The latest news from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and the BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes 
This newsletter provides the latest updates from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), the  BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) and related forest and climate fund work. This issue highlights news, publications and events from October 2017 to January 2018. Please enjoy and  contact us with any questions or feedback.
Why we should be more optimistic about forests and climate change
If you skimmed the news last year, 2017 may have seemed like a tough year for climate change. The US and the Caribbean endured a devastating hurricane season. People across Africa felt the impact of consecutive seasons of drought that scorched harvests and depressed livelihoods. And severe rains and flooding forced tens of thousands of evacuations in Asia. We’ve all seen these headlines, and perhaps several others that leave us feeling discouraged, to say the least. The thing is, these headlines do not tell the full story.

Ready for the next phase: REDD+ implementation
Amid growing momentum, the World Bank Group and the UN-REDD Programme convened with partner countries, government ministers and senior leaders at UNFCCC COP 23 in Bonn, Germany to highlight how REDD+ and other forest-focused land-use initiatives have been instrumental in triggering positive change.
Indonesia and Mexico join BioCarbon Fund ISFL
The BioCF ISFL has accepted Mexico into its pipeline. The program focuses on development opportunities, in particular through private sector engagement—both with community enterprises and large companies, like Coca-Cola and Bimbo Bakeries. The Mexico program will benefit from at least $66 million in upfront finance, $10 million of which includes a grant from the ISFL. The Indonesia program will pilot a jurisdictional landscape approach in Jambi Province. With $18.5 million in ISFL funding, it will seek to improve landscape management and reduce emissions from the forest and land use sector, while promoting alternative livelihoods that help take the pressure off the province’s primary forests and peatlands.

Addressing climate change: why forests matter
The World Bank is supporting countries in their efforts to harness the potential of forests to reduce poverty, better integrate forests into their economies, and protect and strengthen the environmental role they play. These three forest-focused initiatives are showing positive results, but more is needed to accelerate climate action and deliver on the Paris Agreement.
FCPF links up with Global Forest Observations Initiative
The World Bank (via FCPF) has recently joined the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) ‘Leads Group.’ The GFOI is instrumental in the implementation of national forest monitoring and MRV systems for emission reductions programs. Today, as countries must measure and report the results of their actions (as part of their climate action plans or for emission reduction programs) and gather data to inform forest policies and programs in a scenario of increased degradation, the role of GFOI is more crucial than ever. Through coordinated action as part of this group, the FCPF will continue to support countries in complying with their climate commitments and in using forest monitoring to help improve governance and management of natural resources.
A new collaboration for forest protection in Cameroon with Taylor Guitars
The government of Cameroon’s REDD+ program has begun a new collaboration with Taylor Guitars, a leading manufacturer of acoustic guitars. A key feature of function and beauty on a guitar is ebony. All of the ebony used by Taylor comes from the forests of Cameroon, including the region where Cameroon will implement its first jurisdictional REDD+ program. Through this collaboration, Cameroon and Taylor Guitars will test approaches to enhance ebony stocks and other important tree species through community-based reforestation, contributing to the economic and social benefits for local communities. Learn more about the partnership and how Taylor’s work will be integrated into the REDD+ program.

Program advances in the Dominican Republic
The Emission Reductions Program in the Dominican Republic will be carried out at the national level and cover nearly 5 million hectares. As part of the country's recent progress on readiness work, a number of governance groups have been established to ensure broad stakeholder participation. The country has also focused recently on capacity building efforts on both technical aspects of REDD+ along with environmental and social topics. 
Strengthening forest management and community participation in Mozambique
Mozambique’s Integrated Landscape and Forest Management Portfolio has been busy in recent months. December saw the approval of the  Forest Investment Program's $4.5M Dedicated Grant Mechanism to strengthen the capacity of communities and community-based organizations to participate in integrated landscape management. In Bazaruto National Park, where the Bank is working to improve protected area management, disperse profits from the high-end tourism industry, and support local communities, a co-management agreement  was signed between Africa Parks and the Mozambican Government. In October and November, two policy notes on forest management were launched. While the first shows how current natural forest management can be transformed into more sustainable practices, the second uses the results of a participatory assessment to identify priority interventions for stimulating this transformation. REDD+ efforts play an important role in this overall portfolio.

