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On 2 and 3 April 2012, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ghana joined other countries from around the world participating in the Forest Investment Program (FIP) in Brasilia, Brazil, for their third annual FIP pilot countries meeting. They shared innovations in investments to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and discussed working with private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities. The meeting also offered an opportunity to advance the design and implementation of systems to monitor results and manage knowledge.
As an implementing agency of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), of which the FIP is a part, the African Development Bank (AfDB) also attended to lend support and offer insights.
In discussing successes in developing FIP investment plans, Burkina Faso highlighted strong political commitment to REDD+ and integration of the FIP into the National Rural Sector Program to ensure synergies with other sectors such as agriculture, livestock and environment. Burkina Faso’s plan also specifies capacity building for the private forestry sector. Challenges include managing the expectations of many stakeholders, an issue also raised by Ghana.
Innovations in Ghana’s FIP investment plan include provisions for Payment for Environmental Services (PES); a rapid response unit for protected areas against encroachment, illegal logging and wildfire; and a carbon benefits-sharing scheme linked to tree tenure.
The DRC has been able to develop an online National REDD+ Projects Register to monitor investments, but admits private sector participation is handicapped by taxes, limited financing capacities, complexities of the carbon market and other constraints. Nonetheless, the DRC believes its FIP investment plan is buoyed by its use of an integrated landscape approach, a national REDD+ fund and a mobile technology to reduce transaction costs like data collection, surveying and payment.
FIP pilot countries will meet again at the annual CIF Partnership Forum to take place in Turkey in November 2012. In the meantime, the AfDB is helping Ghana finalize its investment plan and is beginning preparations for a project in Burkina Faso to manage and protect state forest reserves and another in the DRC to address deforestation and degradation in the Mbuji Mayi/Kananga and Kisangani supply areas.
The FIP is a targeted program of the CIF designed to support developing countries’ REDD+ efforts by providing scaled-up financing for readiness reforms and public and private investments.