Launch of the Seed Fund for Country Packages for Forests, Nature and Climate
December 11, 2023
The Government of France and Conservation International with support from The Rob Walton Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation are launching a EUR 115 million Seed Fund for Forests, Nature and Climate.
DUBAI (Dec. 9, 2023) – Today, at COP28 in Dubai, the Government of France and Conservation International, with support from The Rob Walton Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, announced intentions for a EUR 115 million Seed Fund to kickstart natural-climate solutions as part of a new effort to promote investment in the protection of nature, an underfunded climate solution.
The Governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Papua New Guinea and the Republic of Congo announced the priorities of their “Country Packages for Forests, Nature and Climate.” Country Packages are bundled technical and financial support and investment and business partnerships that engage a range of public, private, multilateral and philanthropic institutions to support implementation of a country’s raised ambitions on forests, biodiversity and climate. Country Packages are developed in the context of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) through a trusting dialogue between host countries, local stakeholders including Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities and their international partners.
To jumpstart and advance the process, the Government of France and Conservation International, with support from The Rob Walton Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation are launching a Seed Fund to provide early support and catalyze a multiplier effect by triggering larger public and private investment in the irrecoverable carbon and conservation elements of Country Packages.
The initial Seed Fund partners are collectively committing EUR 115 million with the goal of raising at least EUR 200 million. Further donors are invited to join the Seed Fund to help make sure that host countries for Country Packages meet and implement their 2030 targets.
The Seed Fund intends to support Country Packages that show a commitment to protecting and conserving a country’s high-biodiversity and high-carbon areas—including forests, mangrove ecosystems, oceans and peatlands and the communities living in and near them. Eligible recipients include research and education institutions, development agencies, government bodies and civil society organizations. The Seed Fund will among other things:
- Invest in capacity building and strengthen delivery on the ground including through NGOs or Indigenous peoples and local communities.
- Design and implement conservation efforts for vital reserves of carbon and biodiversity.
- Advance key scientific and monitoring products and boost scientific cooperation to provide data for Country Package development.
- Support upscaling of long-term and reliable finance and financial innovation to further increase domestic funding sources and support public and private international support.
- Support feasibility studies for the long-term delivery of larger Country Packages.
For each Country Package, the Seed Fund intends to initially provide up to € 8M, depending on the potential to protect vital carbon and biodiversity, as well as on the ambition and maturity of the Country Package, with the aim to increase the number of donors who come on board.
Working within the development of the Country Packages, the Seed Fund intends to initially invest in the following areas:
- In Democratic Republic of Congo, the Seed Fund intends to focus its initial support on the mobilization of scientific research to assess peatlands perimeter, its carbon and biodiversity, the current and potential threats, based on science (cf. pilar 1 of the political declaration).
- In Ghana, the Seed Fund intends to focus its initial support on strengthening the national land use planning process to further align the 30x30 commitment with accelerating nature-positive models for agriculture and other activities (cf. pilar 4 of the political declaration).
- In Papua New Guinea, the Seed Fund intends to focus its initial support to finalize standards and community guidance for conservation deeds and develop a national framework to recognize other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) (cf. pillar 1 of the political declaration).
- In Republic of Congo, the Seed Fund intends to start by providing technical assistance for the national team in charge of developing the roadmap and the implementation plan for the Country Package. This includes support for the mapping and categorization of mangroves that could lead to their protection and a study to determine the investment plan to achieve the 30x30 and its sustainability. It also intends to support the kick start of education activities.
The Seed Fund intends to continue to make additional investments based on the development of current and new country packages in co-operation with the host country and other donors.
“The climate and biodiversity agendas cannot be separated — these crises must be addressed simultaneously. At COP28, we have a clear mandate to direct new money from the public and private sectors toward the ecosystems that stabilize our climate, contain rich biodiversity, and stand up economies,” said President Emmanuel Macron. “Today, France fulfils its commitment: we worked with Papua New Guinea, Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo, multilateral development banks, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and philanthropies to launch the first Country packages for forests, nature and climate. The Seed Fund for Country Packages will be an essential vehicle for delivering quick-access funding to those that depend most directly on nature’s bounties. In the years to come, we will continue to work towards more protection of vital reserves of biodiversity and carbon, for the benefit of our partner countries, their population and the world.”
“It’s no secret that an enormous finance gap exists across the land & nature sector – larger than any other sector even though our climate and our well-being depend on it,” said Dr. M Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, which led the creation of a new fund and helped advise recipient countries on their NDC plans. “The Seed Fund will jump start the transformative changes that high carbon high biodiversity countries urgently require to safeguard nature, mitigate carbon emissions, by working with and through local partners and indigenous communities. This quick access funding is a crucial step towards forging more comprehensive funding packages for nature, climate, and people.”
“The Moore Foundation is honored to be part of this timely partnership supporting countries with ambitious plans to safeguard their irrecoverable carbon,” said Aileen Lee, The Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation’s Chief of Programs. “The seed fund will position these countries to unlock solutions which avoid carbon emissions the world cannot afford, while fostering resilience in the most vulnerable communities on the frontlines of climate change and nature loss.”
About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through fieldwork, science, policy and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help societies and nature thrive alongside each other. Follow Conservation International's work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About The Rob Walton Foundation: The Rob Walton Foundation (RWF) supports ambitious projects, partners and programs to foster a planet where people and nature thrive. With the passion of our founder, RWF works with urgency and an earnest belief that it will take all of us to reach global conservation goals, protect biodiversity, and create opportunity for communities. Learn more at robwaltonfoundation.org.
About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation: Gordon and Betty Moore established the foundation to create positive outcomes for future generations. In pursuit of that vision, they advance scientific discovery, environmental conservation, and the special character of the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at www.moore.org.