So much more can be done
Many forest conservation initiatives are under-resourced, and donors and other financing bodies struggle to find effective, investable projects that are grounded in local realities and the needs of local communities.
Trillion Trees is based on the idea that relatively small, flexible, rapid investments can unlock much bigger ones. We believe seed funding for great ideas and initiatives in the short term can secure sustained finance, practices and policies for forests in the long term. By demonstrating success, we can contribute to the ‘proof of concept’ that is needed to unlock greater finance for trees and forests in the future.
Trillion Trees is designed to mobilize funds from both public and private sectors, and to better link those funds to implementation. We do not focus exclusively on raising funds for work that we implement directly. In fact, we will consider ourselves just as successful if we enable funding for others who share our vision and can deliver results on the ground. It’s all about the right trees in the right places.
How will we know if we are succeeding?
Achieving our vision will require multiple approaches, grounded in the experience of those on the ground, and the flexibility to respond to new ideas and opportunities as they arise.
We will use periodic estimates of the number of trees globally and track more precisely the number of trees and tree cover in specific sites and landscapes where we are active. Forests are complex ecosystems that cannot be summed up in one measure, so we will also track other measures relating to carbon, biodiversity, and livelihoods.
Payments for performance
Results-based payments will reward carbon sequestration in developing countries, but little has been delivered thus far because of the difficulty, political will and time needed to develop viable plans. We support partners to overcome obstacles at national and jurisdictional scale.
Investors are interested in the value of trees and forests, but struggle to secure a return on investment that ensures social and environmental results. We are identifying and creating such opportunities around forests and degraded lands.
Keeping forests protected
The conservation value of many protected areas and indigenous territories is threatened by lack of resources, encroachment, downgrading and degazettement (i.e. the loss of legal protection of a national park or other protected area). We leverage funding for forest protection and new conservation areas, including community-managed forests.
Adapting to climate change
Protected and restored forests play a key role in adapting to climate change. We catalyse funding for measures such as the protection of ‘green infrastructure,’ and using trees alongside agriculture to build resilience in landscapes.
Supply chain commitments
Corporate commitments to eliminate deforestation from supply chains are a major positive development. Ensuring the pledges are implemented and monitored is challenging. We draw on country and sector level expertise to help companies carry out commitments, and work with those who have not yet defined their “zero deforestation” ambitions to do so.
Case Study: Trust fund for protecting the Brazilian Amazon
In May 2014, Brazil’s Ministry of Environment, WWF and other partners, committed $215 million for the protection of vital parts of the Amazon rainforest. The agreement will ensure strong management of protected areas supported by ARPA (the world’s largest tropical rainforest conservation programme) over the next 25 years. ARPA currently supports 60 million hectares of protected areas, representing 15% of the Brazilian Amazon. WWF has been a vital partner for ARPA since its inception in 2002, raising awareness, funds and advising the government. A similar model of protected area finance is being actively explored for other major forest countries.