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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 will be organized in three different pillars: Regional Dialogue, Strengthening Institutional Capacity, and Developing Strategies and Plans. They will be accomplished through Technical South-South Exchange and Analytical work. The activity will be fully integrated into the World Bank’s ongoing programmatic approach on “Supporting Central American Countries in Implementing COP 21 Commitments, ” which is addressing 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.  As such, the PROFOR supported activities targeting the land-use, land-use change, and forest sector will create synergies with activities in other sectors that are supported through complementary funding sources.


This project is ongoing. End of activity outcomes for the Program include: 

The analytical framework has been designed, complemented and completed by each country and through an interinstitutional process, has strengthened awareness and understanding of viable measures to be implemented in the forest sector to support achievement of the NDC commitments.  The analytical framework will also support countries identifying specific forest sector activities and relate them with each country´s plans and programs. It will also inform the countries NDC review process due in 2019/2020 and ahead of the 2023 stocktaking, as well as to support ongoing coordination efforts across different government sectors in the countries. 

Improved capacity of countries to prioritize activities and identify complementary sources of funding to support LULUCF related activities. On track. The regional workshop is expected to produce country roadmaps with prioritized measures on the LULUCF sector which identify capacity building, and technical and financial needs that could be addressed by the different initiatives working in the region to effectively support and respond to countries’ needs. The regional workshop is also expected to improve understanding of the barriers and opportunities for NDC implementation. In addition, the team has identified specific needs in the LULUCF sector to support NDC implementation in Honduras, which will be implemented with NDCSF funds. 

Improved regional cooperation on LULUCF, including an established collaboration platform is under preparation. Upon establishment of the NDCP, a NDC support unit and a collaboration platform were established. These instruments are open to all countries that are members of the NDCP. The NDCP will participate and co-finance the regional workshop, and an integration of study findings to the NDC regional platform will be discussed. In addition, there are other Central American collaboration bodies that could facilitate a regional platform. The team will carefully evaluate options and lease will the partners.  

Intermediate outcomes will include: 

The NDC Partnership Support Unit, FAO, and GIZ-European Commission-CCAD- Green Fund for Development Program will finance part of the activity.

The elaborated analytical framework is applied in all six countries and a key outcome will be the identification of opportunities and gaps for forest related NDC goals. In addition, under the broader World Bank Program Guatemala and Honduras are currently receiving additional technical support with NDCSF funds. For El Salvador, through the collaboration with GIZ, the country receives additional support to scale up forest NDC funding.  

The activity will produce a roadmap for each country including the prioritized forest actions to be implemented to achieve their NDC commitments, highlighting countries’ assistance needs, in the form of: capacity building, technical support or funding. This implies that each country will be equipped with information to identify forest implications and actions that could reduce deforestation and increase afforestation. It also includes raising awareness on the importance of forest for climate change policy and programs, so that resources can be invested efficiently. These discussions will be part of the regional workshop and follow up.  


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Last Updated : 06-10-2019