GCF explores how to strengthen private sector finance at World Forestry Congress

  • Article type News update
  • Publication date 02 May 2022

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) will strive to narrow the forest finance gap by helping to strengthen public-private roots of climate cooperation during the World Forestry Congress which opens today in South Korea.

GCF’s participation in the World Forestry Congress will build on its strong support for climate action in the forest sector. A major part of GCF’s support involves looking for ways to bring the public and private sectors together to generate much needed funds from private sector investment.

The World Forestry Congress is the largest forest-focused symposium and is held every six years. Following a one-year delay because of COVID-19, the year’s event will be held for the first time in South Korea – which is also GCF’s host country.

A key theme of the congress will be ensuring that COVID-19 recovery is channelled to strengthening measures that halt deforestation and forest degradation, a key contributor to increasing greenhouse gas emissions and the exposure of ecosystems and communities to climate change impacts.

While the public sectors of developing countries are playing an important role in generating funds to protect forests, a persistently large dearth of available funds shows there is an urgent  need to mobilise private sector finances.

GCF Executive Director Yannick Glemarec will help to kick off the five-day World Forestry Congress by joining a high-level panel discussion today to explore how to mobilise and enable finances for forests.

The role of forests in the climate conundrum offers scope for both concern and hope.

The destruction and degradation of forests, together with agriculture and other forms of land use, accounts for a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, nature – chiefly, forests – could pull 11 billion metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere. This is equivalent to one-third of the mitigation efforts needed to achieve the Paris Agreement.

GCF has approved close to USD 1.4 billion worth of climate finance in the forest and land use sector, totalling over USD 3.2 billion including co-financing. A proportion of GCF’s USD 10.2 billion climate finance portfolio has been directed to helping plug the private sector financing gap for forests.

This includes GCF’s investment in the USD 598.1 million Amazon Bioeconomy Fund - designed to attract private investments across six Latin American countries which are home to the world’s largest rainforest. GCF has also approved USD 145 million for projects contributing to implementation of national REDD+ strategies, and is the world’s first provider of REDD+ results-based payments with a total USD 497 million disbursed.

GCF also recognises that climate finance supporting the protection, restoration and sustainable use of forests needs to account for the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who rely on them. GCF’s Indigenous People Policy safeguards its inclusive approach to directing climate finances to forests.

GCF staff attending the World Forestry Congress will look at how GCF can strengthen the role of Indigenous Peoples in the fight against climate change. This includes finding ways to support the USD 1.7 billion pledge made during COP26 and directed towards Indigenous Peoples and local communities and advancing their land tenure rights.

Find out more about GCF’s participation at the World Forestry Congress here.