World Bank Group Forest Action Plan FY16-20: The WBG contribution to the forest agenda

12 April 2016

18 April 2016 | Minutes

Carole Megevand, Global Lead on Forest, World Bank


Meeting with CSOs

  • Forest Action Plan launched last week
  • FAP guiding principles:
    • 2002 forest strategy remains valid, not reviewing or changing, consensus that the pillars are valid – more to move into operationalisation, how to implement the pillars
    • reflect on new challenges and opportunities, lot going on eg NY declaration, SDGs, Paris Agreement – grounding in this new context
    • alignment with the WBG goals – strategy came before – as well as new structure of WB
    • reduce poverty, create jobs and wealth, sustain economies
    • tell the stories how forests are important
  • structure – a value proposition, from whole WBG, incl IFC, MIGA – how to best complement each other to our clients
  • Focus area 1: sustainable forestry
    • Traditional way at looking at forestry, sustainable management, supporting clients, to support livelihoods, jobs, preserve ecosystem services
  • Focus area 2: ‘forest-smart’ interventions in other sectors
    • Cross over with other sectors, such as infrastructure, agriculture, energy, mining transport
    • Look at other sectors that can adversely impact or benefit from forests
  • Themes that should be part of any intervention: participation & rights, institutions & governance, climate change & resilience

Q re FAP vs Climate Action Plan

  • action plans went to CODE at the same time, important to complement – worked together on overlap
  • same entry points and targets, eg more on readiness
  • also interaction w other sectors
  • initial reduction programme, figure by 2020 in both

Q re rights agenda

  • how closely working with colleagues working on the land agenda
  • working together in some cases, using a tool re land governance – eg to reform the operations in Colombia but also used in other countries
  • good visibility, also demand outside of the land team to help design operations

Q re follow up on criticism in IEG report, eg re poverty impacts and on industrial logging, in particular as 2002 strategy still stands

  • IEG report criticism more about implementation,
  • Poverty reduction, weakness also M&E, how to monitor – have tried to work a lot on this, also clarify how poverty contribute to poverty alleviation – need to work on this, need to do more on this
  • Ambitious serious analytical work, 3m dollar activity, coordination of universities, next 2 years linkages forest and poverty, how to maximise benefits to the poor
  • Monitoring, criticised by IEG no evidence of the impact – unable to monitor the impacts, one recommendation to try to identify indicators beyond the life time of the project, predict potential future impact – predictive proxy indicators, have worked on this – have a working paper on this, long term impacts
  • Better equipped now, will see how robust they are, and fine tune – so that we can report also for the future
  • Industrial logging, generated a lot of discussion, recommendation from IEG was rejected by management – they confirmed that there was a way for the WB to continue to be involved in industrial logging activity, but prior assessment of soc & env impact, also worked on env & soc guidance that needs to be used before any engagement
  • Management didn’t want us to bank, but in full knowledge on env & soc impacts

Q on additional assessment: no evidence that projects on assessments, not a call to ban activities, but a need for additional assessments that the activities are generating results – on projects in the past to generate results for the poor to learn lessons for the future

  • agree with IEG that the monitoring and indicators were not very strong, trying to strengthen monitoring system, including PPI, impact evaluation
  • weaknesses identified, would like to strengthen

Q forest strategy, are there some kind of safeguards already in place in countries to ensure implementation will be different this time, eg the problems of rights in regards to poverty

  • will apply the safeguards in place for WB operations, no specific for forestry section
  • will be transitioning to the new framework when ready
  • country needs are very different so will need to adjust to specific needs of the country
  • don’t want to be too prescriptive, demand driven, need to come from the countries
  • we have a menu that will guide the discussion with the country, but demand driven – need to identify their priorities
  • can’t work on land right issues if no demand from the client, understanding of the political economy, etc, important to understand the context

Q how the new safeguards framework will interact with this, references to how it will work with it, but CSOs have concerns – no clear guidance on when you need to use the safeguards – could there be a guidance to ensure forest concerns are taken into account, to ensure impacts aren’t missed

