The role of Europe in fighting deforestation: Balancing the risks ofaction against the risks of no action Frances Seymour European Parliament March 1, 2011
Presentation outline Brief introduction to CIFOR Review of deforestation trends Reasons for optimism / reasons for caution A few examples Implications for the way forward Note that the closer you get to the ground, the more complicated it gets….
CIFOR…• Is an international organization headquartered in Bogor, Indonesia• Is a member of the CGIAR• Has as its purpose to conduct research to inform policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries• Has a staff of about 200 globally• Has an annual budget of about $27 million• Is grateful to the European Commission for significant funding
CIFOR’s research domains6 Sustainably managing tropical production forests
CIFOR’s visionWe envision a world where: Forests are high on the political agenda People recognize the value of forests for maintaining livelihoods and ecosystems Decisions that influence forests and the people that depend on them are based on solid science and principles of good governance, and reflect the perspectives of developing countries and forest-dependent people
Net change in forest area 2005-2010 (in ha per year) Source: FAO Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) 2010
Trends in extent of forest area (in millions ha per year) Source: FAO Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) 2010
Deforestation headlinesForests still being lost at 13 million ha/year, compared to 16million ha/year 1990-2000 -- deforestation rates have declinedin Brazil and Indonesia, but are still highLarge scale tree-planting efforts, especially in China, drive netdeforestation figures for AsiaFires and drought have exacerbated forest loss in Australia
Reasons for optimismDeforestation is back on international and national agendas,getting attention from heads of state to popular mediaPossible “perfect storm” of Public understanding and support Political will Sources of finance
Reasons for cautionGovernance challenges related toforests are especially severe: Strong vested interests in continuing business as usual Corruption Vulnerable communities with weak/contested tenure Poor data Weak institutions for managing money and information
The dilemmaRisks of no action: Loss of political momentum Business as usual continued versusRisks of action: Subversion of objectives by vested interests Unintended negative consequences for vulnerable groups
Example: VPAs in Central AfricaGreat opportunity to leverage interest in EC market access topromote improved governance forest sector governance Puts legality and sustainability of timber production on national agendas Increases attention to transparency and civil society participation
Risks to VPA implementation (1) Poor data CIFOR research (supported by the EC) revealed significant underestimation of the absolute and relative size of the “domestic” timber sector Vested interests Government officials benefiting from irregular payments resist efforts to legalize the domestic timber sector Professionalizing –rather than criminalizing – the domestic timber sector will be a major challenge
Risks to VPA implementation (2) Vulnerable livelihoods Some 45,000 people in Cameroon alone derive income from the domestic timber sector Possibility that government law enforcement efforts to attain legality will focus on “little guys with chainsaws” rather than “big guys with bank accounts” Detailed CIFOR Occasional Papers on Cameroon and Gabon are in press; papers on Congo, CAR, DRC, Indonesia, and Ecuador to follow. This work is supported by the EC Pro-Formal Project.
Example: REDD+ in IndonesiaLetter of Intent with Norway presents great opportunity toleverage concern about climate change to reduce deforestation
Risks to REDD+ implementation (1) Vested interests Businesses benefiting from current concession allocation process resisting proposed moratorium on forest conversion Poor data Definition and extent of “degraded” forest at issue
Risks to REDD+ implementation (2) Corruption risks Systems for ensuring the integrity of flows of funds and information still weak Vulnerable livelihoods Concern that permitting could have the effect of displacing local rights holders A CIFOR analysis of corruption risks facing REDD+ in Indonesia is forthcoming in cooperation with UNODC.
Example: Bioenergy Policies to promote bioenergy production have the potential to reduce climate emissions and create new livelihood opportunities in developing countries But CIFOR research (supported by the EC) suggests that such policies require complementary actions to: Protect the livelihoods of customary landusersCIFOR Occasional papers and Channel investment away from carbon-richpolicy briefs produced under forest frontiers Level the playing field for smallholderthe EC-supported Bioenergy, producerssustainability, and trade-offsproject
(1) Maintain focus on the procedural integrity of design and implementation Transparency – e.g., of decision-making to narrow the scope for vested interests to “hijack” the process Participation – e.g., across sectors to prevent “concentration of power” in a single ministry Independent third-party monitoring – e.g., of permit holders’ performance to ensure the integrity of reporting
(2) Invest in capacity building CIFOR-FAO survey on forestry research in DRC in 2005 found less than 10 active researchers in the DRC (a country that represents 60% of the Congo Basin forests and people) – EC- supported REAFOR project now addressing Many gaps remain within forestry sector in and complementary fields necessary for good governance
(3) Invest in research (conflict of interest alert!) Still many data gaps to be filled A priori analysis of risks can help anticipate mitigation needs Need to monitor impacts and understand why they occur
(4) Balance risks Be mindful of the risks of unintended negative consequences, but don’t lose sight of the countervailing risks of no action Build and support domestic constituencies for change Strive for “optimal optimism” about the possibility of transformation