Edward Kilawe is Associate Forestry Officer in the FAO Forestry Department, Rome.
An online resource consolidates information on funding sources, policies and delivery mechanisms.
Developing countries have limited resources for implementing sustainable forest management activities and developing capacity for sustainable forestry development. Lack of information, coordination and mobilization of funding, together with a weak institutional framework in most developing countries, has hampered progress in sustainable forest management.
Mobilization of domestic and international financial resources for sustainable forest management has been and remains one of the most critical and politically sensitive issues addressed in international policy fora such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF), the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) and the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) (ECOSOC, 2000; Chipeta and Joshi, 2001). Indeed, one of the tasks of UNFF is to “take steps to devise approaches towards appropriate financial and technology transfer support to enable the implementation of sustainable forest management” (ECOSOC, 2001).
The IPF/IFF deliberations and related expert meetings on financing for sustainable forest management held in Pretoria, South Africa in 1996 (UNDP, 1996), Croydon, United Kingdom in 1999 (UNDP, 1999) and Oslo, Norway in 2001 (Chipeta and Joshi, 2001) indicated that:
To address these concerns, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests1 (CPF), established in 2001 to support the work of UNFF, has launched a new tool, a Web-based sourcebook on funding for sustainable forest management. The sourcebook compiles information on funding sources, policies and delivery mechanisms, with particular focus on developing countries.
The CPF Sourcebook is available online at www.fao.org/forestry/cpf-sourcebook
The CPF Sourcebook is a collective effort of CPF, facilitated by FAO, in collaboration with the National Forest Programme Facility. FAO is currently responsible for its maintenance and updating. Once fully developed and disseminated, the sourcebook should have the potential to help:
The CPF Sourcebook covers a broad range of funding resources, public and private, domestic and external. Information is derived from various sources, including donor agencies and countries, CPF members, international forest-related organizations and instruments, development banks, private sources, regional processes and other groups, such as foundations and some international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The Sourcebook Web site is organized under the following main headings:
The CPF Sourcebook also provides information on ways to package a project proposal when seeking funding as well as ways to use funding assistance efficiently once obtained.
The database of funding sources covers a wide range of funds (as of April 2003, more than 350 sources have been entered in the database) from those supporting individuals and small NGOs to those available to larger institutions, forest enterprises and governments (see article by Hall which follows). Most of these funding sources have specific criteria and procedures for providing and redirecting funding.
The CPF Sourcebook also provides a simple moderated forum for information sharing and networking. It provides information on various networks, documents, publications and events of interest to those seeking funding for sustainable forest management activities.
The CPF Sourcebook was conceived as an interactive electronic resource that can be updated as required and that is expected to expand through user interaction with the site. A number of tools were developed to enable users to submit, electronically, relevant references on information resources of interest. In addition, summaries of information of particular interest can be easily compiled into an electronic newsletter or bulletin for distribution through an e-mail list server.
Much of the information in the CPF Sourcebook is time dependent, such as the amount of funding available from a given donor or the donor’s forest sector policy. Keeping the information up to date will be the main challenge for the future development, maintenance and management of the sourcebook, as it contains hundreds of information items which will need to be updated periodically.
The main source of information has been English-language Web sites. It is hoped that ongoing efforts to disseminate word of the CPF Sourcebook around the globe will facilitate its expansion to include resource materials that are not in English. The sourcebook will be translated into French and Spanish as resources allow.
One of the greatest difficulties has been obtaining information on domestic funding sources, especially in the developing world, and particularly where Web sites are not in English or where information is not yet available on the Internet. The developers of the sourcebook are now seeking to engage various forestry networks as a way of expanding the search for information, especially of this kind.
The sourcebook is a user-friendly tool which will enable access to reliable and consolidated information on various types of funding. It is expected to help increase the exchange of knowledge and information, promote networking and partnerships and build the interface between financial institutions, other fund providers and forest stakeholders.
The CPF Sourcebook will be publicized widely through forestry networks, events and meetings and through national and regional workshops related to national forest programmes and funding for sustainable forest management. Its publication on CD-ROM and in hard copy is being considered for those with limited access to the Internet or computers.
Chipeta, E.M. & Joshi, M., eds. 2001. Financing sustainable forest management. Report of the International Workshop of Experts, Oslo, Norway, 22-25 January 2001. Bogor, Indonesia, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). 2000. Report of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests on its fourth session, New York, USA, 31 January - 11 February 2000. Presented to the 8th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, New York, 24 April - 5 May 2000. Available on the Internet: www.un.org/esa/forests/documents-iff.html
ECOSOC. 2001. Summary of the first session of the United Nations Forum on Forests, New York, USA, 11-23 June 2001. Available on the Internet: www.un.org/esa/forests/documents
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 1996. Financial mechanisms and sources of finance for sustainable forestry. Proceedings of a workshop, Pretoria, South Africa, 4-7 June 1996. New York, USA.
UNDP. 1999. Financing of sustainable forest management, Report of a workshop, Croydon, UK, 11-13 October 1999. New York, USA.
1CPF members include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Secretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Secretariat of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO), the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the World Bank and the World Conservation Union (IUCN).