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Financing readiness: insights from the Amazon Fund and Congo Basin Forest Funds' efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation

Research reports

Written by Charlene Watson, Smita Nakhooda

Research reports

This paper considers the activities financed by the Brazilian Amazon Fund and the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) since their inception.

Finance to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+) has been innovatively structured to support ‘readiness activities’ prior to performance-based support.

The case for readiness finance is strong, given the challenges of addressing technical, policy, and institutional requirements of realising REDD+. Understanding of what constitutes readiness, however, has evolved from an early focus on technical considerations, to a more encompassing consideration of underlying policy and regulatory frameworks, and the need to strengthen the transparency, inclusiveness, accountability and coordination of governance systems that affect forests.

These funds operate in very different contexts, whose needs for ‘readiness finance’ are therefore also substantially different. Each fund through its projects supports multiple activities. Both have made some efforts to fund programmes that address issues of policy and governance, and independent monitoring and verification of emission reductions, although the level of support has been relatively modest. This research observes an ongoing need for greater coordination and coherence with other initiatives to finance REDD+ within the same region; in Brazil some institutional frameworks to prompt such coordination have now been established; such frameworks are much weaker in the countries of the Congo Basin.

Charlene Watson and Smita Nakhooda