A recipe for protecting Democratic Republic of Congo’s forests
With over 10 million people in Kinshasa, traditional cookstoves in the capital have a very real and direct impact on deforestation in the country. A change in the way urban families cook daily meals holds great potential for reducing emissions from deforestation. An initiative is boosting the production and use of more efficient cookstoves in this Congo Basin country. 

WhatsApp-ening with forests and climate in Togo
Togo is making strides to reduce its emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. But women feel that they are not always involved in activities, training and decision-making linked to this forest and climate work. A WhatsApp group has brought together members from women’s organizations around the country focused on forest governance. 
Upcoming learning review
The FCPF and the ISFL are together initiating a cross-national “learning review” of the use of Strategic Environmental and Social Assessments (SESAs) and Environmental and Social Management Frameworks (ESMFs) in fund-supported operations. The review will get underway in early February and will consist of an in-depth look at the way the SESA-ESMF approach has unfolded in six REDD+ countries, some of which will be visited directly by the review team. It is expected to result in a report containing the findings of the review, and a guidance document providing tips for improving ongoing and future SESA-ESMF processes.
Webinar: How the BioCarbon Fund will pilot results-based payments for landscapes
The ISFL recently launched a comprehensive landscape greenhouse gas accounting approach that countries can use to access results-based payments from the fund and test approaches to account for emission reductions from landscapes involving forests, agriculture, and other relevant sectors that affect land use. This accounting framework is known as the ISFL Emission Reductions Program Requirements. In this webinar, Marco van der Linden from the World Bank highlights the objectives of the fund and walks participants through these ISFL Emission Reductions Program Requirements.

Podcast: Understanding the BioCarbon Fund and Forest Carbon Partnership Facility 
The FCPF and the ISFL have spent years working with private sector companies that produce, trade or buy commodities that play a role in driving deforestation or forest degradation. These funds have gained valuable insights into what has worked, and what more is required to bring about land use change in partnership with the private sector. This episode of Bionic Planet podcast looks at the origin of these two funds and explores the role they can play in supporting sustainable agriculture in the years ahead.

Progress on the New York Declaration on Forests: Finance for Forests
This report draws on, consolidates, and interprets data from various initiatives by leading think tanks and research organizations engaged in tracking finance related to forests, reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, and the sectors driving deforestation. It includes numerous references to and updates from the FCPF.

Public-private action on using land sustainably
Engaging the Private Sector in Results-Based Landscape Programs highlights early lessons learned from results-based landscape programs. Country examples of private sector engagement supported by the FCPF and BioCF ISFL in the report focus on coffee in Ethiopia, cocoa in Ghana, and cotton in Zambia. The paper is also available in French and Spanish.

Forest- and farmer-friendly cocoa in West Africa
This new resource aims to inform governments, companies, and civil society partners on ways to enhance sustainability and encourage smallholders to make deforestation-free, climate-smart choices. The focus is on actions that lead to scaling up renovation and rehabilitation (‘R&R’) efforts so farmers can grow more cocoa on less land.

Save the date: BioCarbon Fund briefing on March 1, 2018
To share recent developments and provide an opportunity for discussion on the ISFL and its programs, the team will organize a briefing on Thursday, March 1st, 2018 in coordination with civil society representatives.

Watch a lightning talk on how the BioCarbon Fund is promoting ways to use land sustainably and reduce carbon emissions.

Rural communities in Mexico are known for their community forest management, and are increasingly enhancing their economic opportunities through community forest enterprises. 

“My forest, my treasure.” Togo’s national REDD+ coordination group highlights the importance of the FCPF-supported emission reductions work there. 

Forest and climate funds in the news
Header photo: Franka Braun, Why we should be more optimistic: Adri Berger/World Bank, Ready for the next phase: IISD/ENB, Ángeles Estrada, Mexico: courtesy CONAFOR, Addressing climate change Adri Berger/World Bank, FCPF links up: Adri Berger/World Bank, A new collaboration: Courtesy Taylor Guitars, Program advances: Courtesy Dominican Republic government, Strengthening forest management: Andrea Borgarello/World Bank, A recipe for protecting: Guy Nzazi/World Bank, Upcoming learning review: Adri Berger/World Bank, Webinar: CAD Productions/DAGENCY/David Monfort, Forest-and farmer-friendly: Rodney Quarcoo/World Bank, Save the date Dominic Chavez/World Bank: In the news photo credit: Pablo Cambronero/UN-REDD, all other photos courtesy of World Bank or partners, used with permission.