Jurisdictional Sustainability: Primer for Practitioners


With the goal of building a common understanding of jurisdictional sustainability—how to define it, why it is important, and how to put it into practice at scale—a group of practitioners came together in January of 2015 and June of 2016 to share perspectives and experiences. On Tuesday, February 14th at 11:00am Central European Time, a publication summarizing the main results of these meetings was released. It is called: “Jurisdictional Sustainability: Primer for Practitioners” and is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Bahasa Indonesia, and French.

California, at Forefront of Climate Fight, Won’t Back Down to Trump



LOS ANGELES — Foreign governments concerned about climate change may soon be spending more time dealing with Sacramento than Washington. President-elect Donald J. Trump has packed his cabinet with nominees who dispute the science of global warming. He has signaled he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. He has belittled the notion of global warming and attacked policies intended to combat it.

GCF Members in Action at COP 22

By Rosa Maria Vidal, GCF Fund


This year’s 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been coined the “The COP of Action,” promising to put the Paris Agreement into action. In response, jurisdictions from the Governors Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) have been actively involved in demonstrating the critical role of subnational governments in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Guided by the Rio Branco Declaration (RBD), a commitment to reduce deforestation by 80% by 2020, GCF jurisdictional efforts will be crucial in achieving the Paris Agreement by accelerating the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), reducing deforestation, and closing the carbon gap. Participation in COP 22 from GCF member states and provinces from regions such as Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, Peru, and the United States helped propel the advances of both the GCF's unique subnational network and the global climate action community (see catalog of events for comprehensive list).

Laying Foundations for Jurisdictional Sustainability: INOBU, Ministry of Agriculture, Central Kalimantan & Districts and Launch Online Tool and Sign MOU

By Joko Arief, INOBU


Institut Penelitian Inovasi Bumi (INOBU), the GCF Coordinator in Indonesia, the Ministry of Agriculture, Central Kalimantan province and three districts (Gunung Mas, Kotawaringin Barat and Seruyan), recently solidified an ongoing partnership to accelerate the development of sustainable oil palm in Indonesia. The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding and launched SIPKEBUN, an online system built by INOBU to integrate information on palm oil growers—from industrial scale plantations to independent smallholder farmers. For the first time, the Indonesian government will be able to electronically monitor all oil palm growers: where they are growing it and how they are growing it, a crucial component towards achieving sustainable palm oil in Indonesia.

Forest Defenders in Acre Meet with their GCF Counterparts in California

By Colleen Scanlan Lyons, GCF


Governor Viana of Acre, Brazil and a high-level delegation of governmental and indigenous leaders from his state visited California in October 2016. The purpose of this visit was threefold: to foster collaboration with other early-mover GCF leaders (Governor Brown of California), to show support for California’s cap-and-trade program, and to seed new partnerships with forest product investors and the academic community in California. In meetings with civil society, private sector, and governmental leaders, including the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, the Acre delegation highlighted how their sustainable forest economy provided a model for harmonizing rural development with reduced deforestation. This visit provided many opportunities for increasing the dialogue on how environmental sustainability and social inclusion could best come together in practical ways. A representative of the Kaxinawa tribe of Acre spoke with Governor Brown about the role of indigenous communities in reducing deforestation on tribal lands. Members of California’s environmental justice community interacted with Acre’s state-level bureaucrats on questions of social inclusion, climate justice, and sustainable production. The visit, hosted by the Earth Innovation Institute with support from the GCF Secretariat, the Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy and Forest Trends, was a model for cross-jurisdictional education and exchange across GCF membership from the global north and south.

Amazonas-FAS-Marriott Certificate


Brazil made history at the recent GCF annual meeting when the State Secretary of Environment for Amazonas (SEMA), on behalf of the State Government of Amazonas, and the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), delivered its first-ever certificate of carbon emissions reduction to the US-headquartered hospitality company Marriott International. This is the first certificate in Brazil marking a partnership between a state government, a private institution and a non-governmental organization. The certificate verifies the reduction of 400,000 tons of dioxide-carbon (tCO2) by activities between 2006 and 2013 at the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve (RDS), located in the municipality of Novo Aripuanã. This Juma REDD+ project aims to curb deforestation and associated greenhouse gas emissions in a 2,770-square-mile area is facing significant land-use pressure in Brazil’s north western Amazon. To date, 96% of the Juma Reserve, home to over 2000 residents in 39 communities, is intact Amazon rainforest.

GCF members organize an international “Biodiversity, Ecotourism and Creative Economy” Conference in Jayapura, Papua


GCF delegates from Papua, Indonesia organized an international conference that united the GCF across Indonesia with important international donors, including USAID, the US Embassy, GTZ, the European Union, and the Rainforest Foundation. The purpose of the conference was to celebrate the biodiversity of Papua and to collectively plan sustainable development pathways that protect and enhance this biodiversity by emphasizing ecotourism and creative economic development options, including the sustainable production of coffee, chocolate, and honey. GCF delegates from Amazonas, Brazil and Cross River State, Nigeria participated in the conference and presented models at work in their regions. These models provided valuable lessons for Papua’s consideration and emphasized the importance of political engagement, sound legislation, and integrated jurisdictional planning. The GCF members also met with the Head of the Planning Department for Papua. The conference was opened by Governor Lukas Enembe of Papua, and featured interactive panels, an innovation fair, field trips, and performances by traditional Papuan artists.

