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Scaling Up Performance-Based Transfers for Reduced Tropical Deforestation
Reducing deforestation is an urgent, affordable, and feasible solution to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the short term. And forests provide development benefits beyond their role in climate mitigation such as livelihoods for indigenous and local communities and maintaining hydrological systems and rainfall patterns. Yet despite these multiple benefits and the urgency to find affordable solutions to curb greenhouse gas emissions, international funding to reduce deforestation has been limited by fiscal, political, and technical challenges. The Working Group on Performance-based Payments to Reduce Tropical Deforestation considered ways to mobilize additional funding from high-income countries to reduce deforestation in tropical forests and to shift the composition of the funding to pay tropical forest countries for actual results.
To date, most international funding to reduce deforestation has concentrated on the important work of capacity building and policy reform. Additional funding for performance-based payments to slow deforestation can provide governments the economic incentive needed to help withstand pressures to convert forest lands to other uses, and can enable global climate targets to be more ambitious, more cost-effective, and more rapid than would otherwise be the case.
Chaired by CGD President Nancy Birdsall and former Prime Minister of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, and managed by CGD senior associate Michele de Nevers, the Working Group assessed the factors inhibiting the expansion of international funding for performance-based approaches to reduce deforestation, analyzed progress in existing programs and identified solutions to current barriers.
CGD is grateful for contributions from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation in support of this work.
Working Group Members
Arild Angelsen, Professor, UMB School of Economics, Norwegian Univ. of Life Sciences
Owen Barder, Senior Fellow/Director for Europe, Center for Global Development
Jonah Busch, Research Fellow, Center for Global Development
Andreas Dahl-Jørgensen, Climate Advisers
Robin Davies, Associate Director, Development Policy Centre, Australia National University
Christine Dragisic, US Department of State, Office of Global Change
Gwen Hines, Executive Director, World Bank, United Kingdom
Kevin Hogan, UN Advisor to Mary Robinson, Special Envoy on Climate Change
Ingrid Hoven, Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
Bharrat Jagdeo, Former President of Guyana
Harrison S. Karnwea, Managing Director, Forestry Development Authority of Liberia
Benjamin Knoedler, Advisor to Executive Director, World Bank, Germany
Carlos Klink, National Secretary for Climate Change and Environmental Quality of Brazil
Rezal Kusumaatmadja, Co-founder, Starling Resource and COO, PT Rimba Makmur Utama
Gavin Neath, Senior VP Sustainability, Unilever
Per Pharo, Director, Government of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative
Andrew Preston, Development Counselor, British Embassy
An area of tropical forest the size of India will be deforested in the next 35 years, burning through more than one-sixth of the remaining carbon that can be emitted if global warming is to be kept below 2 degrees Celsius (the “planetary carbon budget”), but many of these emissions could be cheaply avoided by putting a price on carbon.
Join us for a Tweet chat with @jonahbusch Thursday, August 27, at 10 a.m. EDT. #CGDchat
The results of Sunday’s runoff election in Brazil open a new chapter in the country’s fight against deforestation. Dilma Rousseff will have to overcome skepticism that she’s the right woman for the job, in light of perceptions that she privileged development at the expense of conservation during her first term as president.
On Monday October 20, Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) was inaugurated as president of Indonesia. As I wrote at the time of the election in July, Indonesia’s deforestation rate—now the world’s highest—and its oversized effect on global climate emissions are among the burning issues pressing for the attention of the new administration. But perhaps this is the only one that is literally burning.
In 2009, Guyana created a Low Carbon Development Strategy to develop economically while keeping its entire forest intact, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Norway to receive performance-based payments in the tens of millions of dollars annually contingent upon holding nationwide deforestation to a near-zero rate. In mid-February, 2014, we visited Guyana as part of a three-country study to attempt to gain insights of value to the future expansion of performance-based payments in other countries and other sectors.