For 25 years the GEF demonstrated through its portfolio the crucial importance of all types of forest in providing a range of important environmental services, in particular to sustain biodiversity, face the challenges of climate change and land degradation, and at the same time offering livelihood options for many forest dependent people.
Today, soy, beef and palm oil yield about $92 billion a year to producers, many of whom are small-scale rural farmers. These commodities thus become important in many local and national economies. Therefore, sustainability within commodities will only be achieved by linking long-term national sustainable development plans with day-to-day value chain management.
Over its 24-year history, the GEF has recognized the multiple functions of forests and promoted appropriate management systems to develop long-term, sustainable approaches to maintaining forests, the goods and services they provide, and the livelihoods they support.
Many globally traded agriculture products have become indispensable fixtures in the human food chain; making their way into a vast array of foods and goods consumed by billions of people around the world. They represent a significant part of the global commodities trade and have become dominant economic forces in many national and local economies. The environmental footprint of these products in the quest to feed a growing population and meet the aspiration of a rising global middle class has been nothing short of dramatic.
The GEF promotes conservation and enhancement of carbon stocks through sustainable management of land use, land-use change, and forestry – commonly referred to as LULUCF.
This publication is intended to shed light on GEF experience in Sustainable Forestry Management, perhaps the best-kept secret in the forest financing arena worldwide. It also puts forward guiding ideas on how to build on GEF comparative advantages in financing forests in the coming years, as these invaluable, threatened resources occupy center stage in multiple international agendas.