The first step for developing countries to access financing under the Readiness Mechanism of the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) is the development of a Readiness Plan Idea Note (R-PIN). This paper considers the extent to which R-PINs approved by the FCPF trust fund committee addressed questions of good governance of forests. The objective of this exercise is to identify issues that will need to be addressed more completely as countries proceed with readiness programs.

Executive Summary

In 2007 the World Bank launched the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) to assist developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). It currently includes a Readiness Mechanism to build developing country capacity for REDD activities, and a Carbon Finance Mechanism to test a program of performance-based incentive payments in pilot countries. FCPF programs are expected to infl uence the global learning process on how to reduce emissions from deforestation in developing countries.

As of February 2009, the Readiness Plan Idea Notes (R-PINs) of 25 countries have been approved, and 11 others are pending approval in March. The 25 accepted countries are eligible to receive funding to develop a Readiness Plan (R-Plan), which will elaborate on the R-PIN and present a more detailed strategy for realizing REDD at the national level. The emphasis of the Readiness Mechanism is to assist developing countries to determine a national reference scenario of deforestation, develop a monitoring system for REDD, and adopt a national strategy for reducing deforestation and forest degradation.

However, readiness funds may also be used to address underlying conditions that will need to be in place to ensure the sustainable use of forest resources, including foundations of good forest governance. These might include, for example, the ability to provide secure tenure over forest land and resources, enforce forest laws, and empower forest-dependent communities to participate in forest management. Many of these fundamental conditions are weak or absent within developing countries that might participate in REDD. Without them it will be difficult, if not unfeasible, to reduce rates deforestation and degradation at the national level and deal with risks of leakage. Strengthening forest governance is therefore an essential readiness activity that will strongly influence the likelihood of achieving significant and lasting emission reductions.