GCF Peruvian Members sign the Declaration of Guadalajara, furthering climate action in the Peruvian Amazon


Five GCF Amazonian Provinces in Peru (Huánuco, Loreto, Madre de Dios, San Martin, and Ucayali), organized by GCF Peru Coordinator, Mechanisms for Alternative Development (MDA), came together in Guadalajara, Mexico to sign the Declaration of Guadalajara during the 2016 GCF Annual meeting. This declaration aligns with the Paris Agreement as well as with the GCF’s Rio Branco Declaration, committing Peruvian regions to international cooperation on climate mitigation and adaptation, emissions reductions, natural resource conservation, and sustainable development across the Peruvian Amazon. Following the Annual Meeting, the Interregional Amazon Council (CIAM) and MDA convened the GCF Peruvian Amazonian Governors at the Congress of the Republic to present the Declaration of Guadalajara to important partners and supporters of the GCF, including Per Pharo, Director of the Government of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative and the First Secretary of the Norwegian Embassy. The meeting took place with the presence of Congressman Cesar Villanueva, and the President of the National Assembly of Regional Governors of Peru.

GCF members from Brazil, Mexico, and Peru sign Memorandum of Understanding with the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) to strengthen forest conservation, support low emissions development, and develop integrated projects across Latin America.


GCF states and provinces across Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and Peru) signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding with the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) at the recent GCF annual meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico. This agreement commits the GCF members and CAF to working together through 2020 to achieve three objectives. First, the GCF and CAF will construct and implement regionally integrated projects that bring GCF jurisdictions together around mutual goals such as sustainable agricultural and supply chain development; agroforestry; low emissions development, including ecotourism and green economy initiatives; Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+); forest restoration; rural development and social and environmental safeguards; forest zoning and environmental registry development; and monitoring, reporting, and verification systems integration. GCF members and CAF will also develop diverse co-financing and co-funding strategies for these projects, and will also work to strengthen subnational, national, and international political alliances for scaling up projects through 2020, thereby increasing the impact on forest conservation, low emissions development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation across Latin America.

2016 Everyday Heroes Award Recipient: Pak Husaini Syamaun (Aceh Province, Indonesia)


Last year we started presenting an annual Everyday Heroes Award to a civil servant from one of the GCF member states and provinces who embodies the values, commitment, and dedication to service that is at the heart of the GCF—someone who works hard every day inside the government and across different political administrations to advance the agenda of protecting forests and climate and enhancing livelihoods. The award recognizes that any real and lasting solution to climate change—any effective approach to low emissions development—will have to involve thousands of hard working civil servants in state and provincial governments all around the world. These civil servants rarely, if ever, get the recognition that they deserve. Yet, they are on the front lines, together with their civil society partners, and much of the solution to climate change goes through them.

GCF Governors join with Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, high-level officials, and stakeholders from around the world at the 2016 annual meeting of The Governors’ Climate & Forests Task Force (GCF)


The Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) held its annual meeting in Guadalajara Mexico Aug 28-Sept 1, 2016. The meeting was led by Governor Aristóteles Sandoval of Jalisco and co-convened with the second Climate Change Summit of the Americas. More than 600 people attended the meeting including governors, mayors, and other high-level officials from around the world. Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, participated in the meeting as a special guest and stressed the importance of subnational action and leadership as a key component of any successful effort to achieve the ambitious targets of the Paris Climate Agreement. Under the leadership of Governor Sandoval, many of the states and provinces at the meeting launched the Jalisco Declaration, providing further evidence of their commitment to subnational climate action under the Rio Branco Declaration, the Under 2 MOU, and related instruments. The Guadalajara meeting also provided the venue for launching important new partnerships, including: (1) a new climate finance MOU between GCF members from Brazil, Peru, and Mexico and the Latin American Development Bank (CAF); (2) a new climate cooperation framework for the Amazon regions in Peru; and (3) a $2 million purchase by the Marriott Corporation of emissions reductions from the Sustainable Amazonas Foundation (FAS). The GCF Fund also moved ahead in its discussions with the GCF members and Norway to finalize its program for distributing the $25 million commitment that Norway made to GCF states and provinces at the GCF annual meeting in 2015. The GCF also added six new members at the meeting: Yucatan, Mexico; North Kalimantan, Indonesia; Caquetá, Colombia; Huánuco, Peru; Piura, Peru; and Maranhão, Brazil, bringing our total membership to 35 states and provinces from nine countries. Additionally, GCF members selected East Kalimantan as the Chair of GCF for 2017 and as the host of the GCF’s next annual meeting.

Peru Adopts National Climate Change Plan

By Brittany Patterson, Environmenal and Energy Publishing


In July, the Peruvian Agricultural and Environmental Ministry solidified La Estrategia Nacional sobre Bosques y Cambio Climático, a plan that has engaged indigenous communities, civil society, and local governments to put Peru on the path to reducing deforestation, thereby reducing greenhouse gases. This multi-pronged approach will also look to incentivize both private companies and small-scale farmers to alter their land use management practices in order to curtail the rapid deforestation resulting in the loss of nearly 300,000 acres of forests annually. Read the full article at ClimateWire.

California Is Considering a Global Approach To Offset Strategies


California’s Cap and Trade Program (AB 32), managed by the Air Resources Board, may soon be able to start allowing companies to meet emission reduction regulations by including rainforest jurisdictions in their offset options. This would allow regulated industries in California to purchase surplus allowances from regions like Acre, Brazil, which are tapping into innovative emission reduction strategies. If approved, this would be the first program of its kind to allow for the reduction in tropical deforestation to sync up with market demands.

Governor of West Kalimantan to Support Green Growth in Indonesia


On May 26th, the Governor of West Kalimantan, Cornelis MH, announced his plans to support sustainable and low carbon growth using an integrated landscape approach. In a newly formed partnership with IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative and PTCUS, Governor Cornelis will be supporting a combined effort on behalf of governments, private companies, and public stakeholders to implement green growth strategies. Read the full article here.

ARB Workshops Promote the Inclusion of Tropical Forest Credits in the California Cap-and-Trade Program


GCF members rallied to support the ongoing effort by California to integrate jurisdictional REDD+ into its greenhouse gas (GHG) compliance system, which is the first such effort in the world. Members from topical forest states and provinces around the world hope to provide critical proof-of-concept for broader efforts to link emissions reductions in tropical forest jurisdictions with existing and emerging GHG compliance markets. GCF members took part in the public ARB workshops in Sacramento and also participated in a meeting highlighting Indigenous and traditional community leaders’ perspectives on AB 32 in April, 2016. Indigenous leaders from Peru, Brazil, and Mexico who work with GCF members also participated in a dialogue with the Yurok Tribe.

