The world is facing unprecedented macroeconomic and environmental challenges that are linked to one another. Climate change increasingly poses challenges to macroeconomic and fiscal stability, generating physical risks as a result of climate damages as well as transition risks as a result of uncoordinated mitigation strategies. Deforestation and forest degradation increase climate risks by impairing the ability of forests to act as carbon sinks and reducing the resiliency of local communities to climate damages. Beyond climate change, the loss and decay of forests threaten global biodiversity, the provision of ecosystem services, and other core ecological functions that economies worldwide rely on.
Against this backdrop, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented governments across the world with a serious public health emergency and thrust the global economy into crisis. Recovery packages must immediately address these crises, while long-term responses must also not forget the underlying causes of the pandemic, to reduce the chance of similar future crises. Deforestation and forest degradation increase the risk of and exposure to emerging zoonotic diseases; as humans encroach on natural forests, the chances for outbreak and transmission of such diseases from animals to humans increase. For these reasons, alongside climate stability and broader sustainable development, a comprehensive green recovery must not leave forests behind.
Responding to these multiple challenges will require massive investments. For example, the estimated investment needed for countries to achieve their Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement exceeds $1 trillion per year over the next 15 years. Governments must mobilize and channel these resources during a time of limited fiscal space, especially as most categories of government revenue decline and available funding is committed to recovery efforts.
While increasing public expenditures for conserving forests is important and necessary, there exist additional, complementary fiscal policy options that can greatly reduce the overall cost of achieving sustainability. Fiscal policy can improve incentives for private sector stakeholders to coinvest in the sustainable use of forests. Environmental fiscal policy reforms that value natural capital can even contribute toward net domestic resource mobilization. Such fiscal instruments have so far been underutilized in addressing climate and development objectives. However, there is a growing interest among policy makers, who are responding to a developing body of evidence pointing to the effectiveness and urgency of green fiscal policies, including for forests and other sustainable land uses. This growing interest has coincided with the development of new fiscal instruments and policy combinations that can help policy makers better target and influence incentives to manage land use change and slow deforestation in a revenue-neutral or even revenue-raising manner.
This publication adds to ongoing work by the World Bank Group on how to better design and incorporate fiscal policy within the climate and sustainable development policy mix. The publication shows how various fiscal reforms can positively influence forest conservation while freeing up resources that can be used for national development. Environmental commodity taxation, previously much underused in the forest sector, can now be implemented through careful policy design in order to influence private incentives for forest conservation and land use change. Reducing distortionary agricultural subsidies is another key component of changing the balance of private incentives for land use change that can also free up additional revenues.
Ecological fiscal transfers are a revenue-neutral instrument that can influence the incentives of public actors to enforce forest laws within their jurisdictions. While fiscal policy is not a “silver bullet,” there are many fiscal instruments that can influence forest conservation and should be part of a comprehensive policy package that encourages sustainable land uses.
This publication builds the capacity to reform and implement fiscal policies that reduce private and public incentives for deforestation, forest degradation, and land use change and instead encourage forest conservation, sustainable management, and green global value chains. It is also an urgent call to action. Existing fiscal policies are already providing incentives one way or the other—oftentimes incentivizing short-lived growth through exhausting natural resources and merely turning natural into physical capital without creating net value. We need to empower decision-makers to harness the power of fiscal policy for consciously creating incentives that direct future development onto a more sustainable path. We hope that this book will serve as a vital reference for policy makers to do just that as we move forward.
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Wednesday, January 24, 2024. Geneva. The Franco-Gabonese Facilitation of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) organised a side event on cross-border transhumance at the14th Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). At the era of climate change, access to water, agriculture, the fight against desertification, biodiversity, forest preservation and cross-border migration, transhumance is the cross-sectoral prime theme. This explains the central theme of the event: “Meeting Between the Sahel and northern equatorial Africa - The challenges of the nexus: cross-border transhumance, survival of protected areas, natural resources, and human lives, development, security and peace.”
Kinshasa, DRC, 13 February 2024: The Congo Basin Science Initiative has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). The Basin Science Initiative is now one of 127 member countries and organizations working together in the Congo Basin Forest Partnership to promote sustainable resource management, combat climate change and its impacts, improve living conditions and protect the unique biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.
The strategic meeting between the Minister of Forest Economy, Rosalie MATONDO and Deliotte consultancy cabinet made way to research collaboration possibilities and share prospects on reforms needed to make forestry attractive.
From 22 to 24 January 2024, a sub-regional workshop was held in Douala, Republic of Cameroon, to analyse the results of the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Her Excellency Dr Aurelie Flore Koumba Pambo, the Gabonese Co-Facilitator of the CBFP, participated in the workshop. Download the final communiqué of the meeting..
Ministers and representatives from governments, international organisations, and civil society will explore how multi-sector collaboration in the fight against nature crime can inform wider efforts to tackle the triple planetary crisis during an official side event at the upcoming UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) in Nairobi.
