Central Africa is home to the second largest tropical rainforest in the world. Forest loss is accelerating despite ongoing efforts, as government action alone has not been enough to establish an effective balance between the interests of the forest and of economic development. On this basis, a coalition of donors – the European Union, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of France, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Korea – together with Central African partner countries – Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, and the Republic of Gabon – have decided to enter into a collaborative partnership to establish the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI).
CAFI’s objective is to recognize and preserve the value of the forests in the region to mitigate climate change, reduce poverty, and contribute to sustainable development. This objective will be attained through the implementation of country-led, national scale REDD+ and Low Emissions Development (LED) investment frameworks that include policy reforms and measures to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and promote sustainable development. The CAFI Trust Fund is the principal means to implement the Central African Forest Initiative. It is administered by the MPTF-O and the UNDP Nature, Climate and Energy Team provides the secretariat services.
The Republic of Gabon signed the CAFI Declaration in 2015, followed by the preparation of a National Investment Framework (NIF) and a Letter of Intent (LOI) with CAFI in 2017. In this LOI, Gabon committed to the realization of time-bound milestones and CAFI committed to providing financial support for a programme (CAFI 1) to support land use planning and forest monitoring.
Building on CAFI 1, two new programmes were approved in 2020 (CAFI 2) on forest certification (AFD) and agriculture optimization and protected area expansion (UNDP) in coherence with CAFI’s and the Gabonese government’s expectations and in line with the NIF and LOI. The programmes are currently in their investment phase; the first Steering Committee of the UNDP programme was held in November this year, while it is expected that the AFD programme will be rolled out in December 2020.
In addition, in September 2019, CAFI and the Government of Gabon signed an addendum to the LOI, constituting a historical agreement of 150 million US$ in results-based payments (CAFI 3), to support the country in implementing its low emissions development strategy (LEDS), aiming to achieve sustainable economic growth and contribute to global climate efforts. The addendum lists several pre-conditions for accessing those payments:
Forest reference emissions level (FREL) is submitted to the UNFCCC
Results are calculated, reported and verified as per the LOI addendum
A Summary of Information (SOI) on how the Cancun safeguards have been addressed and respected is submitted
A registry of carbon credits to avoid double counting is put in place
The Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) is submitted to the UNFCCC
An investment framework on how the results-based payments will be used is prepared
The CAFI 3 Investment Framework details the Gabonese government’s reflections on project criteria for the use of results-based payments, notably to reduce current emissions, avoid future emissions, enhance carbon stocks and monitor mitigation efforts. The Framework is currently in its final stages of validation.
The objective of this consultancy is to provide technical support to the CAFI Secretariat in:
(i) Preparing and writing a detailed Project Document in support of the CAFI 3 Investment Framework on the use of proceeds of the results-based payment;
(ii) Provide ad hoc technical advisory to CAFI and the Government of Gabon on all aspects of CAFI 2 and 3 programme completion and implementation.