Governors From Brazil Create Pathways for Reducing Deforestation and Building Sustainable Supply Chains


In 2015 GCF Brazil achieved a remarkably high level of involvement from the GCF Governors. In May 2015 the Governors gathered to reinstate the Legal Amazon Governor’s Forum. Three Forum meetings were held during the year—bearing important results such as the Cuiaba Letter, Manaus Letter and Belem Letter. These efforts sent a clear message to the Federal Government and international stakeholders that the subnational governments in the Amazon are poised to take the lead in the international REDD+ agenda. Internationally, this message was also carried to the GCF Annual Meeting in Barcelona by 4 Brazilian GCF Governors (Acre, Mato Grosso, Pará and Tocantins) and the Vice-Governor of Maranhão (GCF Observer) as well as at COP-21, where Governors from Acre, Amazonas, Mato Grosso and Tocantins participated in several side events hosted/co-hosted by the GCF and Brazilian GCF States.

GCF Concludes Successful 2015 Annual Meeting


Last week the Governors Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) held their 2015 annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain. Hosted by GCF member, Catalonia, the meeting was a great success. The Government of Norway’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, Hanne Bjurstrøm announced a substantial contribution to the GCF Fund (200 million Krone or approximately $25 million USD), recognizing the importance of the GCF states and provinces in leading the way on subnational climate action with the Rio Branco Declaration and their broader efforts to advance jurisdictional approaches to REDD+ and low emissions development. The meeting was attended by twelve GCF Governors and featured new and renewed commitments to the Rio Branco Declaration, including the addition of Mato Grosso, Para, and Tocantins as signatories; mobilization of additional support for the Under 2 MOU; and many important exchanges with civil society, the private sector, and indigenous peoples organizations. Governor Teras Narang of Central Kalimantan announced an innovative agreement with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to pursue a province-wide approach to certification under the RSPO standard. Former Governor Bill Richardson also addressed the plenary session of the annual meeting, calling upon GCF Governors to join him in a Governors Club on Restoration and to help advance the Global Restoration Initiative. The GCF also welcomed three new members: Rondonia, Brazil; Belier, Ivory Coast; and Cavally, Ivory Coast, bringing its membership to twenty-nine states and provinces in eight different countries. Jalisco (Mexico) was elected as the incoming chair of the GCF for 2016 and will host the annual meeting in Guadalajara next year.

Government of Norway Makes Major Pledge of USD $25 Million to the Governors' Climate and Forests Fund


The Government of Norway has made a major pledge of USD $25 million to the Governors' Climate and Forests Fund to support innovative rainforest states in their plans to implement the Rio Branco Declaration to reduce deforestation 80% by 2020 and provide opportunities to local communities. The pledge will leverage the fund's efforts to enlist additional public and private funding sources.

Elaine Corsini of Mato Grosso, Brazil is Awarded the First Annual Everyday Heroes Award at the 2015 GCF Annual Meeting


Any real and lasting solution to climate change—any effective approach to low emissions development—will have to involve thousands of hard working civil servants in state and provincial governments around the world. These civil servants rarely if ever get the recognition that they deserve. They are on the front lines—together with their civil society partners—in the ongoing effort to fashion durable solutions to the twin challenges of climate change and sustainable land use. The Everyday Heroes Award recognizes these civil servants. It is awarded annually to a civil servant in one of the GCF member states and provinces who embodies the values and the commitment to the core mission of the GCF, working hard every day to advance the agenda of protecting forests and climate while enhancing livelihoods.

Governors’ Climate & Forests Fund Releases New Request for Proposals


On December 6th, 2014 the Governors’ Climate and Forests Fund launched its second Request for Proposals at a special reception on the sidelines of the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima, Peru. Alongside notable guests including governors, GCF Fund board members, and the Brazilian Ambassador to Peru, GCF Fund Executive Director Rosa Maria Vidal announced the release of the call which will strengthen the ability for GCF members to monitor, report, and verify changes in forest carbon stocks, enhance alignment with national level efforts to reduce tropical deforestation, and address key gap areas in the design of jurisdictional programs to promote sustainable low emission rural development.  The call is a part of the GCF Fund’s wider and ongoing efforts to support multi-stakeholder programs which enhance GCF member capacities to reduce deforestation while improving rural livelihoods.

GCF Indonesia Explores the Challenges of Building Institutions for Low Emissions Development at the Subnational Level


GCF representatives, along with key experts from national and provincial government, as well as civil society, gathered in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan (Indonesia), for a three-day REDD+ training event from November 24-26, 2014 as part of the GCF Training Program. The third in a series of regional trainings for GCF provinces in Indonesia, this seminar focused on confronting the institutional challenges facing the province-level implementation of emissions reduction programs in the country's six GCF provinces.

States of the Brazilian Amazon meet in Belem to discuss challenges to the advancement of REDD+

By Samuel Simões Neto, IDESAM


How to develop state REDD+ programs and guarantee international resources for them? How to integrate these jurisdictional initiatives within a national law? With the aim of resolving these and other questions relating to REDD+, specialists from six Brazilian Amazon states convened at the Regent Hotel in Belém for the 3rd edition of the REDD+ Master-Level Class within the GCF Training Program.

Building Monitoring Capacity for the Jurisdictional REDD+ Program in Mato Grosso

By Briana Swette, Earth Innovation Institute


Through a project supported by the GCF Fund and together with the Secretary for the Environment Mato Grosso (SEMA-MT), Earth Innovation Institute, IPAM and the Woods Hole Research Center led a forest monitoring capacity building workshop on November 4-6th to support the Mato Grosso Jurisdictional REDD+ program. A diverse set of SEMA-MT technicians and representatives from local partner NGOs participated in the three-day course to learn state-of-the-art methodologies for mapping above-ground forest carbon and complementary monitoring tools.

