Cutting Budgets, Slashing Forests? Monitoring France’s Fast Start Finance for REDD+

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In December 2010, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) officially created an international mechanism dubbed “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest
Degradation” (REDD+). This historical decision crowned five years of negotiations on how to fight deforestation. It also gave legitimacy to the many projects and initiatives that had for several years emerged on the ground with the aim of maintaining standing forests.
In Copenhagen in 2009, some developed countries voluntarily pledged to finance the fight against climate change in developing countries during the 2010-2012 period. This “fast start finance” (FSF) is intended to support readiness
actions for the fight against climate change, such as policy design, institutional capacity building, or even demonstration projects. Ultimately, the aim is to improve developing countries’ capacities for action in response to climate change over the long term. France has pledged to provide developing countries with €1.26 billion in FSF, 20% of which specifically allocated to forests.
This report presents the results of a study conducted by GRET on monitoring of France’s pledges for FSF for REDD+. After a detailed presentation of the initial pledges, it gives a quantitative and qualitative report on France’s efforts in
this area since Copenhagen. It formulates several recommendations for policy-makers and NGOs concerned with the fight against climate change, sustainable forest management and international development cooperation.