worldbank - Forests: Stabilizing Climate and Supporting Development



With the Paris Agreement entering into force last week, negotiators at this year’s UN climate meeting (COP22) in Morocco are getting to work on the specific rules and guidance that will translate Paris commitments into action. Achieving the Agreement goals will require a strong focus on protecting, restoring, and sustainably managing all types of forests.



Deforestation, forest degradation, and land use change account for around 12% of all greenhouse gas emissions on the planet, so it’s clear that forests will play a critical role in helping countries meet their nationally determined contributions to fight climate change.  The World Bank Group supports work with countries to meet these targets and address the impacts of climate change through its forest programs.



Last month, the BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL), along with the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the World Bank Group’s private sector arm) signed its first public-private partnership deal with Nespresso. The ISFL will provide $3 million through the IFC to Nespresso to support training activities implemented by the non-profit organization TechnoServe in Ethiopia.



Through the program, 20,000 farmers will be trained on standards for sustainable production and processing of coffee beans over two years. Assistance will also be provided to improve the operations of 77 wet mills (where coffee cherries are sorted through immersion in water) that process sustainably produced coffee. This landmark deal will be combined with a $3 million loan funded by the IFC.



As part of the deal with IFC, the project supports planting shade trees on coffee farms, which helps keep the microclimates in which the coffee grows cooler, in turn boosting productivity. The new shade trees can also restore degraded areas by reducing soil erosion, providing habitats for a wider variety of species, and improving water retention. And the carbon sequestered in the tree trunks, branches and leaves also helps address climate change. The results of this work will benefit farmers as well as reduce pressure on forests for agricultural land.



In participation with the Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), home to the second largest tropical forest in the world, presented the first-of-its-kind, large-scale program to curb forest loss and to improve the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities in June.  The work focuses on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through results-based finance (known as REDD+). With this program, the DRC signaled the momentum to deliver on their national climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement.


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