The identification and tracking of climate-related forest expenditure in national budgetary systems has the potential to aid policy development, planning and financial resource management. Increasing both transparency and accountability of these flows will allow for monitoring and evaluation of spending, help determine if national policy targets are being met and if resources are being spent properly.
Identifying what counts and how to count climate-related forest expenditure is complex: the multitude of policies and sectors impacting on forests, the overlapping nature of the production of environmental goods and services, and the varying definitions of forests and the forestry sector, are all hurdles that must be overcome in selecting an appropriate definition of climate-related forest activities.
This paper consolidates the issues and existing approaches to defining climate-related forest activities and finance. Integrating the multiple approaches, six categories of climate-related forest activities are identified. A step-wise tool is then proposed that allows the identification of budgetary expenditure within these categories. The tool can be regarded as a starting point that further research and the application of case studies can refine.