Empowering communities to improve provincial MRV systems in Indonesia

By Jay Samek, Department of Forestry, Michigan State University


The GCF Fund project in East Kalimantan organized in coordination with Michigan State University (MSU), The Nature Conservancy – Indonesia, and the East Kalimantan Provincial Council for Climate Change (DDPI) held a three-day training workshop, a one day synthesis workshop and a one day outreach and extension meeting in Samarinda, East Kalimantan from 13 – 17 October 2014. Twenty-six people from seventeen agencies and institutions participated in the three-day training, which focused on use of the on-line Forest Carbon Inventory Toolbox, developed by MSU under the GCF Funded project, and on landscape level forest carbon mapping through the integration of field data and optical remote sensing satellite data. The Forest Carbon Inventory Toolbox is web-enabled and includes modules for developing REDD+ carbon project, managing geographic and forest plot inventory data, reporting carbon stocks (emission factors) and computing reference emission levels. Jay Samek (MSU), Delon Marthinus (TNC) and Dr. Fadjar Pambudhi (Mulawarman University/DDPI) led the training.

GCF Fund Announces New Contribution from the United States


The Governors' Climate and Forest Fund is pleased to announce a new contribution of USD 955,000 from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State. The contribution brings total U.S. support for the GCF Fund to USD 2.5 million. The additional resources will allow GCF states, provinces, and regional governments in Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Nigeria and Indonesia to advance critical MRV capacity for jurisdictional low emission development programs, bringing experts and technical assistance to support local institutions, communities and NGOs. The funds will be disbursed through an open Request for Proposal process, which will be distributed later this year.

Central Kalimantan Governor Teras Narang Announces Rio Branco Declaration at UN Climate Summit


On September 23, 2014, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, hosted the United Nations Climate Summit in New York. The Summit served as a public platform for leaders at the highest level, including representatives from all UN Member States, finance and business, and civil society, to inspire action on the ground for the reduction of emissions and to mobilize political will for an international agreement that limits the world to a less than 2-degree Celsius rise in global temperature.

Central Kalimantan Governor Teras Narang Joins Panel at Forests Pavilion During UN Climate Summit


Forests took center stage during the UN Climate Summit, held September 23, 2014, in New York. The Summit featured a high-level session on forests and a half-day Forests Pavilion, attended by heads of state, CEOs, and indigenous leaders. The Forests Pavilion provided an opportunity to elaborate on the impressive forest-related announcements being unveiled at the Climate Summit, such as The New York Declaration on Forests and to discuss how emerging partnerships can be advanced.

The Schwarzenegger Institute Hosts Symposium Focused on Climate Change and Lessons Learned in California


The University of Southern California Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy ("Schwarzenegger Institute") hosted a symposium with the California Air Resources Board and the Regions of Climate Action (R20) on September 8, 2014, focused on "Global Climate Negotiations: Lessons from California." The event featured discussions on how California’s policies positioned the state as a global leader in the fight against climate change, including explorations of how bipartisan and subnational approaches are necessary to effect change on climate issues. The audience included distinguished guests and leaders from the private sector, NGOs, state and local government, and academia.

GCF Annual Meeting in Rio Branco Provides International Forum for Innovative Thinking


The GCF Annual Meeting was held in Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil from August 11-14, 2014. Over 250 participants from indigenous communities, government agencies, NGOs, academia, and the private sector gathered to exchange information and learn about progress on the GCF's low emissions rural development and REDD-related objectives.

Historic Rio Branco Declaration Launched at GCF Annual Meeting Could Result in 3.8 Billion Tons of Avoided CO2 Emissions


On August 11, 2014 at the GCF Annual Meeting in Acre, Brazil, fourteen GCF Governors from across the world launched the Rio Branco Declaration committing their states and provinces to reducing deforestation 80% by 2020 with performance-based funding from the international community. Through the Declaration, the Governors are pledging a substantial share of any pay-for-performance benefits that flow to GCF jurisdictions to forest-dependent communities, farmers, smallholders, and Indigenous Peoples. With additional GCF Governors committing to sign on in the coming weeks, they are calling on donor countries, the private sector and civil society to work in partnership with them to help preserve the world's remaining tropical forests, to enhance livelihoods across their regions, and to develop clear and transparent mechanisms for securing and delivering performance-based benefits to forest-dependent communities, farmers, smallholders, and Indigenous Peoples. According to a recent analysis by the Earth Innovation Institute, if the GCF states and provinces reduce deforestation 80% by 2020, this will result in 3.8 billion tons of avoided CO2 emissions on top of the 3 billion tons of emissions already avoided by these jurisdictions.

GCF Support Network Prototype Under Revision

By Amelia Peterson, GCF Support Network Lead


At its core, the Governors’ Climate & Forests Task Force (GCF) is a unique collaboration among 22 states and provinces working to reduce tropical deforestation across the globe through the development of high-quality jurisdictional programs for low emissions development that are both economically sustainable and advance the livelihoods of forest communities. Since 2009, GCF members have led the way in designing and implementing jurisdiction-wide approaches to low-emissions development, with a focus on the subnational level of governance where the bulk of activities that mark the climate-tropical forests interface take place.

A Successful Start for Projects Supported by the GCF Fund

By Luke Pritchard, Project Manager, GCF Fund


Established in 2013 with a generous grant from the U.S. Department of State, the GCF Fund supports activities in GCF member states and provinces related to reducing emissions from deforestation, enhancing capacity, and promoting low emission rural development. Projects financed under the Fund’s first request for proposals began implementation during the first quarter of this year in Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Brazil, and Indonesia. In total, the Fund awarded more than $850,000 USD to enhance capacity related to forest carbon assessment in GCF member states.

