Financial Performance, National Programme
Progress against the Warsaw Framework
With technical advice and financial support provided by UN-REDD over recent years, Côte d’Ivoire has achieved the four pillars of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+. The national REDD+ strategy, which was adopted by the Government in 2017, was translated into an investment plan in 2019, and was retained as the base for the NDC review process planned worldwide for 2020.
The FREL, which had been submitted to the UNFCCC secretariat in 2017, was appraised with a view to producing and submitting a new, enhanced version in 2020.
With regard to the NFMS, which is already functional, in 2019 UN-REDD helped the country develop the methodology for the assessment of emission factors from fire and to cover forest degradation. This new NFMS methodology will soon be tested to produce a revised FREL in 2020.
Finally, in 2019 the country finalized and submitted its first summary of safeguards information.
UN-REDD technical assistance is particularly timely and instrumental at present as Côte d’Ivoire is making the transition to REDD+ implementation. In 2019, UN-REDD helped the country to make progress on a series of policy, institutional, technical, partnership, legal and field arrangements. For instance, discussions were held with the GCF secretariat regarding the financing of the forerunner programme of the national REDD+ investment framework, which focuses on zero-deforestation agriculture by connecting cocoa production with reducing deforestation and promoting forest restoration. This investment programme also engages with private companies through the Cocoa and Forest Initiative
UN-REDD also provided support in the form of progress in community-level REDD+ pilot initiatives, which are yielding valuable lessons and inspiring stakeholders, and supported the advancement of decentralized, jurisdictional approach-es to REDD+. UN-REDD is ensuring the alignment of these subnational processes with the national REDD+ strategy and its policy framework. The UN-REDD collaborating agencies have also provided support to cocoa companies, such as Mondelez, to develop an action framework within the cocoa and forests initiative in collaboration with the Government. Regarding the NFMS, which is a key pillar to demonstrate progress and enable public-private partnerships for REDD+, the country developed a methodology for the assessment of emission factors from fire (which was validated nationally) and also a methodology for the assessment of forest degradation (with advances in terms of definitions, indicators, institutional arrangements and protocols). These methodological advancements will enable the country to revise and enhance the FREL in 2020, which will be critical for the mobilization of international climate finance and the engagement of the private sector, as well as for the NDC review process.
In addition, a new national Forest Code was finalized and adopted in 2019 (law no. 675/2019). In order to implement the Forest Code, UN-REDD assisted the Ministry of Water and Forests to formulate a series of draft regulatory texts as well as with a review of an investment portfolio for the country that will be presented at a donor round table in 2020. The legal review by UN-REDD was substantial, covering more than ten legal texts. In total, 23 legal texts will be adopted, and thus the UN-REDD technical assistance will continue in the same vein throughout 2020.
UN-REDD support in 2019 was also instrumental in the design, testing and review of the structure of the country’s SIS platform. Côte d’Ivoire improved its matrix for the national interpretation of UNFCCC REDD+ safeguards by incorporating elements of the World Bank and GCF safeguards frameworks. The design of the financial mechanism is advancing with some feasibility studies ongoing in addition to the dialogues on a cocoa-forest economic and financing model that would reconcile production, trade and conservation goals.
UN-REDD provided additional support to the Ministry of Water and Forests, including through a South-South cooperation initiative with the Government of Costa Rica comprising a high-level mission and a joint action plan, as well as by building an investment portfolio to be finalized and submitted to a donor round table in early 2020.
Challenges and Solutions
The major challenge faced by Côte d’Ivoire is the coordination of the different sectors, investments and partners – public and private alike – in order to advance substantially and coherently along the cocoa-forest nexus, decoupling cocoa production from deforestation and integrating forest restoration at scale. Consolidating a cross-sectoral dynamic around cocoa and forests, and crafting robust public-private partnerships, are arduous tasks which also require reliable international funding. Looking forward, a great opportunity lies ahead in 2020 as Côte d’Ivoire revises its NDC to integrate the scope and ambition of the REDD+ agenda, with support from the UN-REDD collaborating agencies.
Gender and Social Inclusion
As stated in the first summary of safeguards information submitted by Côte d’Ivoire to the UNFCCC secretariat, the country is drafting a manual on gender-based approaches to REDD+, which will become part of the criteria for designing, appraising and monitoring REDD+ actions and investments. Moreover, all the relevant efforts pertaining to cocoa and forests that are under way aim at empowering farmers and communities to enhance their production and incomes, while safeguarding the local forests and natural resources, including through agroforestry practices and forest restoration endeavours. Although it is a very inclusive agenda at the grassroots level, funding – beyond that provided for pilot projects – has been scarce.
UN-REDD has played a catalytic role in private sector engagement in the Côte d’Ivoire REDD+ process. Economic models on sustainable cocoa production developed by UN-REDD professionals, together with the UNEP Finance Initiative team, have received wide approval among stakeholders (agribusiness, government and non-governmental organizations) and a data collection effort is under way to improve the economic models and expand them to account for other value chains. In 2019, the “1 for 20” partnership was created to mobilize private investment to implement the economic models, finance smallholders and improve forest cover in the country. Managed from Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the “1 for 20” partnership is a collaboration between the Ministry for the Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Coffee Cocoa Council. It is supported jointly by professionals from UN-REDD, the UNEP Finance Initiative and the EU REDD Facility. In November 2019, a two-day consultation event was held in Abidjan with over 120 participants from private companies, financial institutions (e.g., BNP Paribas, Advans), Government institutions, civil society and international organizations. The event was aimed at clarifying the need and opportunities for financing agroforestry and developing value chains for agroforestry and forest products from new models to restore the Ivorian forest. Overall, the engagement of the private sector remains dynamic, notably through the international Cocoa and Forests Initiative and the Sustainable Trade Initiative. GCF organized an Africa dialogue on REDD+ in Côte d’Ivoire, with UN-REDD sharing its lessons learned in one of the keynote interventions. The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force – a subnational collaboration between states and provinces in various countries – also engaged in Côte d’Ivoire in 2019 with two capacity-building and strategy-building projects on jurisdictional approaches to REDD+.
Linkages to SDGs
The policy and financing work on the cocoa-forest nexus in Côte d’Ivoire, coupled with the REDD+ pilot initiatives on the ground and the emerging jurisdictional approaches, is a catalyst of the 2030 Agenda. These efforts have a unique ability to fulfil several SDGs, notably with regard to sustainable farming (SDG 12), protecting and restoring forests (SDG 15), making the country a recognized force in global climate mitigation (SDG 13) and underpinning public-private partnerships for sustainable production and trade (SDGs 12 and 17).