadmaps for benefit-sharing arrangements using PROFOR’s Options Assessment Framework, which employs a participatory approach to analyze and improve benefit-sharing arrangements. This technical assistance initially aimed to target three countries in Latin America, Africa and East Asia.
The activity was successfully developed and implemented in close cooperation with CONAFOR, the key agency responsible for overseeing the REDD+ program in Mexico. Key milestones achieved include:
- Preparing and revising the initial country background report to accommodate comments from the World Bank, the PROFOR team and CONAFOR;
- Adapting the PROFOR tool to fit the context of Mexico's REDD+ progress and focus;
- Hosting a webinar in order to receive feedback on the content of the country report;
- Revising the country background report to accommodate comments from the webinar from actors involved in the REDD+ process in Mexico, such as federal and state government, NGOs, and academia;
- Holding a regional workshop focused on the core scoring exercise of the tool. The workshop took place in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico given its status as an Early REDD+ Action Area. The national workshop in Mexico City, Mexico then discussed, validated and refined the results from the regional workshop, with a policy-oriented angle. The project was later presented as a forum session at the World Forestry Congress in Durban in September 2015.
The activity as a whole is a roadmap to guide Mexico in the establishment of an appropriate benefit sharing mechanism for REDD+. Please see the final project report at left for details.
In parallel, Uganda is being explored as a possible second country.
Author : PROFOR and the World Bank
Last Updated : 12-18-2017
Traditional oases in Tunisia have significant potential in terms of: intensive development leading to job creation; biodiversity support; diversification through innovative and green activities; and tourism based on exceptional natural beauty in the South. However, these oases face a number of threats. Traditional oases are characterized by: old plantations; three-layered vegetated surfaces; high-tree density (400 trees/ha); very fragmented and small sized individual plantations; low yields; and irrigation from declining water tables. In addition, poor marketing opportunities, limited credit, inheritance practices that continually subdivide land holdings and result in poor land management, and inappropriate tourist development have increased the overuse of natural resources, especially water. This, coupled with the breakdown of land management practices, has helped to increase salinization, loss of soil fertility and sand encroachment. Access to crop and livestock resources to cope with these conditions, and the increased pest and disease problems associated with biodiversity loss, are affecting the survival of oasis farmers. Other challenges include: limited opportunities for capacity development; inappropriate policies and legislative instruments; low level of involvement of local populations, particularly women, in decision-making processes; and the continuing loss of traditional knowledge.
This activity seeks to support the development of a coherent and comprehensive national strategy for the sustainable management of traditional oasis ecosystems in Tunisia, or an Oasis Participatory Development Plan (OPDP), which will involve all stakeholders. This strategy will provide a framework for initiatives aimed at supporting and improving the specific ecosystem services that oases provide, conservation and enhancement of the genetic diversity, and improving livelihoods of people living in traditional oases. The aim will be to develop and pilot a new dynamic participatory approach that enhances the resilience of the traditional oasis ecosystem and involves all relevant stakeholders at local and national levels. The studies supported by the project will build on the findings of a number of analytical studies already carried out by the Government and its development partners (such as the GIZ-supported study on sustainable management of oasis systems, including appropriate indicators, and the IUCN & UKaid study on natural resource governance), and enlarge their scope.
An overall strategic vision for the sustainable management of oasis ecosystems has been prepared, stakeholders have reviewed a comprehensive draft of the strategy, and a number of baseline studies have been produced. The OPDP framework was prepared and reviewed by stakeholders, and six oases were selected, representing a variety of Tunisian oasis ecosystems, and are currently under completion. In addition, a communications strategy and an action plan are being developed, with expected completion in March or April 2015.
An overall national strategic vision for the sustainable management of oasis ecosystems has been prepared. Stakeholders reviewed and approved the national strategy. The development of the strategy has been completed in the context of the World Bank (WB)/Global Environment Facility (GEF) Oasis project, by the elaboration of an action plan which was validated during a national workshop in September 2015.
The framework of an OPDP has been prepared and reviewed by stakeholders, and six oases were selected, representing a variety of Tunisian oasis ecosystems. The OPDP includes a number of priority community-based micro-projects, which translate the strategic vision into immediate investment priorities, including sustainable management of water and soils, protection of biodiversity and diversification of local livelihoods).
Several national workshops and regional consultations have been organized to disseminate, present and validate the strategy and the OPDPs with national and local stakeholders. A communication strategy has been developed and disseminated.
Author : World Bank
Last Updated : 05-23-2017
The inclusion of communities in the management of state-owned forest resources has become increasingly common in the last 30 years. Surveys suggest that the forest area under community tenure or management is now approaching 25% of the global forest estate. Community forestry approaches vary a lot, both between countries and sites, and the differences often evolve around institutional dimensions such as benefit- and power-sharing arrangements. Understanding has increased regarding the multiple benefits of community empowerment in the forest sector, as well as regarding the limitations and constraints associated with it.
