The German contribution

Protecting by using with care

Two employees of a tree nursery in Beira, Mozambique, checking seedlings

"Protecting by using" is an important strategy of German development cooperation. Partner countries are supported in improving the management of their forest resources. With German support, they reform their legal, organisational and social frameworks. Conceptual approaches are developed for placing particularly valuable forests under protection, while at the same time leaving scope for sustainable management of the remaining forest areas. All important aspects are taken into account and given equal priority: economic return, nature conservation, preservation of the cultural heritage and social balance.

The BMZ focuses on three areas in order to achieve the overarching development goals that are linked to forests:

  • Rewarding the efforts of partner countries to curb deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)
  • Restoring diverse, economically productive and ecologically intact forest landscapes
  • Deforestation-free supply chains.

Multi- and bilateral support for implementing REDD+

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REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) provides for monetary payments to developing countries. These payments reward countries which, by protecting and sustainably managing their forests, verifiably avoid carbon dioxide emissions and thus make a contribution toward mitigating global climate change.

REDD+ reduces deforestation and forest degradation. As the second largest donor after Norway, Germany is supporting the multilateral Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) initiative by providing 160 million euros, 150 million euros of which come from the BMZ budget. At the bilateral level, between 2008 and 2014 the BMZ provided some 600 million euros to support programmes focusing on REDD+ in over 30 countries. The REDD for Early Movers (REM) programme also rewards partner countries that pioneer ways of demonstrably reducing deforestation.

The first sub-national administrative unit to be compensated for proven emission reductions is the Brazilian federal state of Acre. Partnerships with Ecuador and Colombian Amazonia are about to be concluded. Others are under preparation.

Restoring forest landscapes

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The BMZ is supporting African partner countries in restoring degraded forest landscapes, so that these are better able to perform their ecological and economic roles. The African Forest Landscape Restoration (AFR100) initiative aims to restore new forest and productive, tree-rich landscapes on up to 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.

Together with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the African Union, work is currently under way to create a political, institutional, technical and financial environment that will enable this initiative to succeed. Through AFR100, the BMZ is making a visible contribution towards implementing international forest protection and reforestation targets (Bonn Challenge, New York Declaration on Forests), and thus also towards mitigating climate change.

Establishing deforestation-free supply chains

Oil palm plantation in Indonesia

Many forest areas are cleared in order to produce agricultural raw materials for our everyday consumer goods. These raw materials include palm oil, soy, cocoa, natural rubber, meat and leather. In view of this threat to the global forests, companies are increasingly undertaking to source only agricultural raw materials that are certified as having been produced without causing deforestation. The demand for certified goods produced on a deforestation-free basis can thus create an economic incentive to protect the forests. Most companies, however, are barely able to implement these voluntary obligations on their own.

Through the initiative for deforestation-free supply chains, the BMZ is therefore supporting companies with global operations in implementing their voluntary commitments. This involves developing strategies with which state instruments such as land use planning and private sector instruments such as sustainability standards can be better linked. Small farmers are also being supported in achieving certification, thus integrating them into global supply chains.

BMZ glossary

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