Thinking beyond the canopy

Financing climate change and REDD+: How to help Central Africa capture the potential

Focal Point: Denis Sonwa, Louis Verchot and Peter Minang
Organisation(s): CIFOR
Contact details: CIFOR, Central Africa Regional Office, P.O. Box: 2008, Yaounde, Cameroon; Tel: +237 22 22 74 51 / 22 22 74 49; Email: and


Climate-related finance has not made many inroads in Central Africa and most countries have been unable to access funds either through the CDM or through the Adaptation Fund to support climate resilient development. The Congo Basin countries account for only 10% of global deforestation emissions, but as conflict receeds in the region, deforestation rates are expected to climb.  African countries in the center of the continent are beginning to see the REDD+ as an opportunity to access funds for the forestry sector to promote sustainable forest management and avoid the destruction of the resource that other regions have suffered.

Countries such as Indonesia and Brazil have been successful in attracting funds to reduce their deforestation and forest degradation.  In Africa, Tanzania has been supported by the Norwegians. The international community has expressed the wiliness to support countries in the region through the REDD+ framework. The Congo Basin offers the opportunity to see whether REDD+ can be an effective mechanism for conserving forests in countries with high forest cover and low deforestation rates.

This panel discussion will focus on understanding the constraints to Congo Basin countries in accessing the opportunities that REDD+ offers and experts will be asked to engage with the audience to find opportunities and solutions to move the region forward. Panelists and the audience will be invited to reflect upon the opportunities for countries of Central Africa and the financial needs compared to the availability of resources of these countries implement mitigation and adaptation activities.

Key questions the panel will address

  1. What are the windows of opportunity for the countries of Central Africa?
  2. What are the institutional needs of countries in the region to absorb and use climate change funds productively?
  3. What other constraints do countries of the region face in getting and using the climate change funds productively?
  4. Are there regional institutions through which the climate fund could be channeled for more effective use?


  1. Hele Pierre, Minister of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, Cameroon
  2. Kirsten Hegener, GIZ
  3. Leo Peskett, Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK
  4. Simon Rietbergen, Senior Forestry Specialist, World Bank
  5. Moderator: Emmanuel Mbede, Université de Yaoundé