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Informing, Connecting and Shaping Forest Action,

Submitted by Laura Ivers, Senior Communications Officer for PROFOR

PROFOR is generating knowledge and tools that are informing, connecting, and shaping forest sector investments and policies. In 2015, PROFOR produced 117 knowledge products, supported more than 95 engagement processes with 11,138 direct participants, influenced 30 WBG operations, and informed two national policy reforms. PROFOR’s 2015 Annual Report provides an overview of these achievements.

For example, PROFOR’s timely analytical and diagnostic work informed forest sector engagement in several countries around the world. In Indonesia, a knowledge management and information system based on cutting-edge information and communication technology (ICT) improved visualization of data related to forests, helping to engage the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Indonesia and inform the design of the Forest Investment Program (FIP) in Indonesia. In Mexico, a Workshop on Sustainable Productive Forest Landscapes equipped stakeholders with information and good practices for handling challenges and opportunities in implementing a multisectoral and interinstitutional landscape approach, enabling the broader Program on Forests and Climate Change that is under way. In Tunisia, the development of a National Silvo-pastoral Strategy, including an economic valuation of forest and rangeland degradation and a measurement, reporting, and verification framework for the implementation of REDD+, helped build understanding of the need to invest in such ecosystems and helped to inform a new Forestry Value Chain Project.

A more rigorous approach to monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and a theory of change that guides activity design for greater influence were implemented in 2015, enabling PROFOR to better understand and demonstrate the results of activities.

In 2015, PROFOR initiated an innovative approach to its portfolio development that connects across sectors to create evidence-based knowledge about the solutions forests can provide for pressing development challenges beyond the forest sector. Building on PROFOR’s long-standing focus on cross-sectoral issues, this new approach intensifies collaboration across sectors by inviting experts in other sectors to identify and lead programs on how forest-based solutions can contribute to solving challenges in those sectors. The approach taps the skill and experience of specialists from across the World Bank Group to advance understanding of how forests can contribute to positive development outcomes.

In addition, this new approach clusters analytical work into larger programs for greater coherence, agility in responding to client demand, and lower transaction costs. This “programmatic approach” is enabling PROFOR to focus on a smaller set of activities that have greater potential for influence and development impact, while connecting with a new set of stakeholders and audiences. Four cross-sectoral programmatic activities were initated in 2015 on the topics of how forests contribute to poverty reduction, energy provision, jobs creation, and sustainable agriculture supply chains.

PROFOR knowledge also contributed to shaping strategic thinking about forests in 2015. PROFOR engaged in the global dialogue on forests through the Global Landscapes Forum events in London and Paris, the World Forestry Congress, and the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification—sharing knowledge and tools to shape and advance understanding of forests' contribution to sustainable development. PROFOR’s innovative cross-sectoral approach also helped shape the initial development of the forthcoming five-year Forest Action Plan for its host organization, the World Bank Group. In addition, a PROFOR series on How Forests Can Contribute to Climate Change Adaptation and other analytical work provided insight into the role of forests in contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Looking forward, PROFOR’s 2016 portfolio will continue to deliver timely and responsive analysis, tools and knowledge with high potential to inform forest sector investments, policies, and broader action toward sustainable development.

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