GCF at Forests Asia Summit


On May 6 and 7, 2014, over 2,200 participants and 120 speakers attended the Forests Asia Summit organized by the Center for International Forestry (CIFOR) and co-hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry. The multi-stakeholder event addressed the theme of Sustainable Landscapes for Green Growth in Southeast Asia, and brought together members of the private sector, civil society, research organizations, and government. High level attendees included President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhono, Peruvian Minister of Environment and COP 20 President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Indonesian REDD+ Agency Head Heru Praseto, IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri, and CIFOR Director General Peter Holmgren.

GCF Indonesian Members Dinner Meeting

By Jasmine Puteri, [Kemitraan](http://www.kemitraan.or.id/index.php/main/home), Kemitraan, Country Coordinator for Indonesia


On April 2, Kemitraan, the GCF country coordination organization for Indonesia, hosted a dinner meeting for the GCF Task Force members present at the Indonesia 11 meeting. The meeting was attended by the GCF Secretariat staff and the taskforce members from three of the six GCF Indonesian regions (Papua, Aceh and West Kalimantan). The dinner meeting aimed to introduce the new GCF Secretariat members, to update each province’s progress, to coordinate the GCF national activities in Indonesia, and to discuss the upcoming meetings in Catalonia and Acre. The group also discussed, among other emerging issues, the 2014 priorities for the GCF, as well as strategies for implementing them.

GCF Representatives Participate in Katoomba XIX and XX


This spring, the Katoomba Group sponsored two international conferences held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and Lima, Peru. A project of the NGO Forest Trends, the Katoomba Group organizes global meetings that address environmental health and economic development by bringing together leaders in environmental policy, economics, forestry, the private sector, and civil society. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a major contributor to the GCF, provided significant funding for both meetings.

Navigating the American Carbon World Conference


The 12th annual conference focused on exploring the advancement of climate solutions such as the future growth and expansion of California's historic cap-and-trade program. In addition, the conference focused on other established and emerging carbon markets around the world, the status of potential linkages between markets, national climate change policy, and other innovative environmental initiatives.

GCF Training Program Workshop on Statewide MRV in Mexico


Representatives from the State Ministries of Environment from the GCF member states of Campeche and Chiapas gathered on February 27 at a workshop to discuss Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) at the state level. The workshop, supported by funding through the GCF Training Program, included participation of Ecologic, WHRC-MREDD+, CONAFOR-South-South Cooperation, ECOSUR, Pronatura, and other stakeholders that work on estimating biomass and carbon in the states of Chiapas and Campeche.

Recommendations to Brazil’s National REDD+ Strategy from GCF Brazilian Members


The six Brazilian member states of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) launched a report, “Contributions to the National Strategy for Emissions Reduction from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+): A Proposal for Allocation between States and the Union” this week. The study was developed by representatives of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará and Tocantins with technical support from the Institute for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of Amazonas (IDESAM) and is aligned with the other states of the Forum of State Secretaries of Environment from the Amazon states.

GCF Workshop in Brazil on Strategic Planning

By Mariana Pavan, Pavan Consulting & Environmental Management


José Lacerda, the Secretary of Environment of Mato Grosso, welcomed representatives from the six GCF Brazilian states on February 3rd and 4th to Cuiabá, Mato Grosso for a workshop on strategic planning. The objective of the workshop was to develop priorities among the states to eventually be able to contribute to the overall GCF strategic planning initiative as well as to define short and long term strategies to help achieve priorities of the Brazilian states and the greater GCF membership.

GCF at Yale’s Forests as Capital Conference


On January 31st, GCF Fund Board member and former GCF representative from the State of Amazonas (Brazil), João Talocchi, participated at Yale’s Annual Conference of the International Society of Tropical Foresters on behalf of the GCF and GCF Fund. The theme for the conference this year was Forests as Capital and forest conservation in the context of the capital approach (top down) and the local approach (bottom up).

International Forest Partnerships – Opportunities for German States to engage with the GCF

By Climate Focus


On January 24, 2014, Climate Focus invited representatives of the German federal government and of German federal states (Länder) to a workshop on “International Forest Partnerships – Opportunities for German States”. The objective of the workshop was to present the Governors’ Climate and Forest Task Force (GCF) and initiatives of the member states and provinces, to identify potential synergies and linkages between the GCF and German international initiatives, and to gauge opportunities for German states to engage with the GCF. Participants included representatives of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), and of state ministries and forest enterprises of Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

GCF Support Network Webinar


The GCF members are always seeking to develop and expand partnerships within their jurisdictions and to enhance the network of organizations from civil society, academia, government, the donor community, and the private sector that provide critical support to their ongoing efforts to build jurisdictional programs for low emissions development. With support from Norad (2013-15), the GCF launched the GCF Support Network, a web-based, interactive tool that will map the network of organizations in each GCF jurisdiction and provide tools to identify key experts and resources for solving specific problems as part of the overall effort to build jurisdictional programs. Among other things, this will result in an interactive tool/resource that will be accessible through the GCF Knowledge Database and the GCF website.

GCF Fund Awards Proposals to Improve Forest Carbon Assessment & Capacity


The Governors’ Climate and Forests Fund (GCF Fund) has announced that over $840,000 in funding has been awarded under the GCF Fund’s first Request for Proposals to improve forest carbon assessment and capacity. The winning proposals will bring together GCF member jurisdictions, local communities, leading technical experts, civil society organizations, national forest and environment ministries, and universities in Mexico, Peru, Nigeria, Brazil, and Indonesia (detailed descriptions of the seven projects are available on the GCF Fund’s website). The projects will result in enhanced stakeholder engagement and improved methods for measuring and monitoring forest carbon stocks and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with land use conversion. These projects will play an integral role in supporting the wider efforts of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Taskforce to demonstrate realistic and innovative pathways to low emission rural development.

