The GCF Knowledge Database provides an open, web-based source of information from individual GCF member states and provinces on current status and trends regarding land use and deforestation; forest carbon accounting efforts and methodologies; REDD implementation activities; and REDD related financial flows. The database will be updated on a regular basis as new information becomes available, and will seek to be fully transparent with respect to all sources of information.
The GCF Knowledge Database grew out of a needs assessment process initiated by the GCF states and provinces in 2009. Special thanks to Luis Meneses, LeRoy Hollenbeck, Tobias Garritt, Mariana Pavan, Odigha Odigha, James Davie, Avi Mahaningtyas, and John O. Niles for their help in collecting information for the database. The construction of the GCF Knowledge Database was made possible by generous support from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, the ClimateWorks Foundation, and the Climate & Land Use Alliance.
All references are cited in the database alongside the associated information. Where no citation is given for information provided, the source is the GCF state and province database submissions available at www.gcftaskforce.org.
Navigating and Using the Database
The GCF Knowledge Database is organized by country for national-level information and by state or province for subnational information. All of these pages are accessible from the "GCF States & Provinces" tab.
The global overview page-located on the "Home" page-provides a comparison of forest cover and forest carbon stocks in all of the GCF states and provinces. The "Forest Cover" tab displays a map showing the geographic boundaries of the GCF member states and provinces. For tropical member states, current forest cover area statistics are provided. The "Forest Carbon Stocks" tab displays a map of aboveground biomass density in the tropics, with aboveground forest carbon totals per state or province provided. These statistics do not always coincide with the corresponding values for current forest area and carbon stocks cited on the respective state or province pages, as the data sources differ. On the global comparison page, data are derived from global data sets for internal consistency and comparability among the states. On the state and province pages, data are provided by the respective state or province according to methods adopted by the state or province and described in the state or province's respective page.
The country pages provide general demographic information and an overview of REDD+ activities at the national level, including deforestation trends, laws, policies, institutions, and financing, as well as a snapshot of subnational REDD+ activities and progress.
The state and province pages are organized as follows:
- The Overview tab provides a range of statistics relevant to REDD program development in each state or province. One section summarizes each state or province's demographic and economic situation. Another section provides an overview of each state or province's forest cover, including the amount and percent of forest cover, the proportion of forest by protection level or administrative status is provided, deforestation trends, drivers of deforestation, and overall forest carbon stocks. Contacts for state or province officials responsible for the jurisdiction's REDD program are also provided. Information is provided by state or province officials and updated annually.
- Carbon Accounting
- The Carbon Accounting tab is organized into 5 sub-sections, beginning with a summary of total carbon stocks and IPCC measurement status (Carbon Accounting Summary). The next section, Reference Levels and Targets, the official state deforestation and avoided emissions targets are listed. The Deforestation Dynamics Monitoring and Degradation Dynamics Monitoring sections provide details on the causes of deforestation and degradation, respectively. Both of these sections and the Forest Carbon Stocks Quantification sections provide details of the monitoring methodologies used for each objective and the needs identified by the state or province regarding monitoring. Information is provided by the state or province and is updated annually at a minimum.
- REDD Implementation
- The REDD Implementation tab is divided into 2 main sections. First, REDD program progress within categories of initiatives relevant to each country. The next section describes the details of each state or province's REDD program as well as the social and environmental safeguards that are developed or implemented for each REDD program. Information is provided by the state or province and is updated annually at a minimum.
- The Financing tab provides an overview of funding flowing into the state or province for REDD-related actions, including all jurisdiction-wide and project-based activities. For jurisdiction-wide REDD Program development, data on national, state or province, and other funding sources (including private investment and multi-lateral sources) is provided. For projects, details regarding project status, implementation period, targets, standards (carbon accounting and environmental and social), funding partners, and beneficiaries is provided. Information is updated annually at a minimum, and as changes in activities and funding require. These data are obtained from the state and province as well as from a variety of other sources (including some sources described in the section "Climate Change and REDD+ Financing" below).
- Audits & Reviews
- The GCF Knowledge Database will provide links to relevant audits and reviews of REDD related activities in GCF states and provinces. In addition to making this information available as part of the database, the information generated through relevant audits and reviews will be used to update and improve the quality of the information in the database and to provide feedback to GCF states and provinces as they move forward in developing programs to reduce emissions from land use and deforestation.
- Currently, the Registry tab is provided as a placeholder for states and provinces that decide to develop a registry for the issuance, registration, and tracking of credits for emissions reductions from their REDD+ activities.
Climate Change and REDD+ Financing
Since the UNFCCC COP-15 Copenhagen climate change negotiations in 2009, donors have pledged an estimated $31 billion dollars for mitigation and adaptation in the period 2010 to 2012. These funds, known as Fast Start Funds or Fast Start Finance (FSF), are being tracked by various organizations and efforts.
These pledged FSF funds include an estimated $4.24 billion in REDD+ FSF pledged by donors (data current as of August 2011). For REDD+ FSF, the most important source of information is the REDD+ Partnership's Voluntary REDD+ Database. This database, compiled by the REDD+ Partnership from donor governments, is the most authoritative source of information for how much money has been pledged by donors for REDD+. The database has compiled information on 35 countries, covering 471 separate arraignments. Recipient (developing) nations have also submitted information to the REDD+ Partnership on needs for FSF REDD+ financing.
In addition to information compiled by the REDD+ Partnership, other organizations are tracking FSF for climate mitigation and adaptation and REDD+. The Overseas Development Institute's Climate Funds Update website provides more detail on a range of FSF funds, and how many dollars have been pledged, deposited, approved and dispersed. The Climate Funds Update is tracking at least 6 REDD+ related funds, including the Amazon Fund, the Congo Basin Forest Fund, the International Forest Carbon Initiative and several multilateral funds. As of August 2011, the Climate Funds Update website of dedicated REDD+ funds shows just over $2.5 billion pledged for REDD+, just under $1 billion deposited in accounts, and around $250 million pledged and dispersed.
In addition to the REDD+ Partnership Voluntary Database and the Climate Funds Update information, several other organization are bringing transparency to tracking REDD+ funds. The REDD Desk country pages database has begun tracking REDD+ finance in 7 pilot countries (Brazil, Cameroon, Vietnam, Guyana, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Lao PDR) and has plans to track additional countries in coming months. Forest Trends has begun tracking REDD+ finance once it arrives in a country and the Tropical Forest Group is tracking United States REDD+ funds, looking back in time for fiscal years 2008 and 2009, and then will be monitoring REDD+ finance from US agencies in the fast start period. In general, all of the REDD+ FSSF tracking efforts show substantial pledges by donors for REDD+ during the 2010 to 2012 period, however, only a fraction of the pledged funds have begun making a difference in countries, communities and forests.
Moving forward, the GCF database will also attempt to bring transparency to the REDD+ funds pledged, deposited, allocated, and dispersed in member states and provinces.