Forests and other ecosystems are vital for climate action. For this reason, the Federal Environment Ministry is supporting forest conservation and restoration projects worldwide through its International Climate Initiative (IKI). In time for the Climate Change Conference in Katowice, four new support projects and measures in Asia, Africa and South America with a total funding volume of 25 million euros were announced.
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze commented: "Investments in the conservation and restoration of forests pay off in three ways: for climate action, biological diversity and for the local people living from the forest. This is why we are promoting forest conservation as an important contribution to the Paris Agreement."
From December 2018 in Kenya, IKI funding will be provided for a project on the restoration of forests and mangrove ecosystems as important carbon sinks and biodiversity hotspots in coastal areas. The WWF will receive a total funding volume of almost 3 million euros for the project. The project will be implemented with local authorities and stakeholders. In addition to ecosystem restoration, the project will, among other things, strengthen sustainable resource management.
After many years of armed conflict in Colombia, forest conservation and the implementation of a national strategy on forests and climate change will be supported with 5.2 million euros of IKI funding. The project of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) will focus on counteracting deforestation in recently pacified areas and develop sustainable agriculture and cattle farming systems with higher land productivity. The goal is to reduce pressure of human use on natural forests and also to improve the quality of life in rural areas.
In the Central Highlands of Vietnam, the International Climate Initiative is supporting a project with 1.7 million euros which is aimed at improving the climate impacts of coffee farming. The project aims to generate higher yields from coffee farming and thus ensure that agricultural land in the Langbiang biosphere reserve no longer needs to be expanded. The idigenous peoples living there have not yet benefitted from offers of certification for sustainable coffee farming. This project is part of Vietnam’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement.
Through the World Bank German single donor (GSD) trust fund, the Federal Environment Ministry also intends to make a further 15 million euros of IKI funding available for forest conservation measures in African countries.
Between 2008 and 2017, the Federal Environment Ministry invested a total of 378 million euros through the International Climate Initiative for the preservation of natural carbon sinks (such as forests and bogs).
Many NDCs contain targets for forest restoration and the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. These targets relate to the REDD+ framework which was adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Some countries also refer to the Bonn Challenge launched by the Federal Environment Ministry in 2011 which strives to achieve ambitious forest restoration worldwide. Non-governmental actors, indigenous peoples and businesses can make an important contribution to forest restoration and deforestation-free supply chains. This will be among the topics discussed at the Global Landscapes Forum taking place in the UN city of Bonn.