Regional Forum on Climate Finance for Forests held in Costa Rica
From August 29 to September 1, 2023, the UN-REDD Programme, in collaboration with the Government of Costa Rica, through the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), the National Forest Finance Fund (FONAFIFO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Costa Rica, supported the Regional Forum on Climate Finance and Forests: Achievements and Lessons Learned in Latin America. It was the first meeting of its kind to be held since 2016, with eight countries in the region reflecting on the state of climate finance, its achievements and challenges, and new horizons, in particular the implementation of Results-based Payments (RBP) projects. Participants included representatives of government, Indigenous peoples, project coordinators, and gender specialists from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Mexico; donors from Norway and the UK; and representatives of the ART and Verra standards and from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Some of the topics addressed in this forum were:
- current status and projection of climate finance for the forestry sector, under the framework of nationally determined contributions;
- reflections on the achievements and challenges that countries have reached in the pilot window of REDD+ results based payment for results projects through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the possibility of a new window;
- other financial instruments for forest protection, such as carbon markets, climate-nature debt swaps, green credit lines, and other financing options under the Paris Agreement; and,
- Common regional messages to be taken forward to results-based payment initiatives and markets.
Participants shared the various experiences of the implementation of Results-based Payments and climate and forest finance projects, highlighting the following lessons learned: the importance of robust and participatory measurement, monitoring, reporting and verification systems; the robust implementation and monitoring of safeguards, with a focus on environmental and social integrity; the importance of comprehensively including Indigenous peoples, local communities, women and youth not only as beneficiaries but also as partners in decision-making processes and the need to accelerate channeling finance to them; and the use of National REDD+ Strategies as the basis for accessing Results-based Payments and other financing instruments.
The LAC region is a pioneer region in implementing gender-responsive REDD+ and thus, during the Forum, the first in-person meeting of the LAC Gender and REDD+ Platform was held. Formed in 2021, this Platform had previously been an online space for knowledge sharing with a few countries in the region. The Forum presented an opportunity to expand the Platform’s membership and liaise in-person with such a diverse range of countries working on gender within REDD+. Participants shared the gender results achieved by their REDD+ RBP projects, discussed options for further strengthening gender mainstreaming efforts in climate and forests programs and identified existing gender gaps and support needs in the region, as well as ways forward to address them.
As a result of the forum, countries agreed on the need to continue with these spaces for the exchange of experiences, including a specific request for the UN-REDD Programme to facilitate the formation of a permanent platform for South-South coordination and exchange on these issues. The UN-REDD Programme will continue to support this idea and future meetings and collaborations between countries. The organizing team and the UN-REDD Programme will share more details from the forum, including key messages, lessons learned and next steps soon.
See a recording of the opening session of the forum here: Estamos en vivo desde el Foro Regional Finanzas Climáticas y Bosques - YouTube
Author: UN-REDD Team