GCF at the Oslo REDD Exchange 2013


The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), a financial supporter of the GCF, co-sponsored the Oslo REDD Exchange 2013 on October 29-30, 2013. Nearly 500 participants of more than 60 countries from government, civil society, research organizations, and the private sectors gathered to exchange experiences and to participate in a reinvigoration of the REDD+ community through discussion of a forward-looking agenda. Discussions addressed the fact that establishing REDD+ at both international and national levels has proven difficult by emphasizing the need to rediscover ambition, particularly in relation to the COP 19 held in Warsaw November 11-22, 2013. The conference had two main objectives: a) to summarize the present state of knowledge regarding previous and ongoing REDD+ initiatives, and b) to define the most urgent actions for the near future. In the final plenary session, attendees were invited to vote on actions to be taken.

2013 GCF Annual Meeting


The GCF held its annual plenary meeting in Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios, Peru on October 1-4, 2013. The GCF member jurisdictions of Aceh, Acre, Amapá, California, Campeche, Catalonia, Central Kalimantan, Chiapas, East Kalimantan, Madre de Dios, Mato Grosso, Papua, Pará, Tocantins, West Kalimantan, and West Papua attended the meeting, along with observer jurisdictions Caqueta (Colombia), Quebec (Canada), and Loreto, San Martin and Ucayali (all of Peru), public, private and non-profit interest organizations, community members, and other stakeholders.

GCF Fund Request for Proposals


The Governors’ Climate & Forests Fund (GCF Fund) is pleased to announce its first Request for Proposal (RFP) through a grant generously funded by the US Department of State.  Under the request, Civil Society Organizations are invited to partner with GCF states or provinces to submit proposals to address collective needs to improve forest carbon assessments and capacity. Funding will be provided to proposals which: a) strengthen or improve GCF state and province forest carbon assessments and capacity with the objective making significant progress towards IPCC Tier 2 or 3 forest inventories, and b) strengthen or improve subnational REDD+ programs and MRV methodologies and capacity that support national REDD+ strategies.  Under this round of funding, the GCF Fund expects to support projects in all GCF tropical forest countries: Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria.  While projects will be funded at the provincial or state level, all proposals should align with and support national-level REDD+ strategies.

GCF Training Program – South America


In August 2013, the GCF Training Program (South America) brought together 46 civil servants and civil society partners from GCF jurisdictions in the Amazon to introduce REDD+ and low emissions development to a broader, cross-ministerial set of subnational government departments and civil servants in Brazil and Peru. Participants were carefully selected by the GCF members based on their position to advance REDD+ policies and/or their cross-functional responsibility to implement policies and programs directly or indirectly impacting state-level goals for the reduction of emissions from deforestation and land degradation. The 4-day program featured intensive training on key REDD+ topics ranging from the science of climate change all the way to issues of implementation, such as financing and legal frameworks. A participant list, training materials and presentations are available on the training program website.

Jurisdictional REDD+ Workshop

By Idesam


Fourteen national and subnational jurisdictions from around the world united June 13th through 15th in Manaus, Brazil, to discuss Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) at the subnational level. The event was arranged by a team of organizations including Idesam (Institute for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of Amazonas), VCS (Verified Carbon Standard Association) and Ceclima (Amazonas State Center for Climate Change) and supported by the GCF, Moore Foundation and GIZ.

GCF Brazilian Workshop


Five of the six GCF Brazilian member states met in Brasilia for their first GCF workshop of the year. The first day was predominately used to plan 2013 activities such as the budget, updating the GCF Knowledge Database and new initiatives such as the GCF Training Program, as well as to close out some remaining activities from 2012 including the formal publication of a study commissioned by the members on the legal implications of Brazilian states designing and implementing subnational REDD+ systems (available in English and Portuguese).

GCF Awarded Multi-Year Grant


In an attempt to diversify its funding base, the GCF submitted a successful application to the Norwegian Agency for Cooperative Development (Norad). The three year grant (2013-2015) will support the enhancement of ongoing work with a focus on building robust networks and capacity for REDD+ and low emissions rural development activities in GCF states and provinces. The funding will be directed toward the continued development of the GCF REDD+ Knowledge Database, a tool for knowledge management and performance tracking across the GCF tropical states and provinces; the establishment of a GCF Training Program to leverage current training and capacity building efforts; and to the creation of an international REDD+ knowledge/skills network that identifies and “maps” sources of local and regional support for training and capacity building, and to facilitate effective and rapid responses from network partners in assisting states and provinces in the design and implement subnational REDD+ and low emissions rural development programs.

Report Release — Re-Framing REDD+


GCF Project Lead William Boyd co-authored the report Re-framing REDD+--Unlocking Jurisdictional REDD+ as a Policy Framework for Low-Emission Rural Development: Research Results and Recommendations for Governments (Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM) July 2012). The report explains the financial and political risks REDD+ faces and the urgent need to align and imbed REDD+ efforts in the broader context of low-emission rural development. After summarizing lessons from the GCF’s tropical forest states and provinces, it proposes ten key recommendations for governments developing jurisdictional REDD+ programs.

Report Release—Overview of Subnational Programs to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) as part of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force


A technical update report created collaboratively by IPAM, the GCF and the Tropical Forest Group under contract to the Electric Power Research Institute. The report reviews the status of REDD+ programs in GCF member-provinces and states, assessing progress made towards the development of nine essential components of REDD+ programs, and evaluating the potential of these programs to provide high-quality offsets that could be issued into emerging cap-and-trade systems in California and elsewhere, or transferred into other systems of performance-based compensation. The study presents four in-depth case studies of state-based REDD+ programs that include Acre, Brazil, and Chiapas, Mexico which have both signed MOUs with the State of California to link their REDD+ programs with California’s new GHG cap-and-trade program, Mato Grosso, Brazil – the state that has achieved the greatest emissions reductions, and Aceh, Indonesia – the most mature REDD+ program in Indonesia. The full report is available here.