  • safeguards at the operational level, analysis before operations level, to influence how operations are implemented and so on
  • different countries might need different things
  • upstream analysis – not about safeguards, that’s more from the operations side
  • have discussed with safeguards colleagues, natural habitats covers forests even if not specifically mentioned
  • don’t’ want to wait for the level of the project, there is a need for infrastructure eg in DRC, want to be able to influence eg road vs river, what are the trade offs, financial implications

Q for implementation, the value of forests and accounting for this, eg re depletion of natural capital vs growth rate – how will it work with the WAVES programme or similar, re the private sector

  • need to better value the forest
  • poor decisions have been taken because the value has not been known
  • WAVES will be used as part of country notes, dollar signs is what is most important at the country level
  • WAVES also working on the global level, for better indicators for forests

Q country forest notes, what do they consist of, what type of information, and how would they influence CPF on a country level, are there priority countries? Would it include increasing capacity?

  • type of information, we are working on this now, 6-8 country notes together with the climate change team, so already strong involvement with the climate funds
  • want to star with countries where we already have a grasp of the challenges, have data – first wave of countries
  • the notes should inform some decision points, such as SCDs
  • need to be realistic as well, don’t want to prepare 40 country notes if not right, going slowly
  • bit question how we manage staff, don’t always have to send someone to prepare, as staff can be competent
  • if sectoral and safeguards combined could justify having a person

Q Oxfam work on IFC and FIs, mentioned whole WBG will be involved – research on IFCs work through FIs released tomorrow, being more hands off, less control of what the money is going – how can the FAP deliver results if removed, and what capacity is there to monitor

  • discussed this specifically, raised with CSOs and stakeholders, but IFC said standards apply across the board, but that this could maybe be strengthened
  • interested in research

Q regarding budget to implement action plan, eg also through IDA18

Q countries mentioned in FAP are generally those with capacity, how will the forest team engage with other countries eg IDA

  • re the budget, no specific targets, as demand driven, so can’t anticipate what the appetite will be
  • re WB budget, have a pool of experts with experience of forests, also in agriculture, water, mining, climate – need to work as a team across GPs
  • IDA18, have no info apart from heard from BIC re lobby for the inclusion of forests
  • Need to understand the context of the country, to have the operation that would impact the most, will depend from one country to another
  • The programmatic approach means will not have a one size fits all, need to be flexible – want to take advantage of the different funds around, for policy dialogue, technical assistance, etc

Q re climate screening, could you share the list of countries

  • learning curve for country notes, will see how it works, and how useful for country directors and minister of finance
  • list: Vietnam, Laos, Mozambique, DRC, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico – preliminary, may change

Q re IDA18, would be good to have forest team involved in discussion, makes sense to be mentioned in the IDA replenishment cycle

  • OK

Implementing the Forest Action Plan

  • country note one vehicle to inform the discussion on strategic level, upstream analysis and planning
  • operational level, programmatic approach – bring together the different sources of financing in different countries, piloted in a few countries, trying to align the different systems
  • strengthen monitoring systems – needed to strengthen our capacity, also want to work on the country systems
  • strengthen knowledge and evidence base – also how to use the knowledge generated, how to capture and disseminate, community of practice
  • streamline institutional arrangements and procedures – working as a team and build on expertise available within the WB, initiate dialogue with different trust funds, how to harmonise procedure, most donors are the same
  • partnerships – we are still a small player in the forestry sector, on average 400m dollars per year, but needs 70 – 100 billion, need to work in partnerships and leverage other sources

Q the indicators in the annex, core plus additional indicators and ‘forest-smart’ indicators – how will this be monitored and reported on, timeline, process. Deforestation not included on project level, will that be ramped up

  • identified a few elements to work on, easy steps.
  • Had different indicators before, difficult to see impact at portfolio level
  • Proxy indicators, guidance to the team on how to use – some can be clustered, are CSIs
  • Review of progress made on implementation during FY18
  • It won’t just be these indicators on a project level
  • Deforestation, about understanding the indirect impacts – working on tools to better understand, eg re infrastructure
  • Good discussion with transport and energy (hydropower etc) – fully committed but needs tools

Q IDB are also working on this, are you talking to them

  • on infrastructure, my colleague is working with IDB on general environmental impacts, so could have a dialogue