How Will the World Fund REDD+? Let me count the ways

BOGOR, Indonesia (20 July, 2011)_Last year world leaders agreed on a scheme to protect carbon-rich biodiverse forest by mobilising funds from the developed to developing world. In Indonesia, funding has come in from different directions, and there is concern that too many funding programs may lead to overlap and inefficiency.
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Photo courtesy of paulmorriss/flickr.

BOGOR, Indonesia (20 July, 2011)_Last year world leaders agreed on a scheme to protect carbon-rich biodiverse forest by mobilising funds from the developed to developing world. In Indonesia, funding has come in from different directions, and there is concern that too many funding programs may lead to overlap and inefficiency.

“Indonesia needs to ensure the same issues aren’t covered by different sources of funding, and it’s the government’s domain to allocate the money to the right places,” said Bonie Dewantara of the Wildlife Conservation Society on Tuesday at a meeting between multilateral development banks, Forestry Ministry officials and civil society representatives.

The meeting was held to in consultation with stakeholders in the early design phase of the Forest Investment Program, a partnership between the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation and the Asian Development Bank.

The FIP is being piloted in eight countries, including Indonesia, and aims to build on the existing efforts, capacity and infrastructure of each nation.

The program is currently worth about US$540 million, and aims to support developing countries with forest conservation projects under the international scheme Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).

Adam Tomasek, who leads WWF’s Heart of Borneo team, said that overlapping of REDD+ readiness funds was a valid concern.

“The REDD+ readiness funds that were pledged by world leaders in the 2009 Copenhagen summit are difficult to track. We have a global program, specifically looking at forests and financing. It’s extremely difficult to understand what is pledged and how much has reached the accounts,” Tomasek said.

Dewantara from the Wildlife Conservation Society attended the meeting to learn more about potential funding for two REDD+ pilot projects in Indonesia. He suggested that different funds be used for specific needs within the REDD+ scheme.

“Perhaps certain funds could concentrate on aspects of REDD+, for example, the FIP could focus solely on measurement, reporting and verification,” he  said.

David McCauley, a principal climate change specialist with the Asian Development Bank, said that the ADB was well aware of overlap issues and that because the FIP was still in design phase, there was room to establish a mechanism to ensure that funds are not wasted on replicating existing initiatives.

He said that the FIP was meant for scaling up, not for more pilot activities.

“We should be scaling up based on experience, to the extent possible, we should build on existing programs and use FIP resources to experiment and move forward with programs. We also should allow ourselves to think outside of the current box,” he said.

A second public consultation will take place at the end of August.

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