2012 GCF Annual Meeting


The GCF held its 6th plenary meeting in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México on September 25-28, 2012. The GCF member states and provinces of Aceh, Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, California, Campeche, Central Kalimantan, Chiapas, East Kalimantan, Madre de Dios, Mato Grosso, Papua, Pará, and West Papua attended the meeting, along with observer states Tocantins (Brazil) and Catalonia (Spain), public, private and non-profit interest organizations, community members, and other stakeholders.

GCF Member Technical Training


The GCF, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University, the Forum on Readiness for REDD, Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC), and Google Earth Engine co-hosted a six-day Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Remote Sensing (RS) training workshop for a small group of technical representatives from GCF member states in Brazil, Indonesia, Peru and Mexico. Participants were introduced to and trained in the use of software capable of improving measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) in each of their respective jurisdictional REDD+ programs. The software consisted of CLASlite, biomass mapping, and Google Earth Outreach/Google Earth Engine.

GCF Nigerian Workshop


The workshop in the GCF member state Cross River was organized by the Cross River State Forestry Commission (CRSFC) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) at Cross River National Park and focused on training participants in the use of hand-held GPS units for forest monitoring. Earlier this year, the GCF purchased 23 GPS units for the state to assist the CRSFC in building the capacity of forest communities and foresters to monitor and assess changes in forest cover.

GCF Partners with Google


The GCF has formalized a partnership with Google to provide GCF members with access to the Google Earth Engine and Earth Builder applications. The tools provide users with a planetary-scale platform for environmental data and analysis, bringing together over 25 years of global satellite imagery that can be used to detect and map deforestation and land use trends.

GCF Brazilian Workshop

By Mariana Pavan, IDESAM


Brazilian GCF members held their first 2012 workshop in March in conjunction with the 3rd Forum of Environmental Ministers of the Amazon. At the workshop, the members addressed transitions in administrations and staff, refreshed existing staff and acquainted new staff with the GCF’s accomplishments to date and 2012 objectives and activities, and began to plan for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. The states considered options for GCF involvement in Rio+20 including joining the Coalition of Regions-States for a Green Economy that united to draft a “call to action” letter on sustainable development for release at Rio+20. The GCF Brazilian states are playing an active role in this coalition, are planning to be signatories to the letter, and are encouraging the other GCF members to sign on.

GCF Indonesian Workshop

By Avi Mahaningtyas, Kemitraan and Toby Garritt, Emerald Planet


On February 28-29, 2012, the Indonesian members of the GCF gathered in Jakarta for their first workshop of 2012. The objectives of the first day of the meeting were to share national and provincial updates, to discuss the GCF Fund, and review the GCF REDD+ Knowledge Database provincial submissions. The second day focused on the need to develop a shared methodology for calculating baselines in Indonesia. This issue was identified as a collective need among the GCF Indonesian provinces for which they are interested in seeking outside assistance. Day 2 also focused on priority areas where GCF Fund allocations would in fact benefit all GCF members. Priorities identified fell into the following categories:

GCF Meeting with Climate Focus


Climate Focus and the GCF held a meeting in Barcelona hosted by the Forest Sciences Center of Catalonia to introduce the GCF to subnational European entities interested in exploring, collaborating with and providing assistance to the GCF’s tropical forest members. Country Coordinators Mariana Pavan of IDESAM and Avi Mahaningtyas of Kemitraan attended the meeting along with representatives from the GCF 2012 Chair Chiapas, Mexico and new member Madre de Dios, Peru. The meeting sought to explore possible demand from subnational European entities for carbon emission reductions in GCF tropical forest states and provinces, as well as the possibility of REDD+ technical and informational exchange with them.

GCF Task Updates – Communication Materials


The updated GCF brochure is now available at this link and on the GCF website. The GCF Secretariat is continuing work with the GCF members to develop informational materials about each state and province with information from Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Chiapas, and Mato Grosso already complete. The Secretariat is also working with members to develop a GCF primer for incoming Governors and new staff members in 2012. Please contact Carly Hernandez for more details or if you are a member and are interested in assisting.

GCF at COP 17


Nine of the sixteen GCF member states and provinces attended the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa (COP 17) and participated in a dozen side events during the eleven-day conference. The side events provided excellent opportunities for sharing the progress of the GCF and its individual members and promoting the GCF’s core objective of reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation in tropical forest jurisdictions by supporting realistic pathways to forest maintaining rural development at the subnational level. GCF members also participated in the Forest Day 5 line-up and connected with fellow members during a GCF-hosted dinner. Click here for the GCF’s COP website and here for a full summary of GCF activities at COP 17.

GCF at COP-17


While the GCF’s application for an official side event was declined last week by the UNFCCC Secretariat due to a high volume of applicants and prioritization of applications from non-Annex I country NGO’s and applicants who consolidated their applications, the GCF will have a strong presence at Forest Day 5 on December 4th, which seeks to inform the UNFCCC global agenda and forest stakeholders on ways to implement an international REDD+ funding mechanism that produces social and environmental benefits, above and beyond avoided emissions. The GCF will participate in the high-level session, its Country Coordinators for Brazil and Indonesia will lead a session of the Issues Marketplace, and the GCF Secretariat will host a booth in the exhibition hall. Please contact the GCF Secretariat if you will be attending COP-17 so we can be sure to include you in these and other activities.

GCF Workshop in Brazil

By Mariana Pavan


The representatives of the GCF Brazilian States gathered the 7th-9th of November, in Brasilia, for their third workshop of 2011. The objective of this meeting was to discuss what the GCF’s level of participation should be at COP 17, held in Durban, South Africa, and plan activities accordingly. Also at the workshop, the GCF Brazilian States started to prepare for and develop a strategy for the GCF in 2012, focusing on how the GCF can help leverage and accelerate the process of building REDD+ in Brazil. Another important item on the agenda was the Rio+20 Conference, to be held in Brazil in June 2012. At the workshop, the group discussed and identified where the GCF should focus its efforts during the conference.

