Central African Forest Initiative


Organizational profile: CAFI is a unique initiative targeting specifically Central African forests. CAFI supports strategic, holistic and country-level REDD+ and Low Emission Development investments while focusing on Central African high-forest cover countries. Its 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. CAFI's support is channeled through a Trust Fund managed by the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office. The Trust Fund shall be terminated on December 31, 2027.

CAFI's support focuses on:

- Developing and implementing National Investment Frameworks (NIFs) endorsed at the highest level by national institutions with cross sectoral mandates

- Providing funding based on the achievement of policy and programmatic milestones that are spelled out in letters of intent

- Encouraging donor coordination and alignment of bilateral assistance to partner countries based on NIFs

- Promoting inclusive participation of all stakeholders

Financing Instrument: Funding Allocations for National Programs / National Investment Frameworks

Project scale: The CAFI Fund is currently capitalized at ~$200 Million, with ~$55 Million available within their balance of funds. Approved programs have ranged in scale from a $374,000 preparatory grant to a $150 Million results-based payment facilitated from Norway to Gabon.

Applicable geographical regions/country groups: Restricted to CAFI's Central African country partners of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Recipient categories: Governments

Eligibility Criteria: Restricted to Central African partner countries.

Application guidelines: 1. Partner countries develop and present their national investment frameworks addressing all drivers of deforestation and forest degradation

2.  Following a review of the national investment framework, the CAFI Executive Board (EB) agrees to support certain policy reforms and large-scale programs

3. Through a Letter of Intent (e.g. with DRC) the CAFI EB and the partner country government, represented by a government institution with interministerial coordination mandate, agree on timebound targets in policy reform and programmatic performance and the corresponding financial support by CAFI if jointly defined milestones are met

4. Partner countries develop and implement programs to achieve the milestones in the Letter of Intent with the support of implementing organizations

Further Details, country responsibilities

Countries without existing REDD+/LED strategy:

The partner countries without an existing REDD+/LED strategy, will be authorized to request to the Executive Board a preparatory grant to support the development of its investment framework. Once the country has signed the Joint Declaration and officially join to initiative, it may enter in a partnership with one of the implementing organisation and submit to the Executive Board a preparatory grant request.

Such requests will be presented in a project document format (template to be provided by the secretariat). The proposal will be reviewed directly by the secretariat and submitted to the Executive Board.

The National investment Framework defines REDD+/LED country priorities at the sectorial and geographic level. Based on their existing National REDD+/LED Strategy, countries will identify the key reforms and transformative changes the Government intends to promote during the next six years, with associated performance targets. The National Investment Framework will describe the expected outcomes through a result matrix aligned to the CAFI objectives. The National Investment Framework is approved and submitted to CAFI by the National Government with the support of the implementation organisations.

Countries with an existing REDD+/LED strategy and an established national fund structure:

In the case of a National Fund, based on the funding allocation received in its account, the National Fund Steering Committee will review its programming priorities and request implementation organisations (WB, UN or ICA) to develop programme documents (individually where only one of the implementation organisation is foreseen or in collaboratively where two or more implementation organisations are foreseen). Implementing organisations are allowed to recover funds used to develop the full program document, up to an amount that will be approved by the National Fund Steering Committee.

The National Fund would be able to finance a portfolio of several programmes.

On the basis of the independent review, the National Steering Committee will approve, return with comments or reject each of the submitted programme documents and when applicable request the release of funds to the Implementation Organisations in accordance with the available resources allocated to the National Investment Framework and as scheduled in the disbursement plan.

Countries with an existing REDD+/LED strategy, but without a national fund structure:

Once a funding allocation has been confirmed by the Executive Board, implementation partners (WB, UN, ICA or other implementing organisations) will be requested by CAFI, after consultations with the Government to develop CAFI Programmes, the programmes will be jointly submitted to CAFI by the country and implementing partner(s). In order to ensure coordination across the programs and projects in one country, each project or programme will make sure that sufficient financial and human resources are available for coordination among the projects. The Executive Board may make further decisions regarding monitoring, evaluation and coordination that will be incorporated in the project document.

Implementing organisations are eligible for preparatory grants to develop the full program documents, at the request of the Executive Board and up to an amount that will be approved by the Executive Board.

Publication Date
Thursday, 01 April 2021
Applicable location
Climate change
Financing opportunities