Skip to main content

REDD+ activities in Panamá: 'Scaling finance with social and environmental integrity for forests and climate'

Blog | Tue, 31 Oct, 2023 · 6 min read

In Panama City, Panama, October 23 to 27, the UN-REDD Programme held a series of knowledge and experience exchanges, workshops and events with representatives of Latin American and Caribbean countries working on REDD+, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Peru. Verra, Emergent, the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM), United Kingdom and Norway Embassies, the World Bank, and The Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) also participated in the meetings. During this week, Panama also hosted the Regional Climate Week in Latin America and the Caribbean (LACCW), where the UN-REDD Programme held an event aimed at identifying opportunities to scale up sustainable finance for forests and climate, remove barriers, and ensure integrity in accounting, governance, and safeguards, leaving no one behind.

The meetings strengthened cooperation among countries and stakeholders in the region and established solid foundations and draft road maps for countries to accelerate the implementation of mechanisms to ensure integrity, enhance benefits-sharing, and leverage multiple sources of funding simultaneously. Given the current climate, biodiversity, and pollution crisis, the need for all types of solutions and financing for forests and climate was emphasized. However, urgency should not mean abandoning integrity. Therefore, for this exchange, nesting was defined as an important tool to achieve integrity with a focus on accounting, governance and safeguards issues, for national, subnational, and project-based approaches, to tap into and combine different types of financing. 

Nesting is thus a potential tool to not only help access and scale up funding for forests and climate, but also to ensure the interoperability of different approaches, systems, scales and funding sources. Hence, following a nesting approach allows countries not only to promote the alignment of accounting, governance and safeguards systems among projects and programs, but also to establish  harmonized approaches for key issues like permanence and additionality, while minimizing the risks of leakage.

The workshops addressed the concept of integrity with a focus on three main aspects:

  • Carbon accounting (including considerations of additionality, permanence, displacement, avoidance of double counting)
  • Governance (including considerations of transparency, institutional and legal aspects such as different territorial scales, alignment of policies with NDCs, national registry, benefit-sharing system)
  • Safeguards (including consideration of risk management, integrated safeguards framework, alignment of safeguards systems, co-benefits).

The participants had the opportunity to work together on draft  roadmaps with concrete actions related to ensuring integrity within nested systems, to take back to their respective country or jurisdiction.During the week, the UN-REDD Programme also facilitated a one-day exchange where legal experts from countries negotiating or linked to Emission Reductions Purchase Agreements (ERPAs) met to share their experiences and challenges related to accessing finance.

To conclude the activities, aside event on Scaling up high-integrity finance for forests and climate was held at LACCW on Friday 27 October. During her speech, Lola Cabnal, Representative of Indigenous Peoples for the UN-REDD Executive Board, highlighted that finance is not the end, but the means to protect nature and the people who live in it.It is worth mentioning that Panama City and the activities of this workshop were influenced by daily protests and mobilizations of civil society against a mining contract recently signed by the Panamanian government.

Stay tuned! The video of the side event will be published in the coming days on the UN-REDD website.

  [1]World Bank, 2023