About the GFFFN
Lack of adequate financing has been a major constraint in achieving sustainable forest management (SFM) and in unlocking the full potential of forests in contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This has been particularly true for developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
To address this issue, in 2015, the UN Forum on Forests established the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network to facilitate access to and effective use of funding for forests, to share data and best practices on forest financing and ultimately, to contribute to the achievement of the Global Forest Goals of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2030. To date, the Network, has worked with 35 countries, to help in the design of national forest financing strategies, to contribute to the development of project proposals for submission to funding institutions, and to provide capacity development and training to over 1,000 forestry professionals around the world.
The UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2030 identifies the four priorities of the Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network. These priorities are:
- Promote and assist members in designing national forest financing strategies to mobilize resources for sustainable forest management;
- Assist countries in mobilizing, accessing and enhancing the effective use of existing financial resources from all sources for sustainable forest management;
- Serve as a clearing house and database on existing, new and emerging financing opportunities and as a tool for sharing lessons learned and best practices from successful projects;
- Contribute to the achievement of the Global Forest Goals and targets, as well as to the priorities contained in the quadrennial programmes of work of the UN Forum on Forests.
CLEARING HOUSE ON FOREST FINANCING
In 2018, Member States during the thirteenth session of the UNFF requested the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat to “initiate development of the Network’s online clearing house mechanism” in accordance with the guidelines for the operation of the GFFFN, adopted by the Forum. The guidelines further stipulated that the Secretariat should develop the Clearing House without duplicating existing efforts, and in consultation with interested members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, with a view to providing:
- A comprehensive up-to-date database on forest financing opportunities from all sources for sustainable forest management, drawing and building on existing initiatives and sources of information, including information on procedures for accessing resources;
- A web-based interactive platform for the exchange of data, lessons learned and best practices among users, including, for example, on project conceptualization and;
- A source of data for assessing progress on target 15.b of the Sustainable Development Goals and Global Forest Goal 4.
The initial conceptualization of the Clearing House was undertaken through two expert group meetings which were held by the UNFF Secretariat in 2019. These meetings proposed adopting a two-step approach for the development of the Clearing House and outlined the design of the phase I of the Clearing House. The outcomes of these meetings were thoroughly discussed in the subsequent sessions of the Forum, including the fourteenth session of the Forum. In this respect, the Secretariat took several measures to develop Phase I of the Clearing House. As the result, phase I of the Clearing House was launched in April 2021 at the sixteenth session of the UNFF. The first phase involved development of three databases: on financing opportunities, on learning materials, and on good practices and lessons learned. Phase II of the Clearing House will involve the development of one additional database on forest financial flows, and will serve as a source of data for assessing progress on target 15.b of the SDGs and Global Forest Goal 4.
About the UN Forum on Forests
The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) was established through Resolution 2000/35 of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) in October 2000. The Forum was established as a subsidiary body of ECOSOC with the main objective to promote “… the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end…”. The Forum has universal membership and is composed of all Member States of the United Nations and specialized agencies.