More recently, the emergence of REDD+ has permeated the participatory forestry discourse, and the integration of local communities is seen as a critical ingredient of an equitable REDD+ architecture. This has been supported by some first-evidence from applied research, which cautions against blueprint solutions and advocates for a robust analysis of site-specific, socioeconomic and governance variables and of national enabling environments.
We still have, however, a very limited evidence base regarding whether some of the conditions that underpin successful community forestry regimes will also apply to REDD+ schemes. While many elements, such as the role of collective action through user groups, will transfer to carbon forestry, others entail significant differences, such as price volatility or separate carbon rights.
PROFOR supported a study that will contribute to the debate about the potential and constraints of community forestry approaches in order to strike a balance between forest management, livelihood enhancement and carbon sequestration in the context of emerging REDD+ architectures (national accounting/implementation, project-level accounting/implementation, national accounting/project implementation). The study focuses on the following policy questions:
- What are the cost factors and non-economic barriers to the adoption of REDD+ schemes at the community level?
- How are synergies and trade-offs between carbon sequestration and livelihood goals identified and managed?
- What role do different benefit- and power-sharing approaches play, and how are they differentiated in the respective REDD architectures?
- How can communities effectively and efficiently engage with globalized carbon markets?
- What responsibilities can communities assume in terms of measurement, reporting and verification (MRV)?
Addressing these questions will help to develop guidance for policymakers and project proponents to design and implement REDD+ interventions that involve and benefit communities.
This activity includes: a synthesis report detailing good practices and lessons learned in community forestry; case studies in three countries (Nepal, Tanzania and Bolivia) that focus on specific criteria and barriers, such as tenure, social capital and access to credit (included in the synthesis report); and a Guidance Note, intended for an audience of REDD+ policy and operations practitioners, on mainstreaming community forestry in REDD+ strategies and projects.
The synthesis report has been printed and was disseminated at two key REDD+ events in Jamaica and Peru. In addition, the report has been made available on the PROFOR website, and a blog post introduces the key findings and messages.
The synthesis report uses a thorough literature review and analysis of primary data collected by the International Forestry Resources and Institutions research network from 57 community forest management (CFM) sites to achieve three objectives. First, a framework for examining interactions and relationships between CFM and REDD+ was established. Second, these relationships were empirically investigated in three countries: Nepal, Tanzania, and Bolivia. All three countries have a strong history of CFM, and each is engaged in the development of REDD+ or related institutional architectures. Finally, based on analysis of the data, key recommendations are provided for communities, project developers, policymakers and researchers.
Lessons on the factors that contribute to the success of CFM may be useful in the design of REDD+ programs. In a similar manner, REDD+ may also benefit from harnessing the capital developed by CFM. A partnership between CFM and REDD+ could represent a win-win scenario, with REDD+ providing resources to strengthen CFM sites and institutions, and CFM providing its experience, lessons and capital to achieve REDD+ goals.
Three ways were identified in which the two mechanisms may develop synergies, including by: (1) applying the lessons from community participation in forest management to the development of REDD+ strategies everywhere; (2) modifying existing CFM forests and institutions to achieve REDD+ goals (e.g., developing community MRV mechanisms to establish verifiable emissions reductions); and (3) extending the area of forests managed by communities globally.
In Nepal and Tanzania, most REDD+ readiness activities and pilot projects are being implemented in CFM landscapes. These on-the-ground actions demonstrate that it is possible to leverage CFM interventions and experiences to support the achievement of REDD+ objectives, and that such an approach can be central to national REDD+ strategies in countries where CFM sites constitute a substantial proportion of the forest estate. These REDD+ pilot projects harness and build on the substantial human, institutional, natural and physical capital in CFM sites. In particular, the institutional capacity of community groups involved in community forestry, and their experience of working with NGOs and government agencies to bridge the local and national levels to achieve sustainable forestry, have been catalytic in the implementation of REDD+ pilot projects.
In Bolivia, few formal REDD+ activities took place before the government rejected REDD+ as a market-based mechanism for achieving climate change mitigation. Bolivia has, instead, developed a joint mitigation and adaptation mechanism, which focuses on communities, indigenous peoples and equitable forest resource management.
The study finds a strong and statistically significant association between livelihood benefits from CFM and forest dependence among households in Nepal and Bolivia, and between community forest size and forest condition/carbon outcomes in Tanzania. REDD+ brings financial support to improve community forestry activities that have historically been constrained by limited resources. Non-financial benefits include improvements in institutional capacity and human capital. Better monitoring of resource extraction and greater enforcement of rules may result in improved forest carbon and livelihood outcomes. At the same time, REDD+ poses challenges to CFM if it reduces access to forest resources by local communities, or if it creates financial incentives for management recentralization or for benefit capture by elites.
In the case study countries, REDD+ has sought to take advantage of the prior experiences and capital developed by CFM. Ultimately, the success of REDD+ as a forest-based climate change mitigation strategy will depend on improved funding, but readiness activities and pilot projects that engage with and learn from CFM are a critical element of long-term, effective, efficient and equitable REDD+.
Author : World Bank
Last Updated : 05-23-2017