Financial crime analysts, industry experts and law enforcement officers from across Southern Africa assembled in Cape Town last week for the first in a new series of regional meetings aimed at tackling illicit financial flows associated with nature crime.
This article by Paul Scholte and Matthew Luizza in Conservation News looks at the progress and prospects for work on transhumance in Central Africa since the second international conference of ministers on transboundary transhumance of July 2023 in Yaoundé.
Gervais MBATA, the new Minister of Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing hosted at his Cabinet this February 7, the United States’ ambassador to Central Africa, Mrs Patricia MAHONEY. During this fruitful meeting between government members and American diplomats, several topics were discussed about cooperation reinforcement, the USA’s multiform support and especially the implementation of projects on the protection of CAR wildlife areas.
On 7 February 2024, Rosalie MATONDO, Minister for Forest Economy, welcomed Peter FEARNHEAD, Chief Executive Officer of the South African NGO African Parks Network (APN). The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the management and development of the Odzala-KMassif okoua Forest (MFOK), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The two parties also discussed the challenges of conserving protected areas.
This is the question posed by Development Advocates (GDA) in its new publication: Deforestation-free cocoa in Cameroon: questions, concerns and priorities from smallholder farmers. The document sets out the challenges Cameroon faces in doubling its domestic cocoa production, retaining access to its biggest market (the EU) and reducing the pressure on its forests. Please download the GDA publication...
Pollution is widespread – and often fatal.Dirty air alone is responsible for 6.7 million deaths globally every year, while conservative estimates suggest that in 2019, 5.5 million people died from heart disease linked to lead exposure. To stem the pollution crisis, countries agreed in 2022 to establish a new body that would provide policymakers with robust, independent information on chemicals, waste and pollution.
The Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit "Adaption to climate change, Nature-based Solutions and Resilience" was held at the Palais des Congrès in Liège on 8 and 9 February 2024. Over two days, the Summit brought together nearly 1,000 participants of more than 20 nationalities, from numerous European networks and organisations of non-state actors such as businesses, researchers, civil society and local governments.
As the world’s top decision-making body on the environment, UNEA-6 will bring together ministers, intergovernmental organizations, the broader UN system, civil society groups, the scientific community and private sector to shape global environmental policy. This year, we’re expecting more than 70 Ministers and 3,000 delegates to join us in Nairobi. We currently have 20 draft resolutions and two draft decisions submitted for countries to discuss. Ms. Ochalik will share more on this. I will talk about the wider context of UNEA-6, and what it means.
Look closely at this interactive map of the world and squiggly pink lines are visible in almost every major saltwater body, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bay of Bengal. The lines represent the movement of boats captured via a network of satellites and ground monitoring stations.
Following a ministerial reshuffle yesterday, Wednesday 17 January 2024, the Ministry of Water and Forests, formerly responsible for the Environment, Climate and Human-Wildlife Conflict (CHF), has been split into two separate ministries: one responsible for the Environment, Climate and Human-Wildlife Conflict (CHF), managed by Arcadie Svetlana Minguengui Ndomba épse. Nzoma, and the other in charge of Water and Forests, which remains under its full management.
This second cohort of investments, named TerraFund for AFR100 Landscapes, is restoring land in three of the continent’s vital landscapes: the Lake Kivu and Rusizi River Basin in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Ghana Cocoa Belt; and the Greater Rift Valley of Kenya. These landscapes were chosen because they provide food and water for millions of people and protect crucial biodiversity; yet they are suffering from decades of degradation.
To bolster its work in the region, Tenure Facility has joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), a strategic alliance of countries and organisations dedicated to fostering sustainable practices, improving living conditions, and preserving the rich biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.Tenure Facility will bring its longstanding collaboration with several stakeholders – including Indigenous Peoples, local communities, organisations, and governments – to CBFP as it works toward finding inclusive and equitable solutions to forest-related challenges.
Douala, Cameroon, 22-24 January 2024 - The Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC), with financial support from the German cooperation via the GIZ support project for COMIFAC and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), organised a sub-regional workshop to analyse the results of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).
When it comes to climate, we do have something new to build on. Yes, the Dubai Consensus that emerged from COP28 was not everything everyone had hoped for. But it did signal a global decision to move away from fossil fuels, which is critical, as we all know. And, of course, the Loss & Damage Fund was put into operation. This was an important show of solidarity with vulnerable nations, although there is a long way to go to capitalize the fund. The positives did not stop there. We saw new commitments on sustainable cooling and reducing methane emissions. A tripling of renewable energy targets. Nature breakthroughs. Crucially, there was agreement on the framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation.
Cicin Juarsim, 52, smiled with joy when the land she has been cultivating officially became hers. “Now I am holding a private ownership certificate in my land. This is not only important for me. This land is important for my children,” said Cicin Juarsim who lives in Muktisari village, Ciamis District, in Indonesia’s western province of Java.
