GCF joins initiative to help Africa expand its REDD+ roots

  • Article type Press release
  • Publication date 23 Aug 2019

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is helping REDD+ gain a stronger foothold in Africa by joining the first initiative to promote a regional approach to using payments to keep forests standing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

GCF staff joined more than 60 REDD+ experts and country representatives from 22 African countries at a workshop in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on 13 to 15 August to explore challenges and opportunities in boosting African REDD+ action at local, national and regional levels.

Nassere Kaba, deputy chief of cabinet with Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, told the workshop, jointly organised by GCF, that “REDD+ presents a pragmatic solution to fight climate change.”

The workshop led to the “Abidjan resolution on REDD+,” which recognises the key role of African countries in cooperating to promote action which establishes a way forward for REDD+. Among the challenges of strengthening REDD+ in Africa, country representatives noted the need to build domestic capacities and strengthen governance through land rights recognition, as well as the imperative to empower local and national institutions.

GCF Principal Forest and Land Use Specialist Juan Chang said the workshop provided a useful guide for GCF to expand its financial support of REDD+ in Africa.

“Africa hosts around 18 percent of the world’s tropical forest, which are essential to sustain livelihoods of most of population in rural areas and also constitute one of the largest carbon reservoirs in the world,” he said. “In addition, the increased desertification process exacerbated by climate change has increased the vulnerability of populations and ecosystems. The workshop highlighted these facts and incentivized accelerated action through a regional vision.”

Discussions during the workshop will feed into GCF’s ongoing policy work exploring how to accelerate REDD+ implementation in Africa and other regions.

A recently published GCF policy paper finds considerable interest in REDD+ among African nations, with 16 percent of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in Africa specifically addressing REDD+. GCF aims to increase its support of these efforts in close coordination with GCF Accredited Entities and other sources of finance supporting forest conservation and restoration in Africa.

Joining GCF in organising the first African REDD+ regional workshop were the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Japanese Agency for International Cooperation (JICA).

REDD+ is a UN-supported accounting and funding mechanism which supports developing countries’ efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. REDD+ has a strong potential to meet the climate challenge as forests act as sinks storing carbon dioxide, while the ecosystems they support help communities adapt to climate change.

GCF is already financing REDD+ results-based payments in a number of countries.