BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes


Organizational profile:  

The BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) is a multilateral facility, supported by donor governments and managed by the World Bank. It promotes and rewards reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the land sector, including efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+), sustainable agriculture, as well as smarter land-use planning, policies and practices. The ISFL currently supports programs in Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Zambia. These large-scale programs are pioneering work that enables countries and the private sector to adopt changes in the way farmers work on the ground, as well as informing policies made at the international level. 

Each ISFL program focuses on an entire jurisdiction (state, province, or region) within a country, which provides programs with the opportunity to engage with multiple sectors affecting land use and scale impact over large areas. The ISFL applies a landscape approach in each jurisdiction, which requires stakeholders to consider the trade-offs and synergies between different sectors that may compete in a jurisdiction for land use—such as forests, agriculture, energy, mining, and infrastructure.

The ISFL has two key funding instruments, the BioCFplus and BioCF Tranche 3 (T3), which have been designed specifically to operationalize the vision of the ISFL. BioCFplus supports grant-based technical assistance activities and capacity-building efforts in each jurisdiction. It provides the critical investment finance needed to establish an enabling environment for sustainable land use and to develop systems for monitoring, reporting, and verifying greenhouse gas emission reductions. In addition, BioCFplus directly finances advisory service projects aimed at attracting private sector interest in ISFL jurisdictions, which can benefit farmers and other private sector actors. BioCF Tranche 3 provides results-based payments for verified reductions in GHG emissions through an Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement (ERPA). The BioCFplus in combination with results-based finance from BioCF T3 allows ISFL programs to use tools and approaches tailored to a country’s specific context.
Financing instrument:  Results-based Payments, Grant-based Technical Assistance

Project scale: The total pledged contribution to the ISFL amounts to $351 million.

Recipient countries regions/ country groups: The ISFL currently works in Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Zambia.

Eligibility criteria:

ISFL countries are selected on the basis of criteria that provide the best foundation for ISFL programs to achieve the greatest possible impact. These criteria ensure that countries are prepared to undertake a complex land-use program that will be governed and monitored effectively. They also assess the global community’s commitment to working collectively toward in-country solutions so that countries have the necessary support to achieve results.

Program criteria:

  • Engagement and capacity for large-scale programs: The ISFL assesses the degree of readiness for a large-scale emission reductions program. This is based on a preliminary assessment of a country’s engagement in and capacity for a results-based or REDD+ program and its potential to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Enabling environment and governance: The ISFL assesses the current quality of the enabling environment and its potential to improve, considering the strength of governance, private sector engagement, and in-country green growth initiatives.
  • Agricultural drivers of land use change: The ISFL analyzes the agricultural factors behind land-use change to understand which commodities, if any, are key drivers and whether the pressure on forests could be considered historically high or likely to increase significantly.

Application guidelines: The ISFL is currently not funding new jurisdictional programs. For further queries regarding their ongoing projects, please contact ISFL at 

Last updated: 7 September 2023

Publication Date
Thursday, 01 April 2021
Applicable location
Climate change
Sustainable land use
Forest conservation and management
Financing opportunities