Mapping financial flows to implement forest and climate commitments

In most low-income countries, the forest and land use sectors have a central role to play in national climate change plans and broader development objectives. But how can these countries ensure that investments in these sectors are adequate? And what scope is there for redirecting finance from supporting business-as-usual to effective approaches for protecting forests and mitigating climate change?

One approach is to map flows of public finance from both national and international sources. Recent research in Côte d’Ivoire did just that. The methodology used and the findings obtained are relevant to other countries that have included forestry and land use in their nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement on climate change. Last month, the project team shared their experiences and findings in a webinar, which is now available in English and French along with the presentations (see below).

Côte d’Ivoire has already lost most of its forests, which now cover just 2% of the land area. But the government has plans to increase this to 20% by 2030. By increasing forest cover and decoupling cocoa production from deforestation, amongst other measures, Côte d’Ivoire aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2030.

These ambitious goals frame the country’s strategy and investment plan for reducing emissions from the forest sector (REDD+). But is there enough finance available? To find out, the ministry in charge of the environment commissioned a mapping of domestic and international public finance.

The project assessed financial flows from 12 ministries and 15 international donors and funds. As well as identifying REDD+-aligned finance, the project identified ‘grey’ finance, which did not take account of REDD+ and may even contribute to deforestation.

The landscape of REDD+ aligned finance in Côte d’Ivoire in 2015. Source: CPI

The research revealed that Côte d’Ivoire allocates just a small fraction of what is needed to meet its REDD+ goals. It showed that grey finance from both domestic and international sources far exceeds REDD+-aligned finance.

But it also showed there is great potential to redirect significant amounts of that grey finance — especially in the agriculture and energy sectors — towards implementing Côte d’Ivoire’s REDD+ strategy.

The mapping exercise showed that forest protection has not been mainstreamed into the national and sectoral investment strategies of either Côte d’Ivoire’s government or its development partners.

Among the lessons the project team learned is that a collaborative, multistakeholder approach is key. Partnering with government ministries enabled access to budgetary data, while interviews and surveys enabled the team to access off-budget data and to validate findings.

In the webinar, the team shared further lessons for applying their approach in other countries, particularly as a tool for implementing nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement.

Understanding finance in this way could help countries overcome a lack of coordination or coherence in their investment planning and expenditure. It may also help countries balance competing priorities, increase efficiency and make a case for new investments, such as from the Green Climate Fund.

In the webinar discussion, the team answered questions on issues such as:

  • How to make ‘grey’ finance green
  • How to identify financial gaps and ways to fill them
  • What role the private sector can play — and how to include private finance in mapping exercises
  • How to channel more REDD+-aligned finance to local governments
  • How to ensure coordination across sectors for different financial flows
  • What should donors take away from the project’s findings

The study was conducted in partnership with the government of Côte d’Ivoire, the UN REDD programClimate Policy Initiative and the NGO Impactum. The webinar was hosted by LEDS Global Partnership.



  • Overview of LEDS Global Partnership – Robert O’Sullivan, Winrock International and AFOLU Working Group Co-chair
  • Introduction and methodological approach – Adeline Dontenville, EU REDD Facility
  • Key results – Angela Falconer, Climate Policy Initiative
  • Lessons learned and next steps – Marc Daubrey, Impactum

Download the presentation

More information

This story has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.

Author: EU REDD Facility

Date: 10 April 2017