GCF Workshop in Mexico


GCF members in Mexico, Chiapas and Campeche, the GCF Secretariat, and Environmental Defense Fund organized the first GCF workshop in Mexico, which convened GCF member Acre (Brazil), representatives from the California-Acre-Chiapas REDD+ Offsets Working Group (ROW), federal government authorities (including CONAFOR), academics, and social organizations to share experiences and knowledge relating to REDD+ MRV, social and environmental safeguards, and legal frameworks. Presentations from the workshop are available here.

GCF Task Updates


A revised version of the Task 1 report is available and reflects updates from the UNFCCC, California, and other processes, as well as feedback received from GCF members and stakeholders. It is currently available in English, Portuguese, Indonesian and Spanish. There remain gaps in the draft as well as outstanding questions for the GCF members. The GCF Secretariat and Country Coordinators will make further improvements to this draft based on feedback from the upcoming November 7-9 workshop in Brazil and other input received from GCF members and stakeholders. Members and stakeholders are asked to provide updates by November 18, 2011 to enable the Secretariat and Coordinators to finalize a ver. 1.0 in December 2011.

GCF 2011 Annual Meeting


The 5th plenary meeting of the GCF Task Force lead by 2011 GCF Chair, Aceh, was in GCF member province Central Kalimantan. The three day meeting included remarks from high level delegates, presentations on REDD initiatives from GCF members, and four breakout sessions facilitated by REDD experts designed to develop a set of tailored recommendations for the GCF to consider as it establishes its 2012 objectives, a stakeholder side event sponsored by KFCP, and the GCF business meeting. The agenda and other meeting documents are available on the meeting website.

GCF Workshop in Indonesia


The Banda Aceh workshop sessions addressed GCF Tasks 1-3 as well as currently financed provincial REDD initiatives.  The workshop outcomes informed discussions and decisions at the GCF Secretariat Annual Meeting in Central Kalimantan. 

GCF Workshop in Brazil

By Mariana Pavan


The five GCF members in Brazil gathered in Macapá, the capital of the state of Amapá, for the second GCF workshop in 2011. The objective of this meeting was to review and discuss in detail GCF reports and policies in order to update the state representatives, as well as to familiarize the new members and provide the opportunity for feedback.

Conference of the Parties 17


The GCF Secretariat is making preparations for the UNFCCC 17th Conference of the Parties (COP) in Durban. Last week, through official observer organization the University of Colorado, the GCF Secretariat submitted an application to host an official side event to highlight the GCF’s major developments, including the public release of the GCF REDD+ Knowledge Database and the GCF Fund. More details on the event will be posted as available.

GCF Task Updates


A revised version of the Task 1 report is now available and reflects updates from the UNFCCC, California, and other processes, as well as feedback received from GCF members and stakeholders. It is currently available in English and Portuguese (Indonesian and Spanish coming soon). The GCF will make further improvements to this draft prior to and after the GCF Annual Meeting.  

GCF Workshops


The GCF had technical workshops in both Brazil and Indonesia this month. The workshop in Brazil on 17-19 August in Macapá, Amapá focused on GCF Governance processes and the revised GCF Task 1 report on Subnational REDD+ Frameworks. The workshop in Banda Aceh on 19-20 August focused on REDD+ activities in the provinces, updating information for the GCF REDD+ Knowledge Database and preparing for the Annual Meeting in September. The September newsletter will include a full summary of both workshops.

GCF Workshop Summary

By Mariana Pavan


The Brazilian members of the GCF gathered in Manaus for their first 2011 workshop. The event was organized by Idesam, in the position of GCF country coordinator, with support of the Government of Amazonas. The first day was closed for GCF member states only and was, among other things, an opportunity to introduce the new representatives, as several states had changes in their administrations and have new focal points. The objective of the meeting was to discuss and define a work plan for the GCF activities in Brazil, including priority issues, strategies for addressing them, and upcoming meetings. The states also discussed the Task Groups and ideas for moving forward.

Register to attend the GCF’s Annual Meeting


The GCF’s Annual Meeting is still accepting registration. The meeting will include: a high-level session attended by ministers, governors, environment secretaries, and other governmental and inter-governmental organization representatives; key updates from the member states and provinces and on major GCF developments including the GCF REDD+ Knowledge Database and the GCF Fund; and facilitated breakout sessions on high priority topics including alignment of national and subnational REDD policies and environmental and social safeguards, which will result in concrete action items for the GCF moving forward. Please register here by 1 August 2011. Contact the GCF Secretariat with questions about the meeting or registration.

GCF Workshop


This month, GCF Coordinator in Indonesia (Kemitraan) and GCF member West Kalimantan hosted a GCF Workshop in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, focused on completing the GCF database and mapping out progress in identifying needs to link provincial REDD activities with national efforts and direction (see Workshop Agenda).

GCF Task Updates


The GCF state and province database entries are making steady progress, and Wall Street On Demand has been putting the final touches on the visual and database designs. With the assistance of the Country Coordinators and members, the GCF is currently creating state summaries, developing the national overview pages, and collecting source documents to back up all of the information provided in the database (including maps, project design documents, project finance documents, and laws and policies). The GCF Secretariat expects the first version of the database to be ready for state and province internal review in August. The database will be publicly available upon member approval at or shortly after the GCF Annual Meeting in September in Central Kalimantan.

GCF Report on 2010 Activities


The GCF is pleased to announce the release of its 2010 Activities Report. The report accounts for accomplishments and member initiatives and is available here in electronic form. Please contact the GCF Secretariat for a hard copy of the report.

Workshop on Nested Approaches to REDD+


Forest Trends hosted a technical workshop on nested REDD, which focused on practical, near-term actions that states and provinces could adopt to encourage projects and private investment in a way that is consistent with broader (national) REDD+ readiness and strategies. The workshop covered REDD registries, technical MRV components for nesting, issues associated with national and regional linking, and other private sector considerations. The workshop also explored REDD+ case studies and updates from Oromia in Ethiopia, Colombia, Ghana, and Peru.