Under the aegis of the Co-Facilitator of France, Ambassador Christophe Guilhou, the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) is taking part in the GFMD and is organising a side event on Wednesday 24 January 2024, from 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm (virtual), on the theme: Meeting between the Sahel and northern equatorial Africa - The challenges of the nexus: cross-border transhumance, survival of protected areas, natural resources, and human lives, development, security and peace.
For months last year, Florida’s beachgoers were plagued by rotting tangles of decaying seaweed that had washed ashore. Known technically as sargassum, the thick clumps were part of a record-setting 8,000-kilometre-long seaweed belt in the Atlantic Ocean. Sargassum blooms cause a range of environmental problems, including coastal “dead zones” bereft of aquatic life. Past sargassum outbreaks have been linked to the excessive release of phosphorus and other chemical substances known as nutrients.
Location: Gustavo Fonseca Meeting room (N 8 – 180) and virtually on Zoom. 3. Speakers: Carlos Manuel Rodríguez. CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility; Ana Maria Gonzalez Velosa, Senior Environmental Specialist, Coordinator of the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program, World Bank Group, Latin America Region; Jean-Marc Sinnassamy, Senior Environmental Specialist, Lead of the CFB IP, GEF Secretariat; Charity Nalyanya, Director, Project Management and Technical Oversight, Conservation International (CI); George Akwah Neba, Team Leader of UNEP’s Congo Basin Team; Yawo Jonky Tenou...
Seated by a crackling fire burning during an inky night, community elder Cosmas Murunga shares some advice to his audience of young listeners. “As you grow up, women might get married outside of the community. But they shouldn’t forget where they came from,” he says. “And you young men, as you grow, know that you will inherit the ways of your fathers, grandfathers and those of your ancestors.”
In the case of Cameroon, the government established an inter sectoral committee chaired by the prime minister office to facilitate development of the country’s PIP. The methodology adopted for writing of this document, followed a participatory approach. After validation of the draft logical framework by the Expert Committee in Douala, the national Steering Committee which brings together various sectoral ministries met in May 2023 to work on priority sectoral activities of the seven strategic axes of the logical framework. A consultant was hired to technically assist the national steering committee in development process of the PIP. The main tasks of the consultant included further consultation of sectoral ministries to discuss priorities, consultation of strategic partners, desktop review of technical reports and other related documents on transhumance, budgeting and development of 5years investment plan.
Paris, 10 January 2024: The Tenure Facility has officially joined the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). The Tenure Facility is now one of 126 member countries and organizations who work together to promote sustainable resource management, to combat climate change and its impacts, improve living conditions and protect the unique biodiversity of Central Africa’s tropical forest.
The report, prepared by a consortium led by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), and supported by Agence Française de Développement and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to provide professionals and policymakers working at the intersections of water, the environment, health, energy, agriculture, spatial planning, and land use with a global cooperative and cross-sectoral reference on the current situation and developments in sanitation and wastewater and fecal sludge management in cities and human settlements.
The 2023 edition of the Population Reference Bureau’s (PRB) World Population Data Sheet explores the role of population data in helping countries prepare for and adapt to climate change. It finds that “[b]y examining the association between population vulnerability and risk of exposure to climate shocks, decisionmakers can allocate resources to areas of greatest need and prepare essential systems to respond effectively to climate change.”
In recent years, climate crises such as floods, wildfires, drought, and extreme heat have disrupted ecosystems and negatively impacted human health. The Global South is often the hardest hit by climate change. Amid these crises, digital health emerges as a beacon of hope given its ability to provide accessible, cost-effective, and resilient healthcare services, which are increasingly necessary in the face of the growing challenges posed by climate change, particularly in hard-to-reach regions.
The Nigeria Ministry for Agriculture and Food Security is set to collaborate with IITA to scale technologies as part of measures to implement the government’s 8-point agenda. During a recent visit to the office of the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Honorable Abubakar Kyari, in Abuja, IITA Director General and Regional Director for CGIAR in Africa, Dr Simeon Ehui, said the Institute values the strong support of the Nigerian government and would like to align with the national programs.
Last September, 193 UN Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a shared roadmap, as well as to accelerate progress towards the SDGs. At the same time, countries gathered at the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) SDG Summit acknowledged that achieving the Global Goals on time is “in peril” due to major setbacks related to multiple global crises.
The 2023 Dubai Climate Change Conference began on a high note. During the opening plenary, parties adopted a decision operationalizing the new loss and damage fund that was established the previous year in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and a number of parties announced pledges for its initial capitalization. This success was made possible by an agreement reached in the Transitional Committee that was tasked and met throughout 2023 to make a recommendation on the institutional arrangements for the fund.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched an online platform gathering existing knowledge and resources on biodiversity in agriculture to improve countries’ knowledge and capacity to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), deliver on the SDGs, and achieve food security for all.
Having just completed the 12th meeting of the Governing Council of the CBFP, we would like to thank you once again for the warm reception you gave the Franco-Gabonese Co-Facilitation, which was set up in July 2023. Six months after the start of our Co-Facilitation, we have spoken out on behalf of the Congo Basin at international meetings including...