Background Paper and Analysis of Country Data to Support Development of Comprehensive Landscape Methodological Approach

The BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) seeks to promote reduced greenhouse gas emissions from land-use. The Initiative will support reducing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+), increasing sustainable agriculture, and smarter land-use planning, policies and practices. ISFL is currently operating in Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Zambia. Contributors to the ISFL include Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

ISFL designs programmes that focus on an integrated approach to the entire landscape with the ultimate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and producing co-benefits such as improvements to livelihoods or agricultural productivity. For example, an ISFL programme could coordinate efforts in sustainable agricultural production projects, agro-forestry schemes, assisted natural regeneration, energy projects, water management, and REDD+ to align objectives and maximise impacts in the jurisdiction. Ultimately, jurisdictions that implement these measures are expected to generate emission reductions that can be purchased by ISFL through a results-based financing mechanism.

This project will produce a background document that will support future discussions on the development of a comprehensive landscape methodological approach. The document will: (i) describe and analyse the IPCC guidelines to ensure that ISFL Contributors have a common understanding of the guidelines and the decisions required to build the ISFL methodological approach and (ii) provide an analysis of available relevant data in ISFL countries. As part of this analysis, an understanding of the quality of data sets will also be ascertained.

LTS is leading the project, from a technical and management perspective, deploying a multi-disciplinary team of experts. The keys tasks include:

  • Provide a description of the key concepts in the IPCC guidelines to ensure that ISFL Contributors have a common understanding of the IPCC
  • Provide an analysis of available historic relevant data in ISFL programme countries
  • Identify key decisions and options going forward
  • Present and explain the results of the first three tasks to the ISFL Contributors

The main outputs include a concise background report, written for non-technical experts, and supported by evidence (in annexes).

Development of Methodologies to Assess Changes in Carbon Stock for Managed Conservation Areas

This assignment provides RSPO with information to guide the development of an approach to account for net-greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from conservation areas within oil palm plantations. An initial methodology was proposed to provide a framework for further development of accounting approaches. The proposed methodology seeks balance the need for accurate assessment of GHG emissions and removals with the feasibility of implementing the approach given current data availability, and the resource and capacity constraints faced by plantation managers. Calculation approaches for assessing GHG emissions and removals in natural forest areas maintained within palm oil plantations as buffers or because of their high conservation value have not been developed in the current version of PalmGHG. This assignment explores accounting approaches and methodological options that could allow RSPO members to include conservation areas in future GHG accounting. It aims to provide RSPO with information to guide the development of a GHG accounting approach that can be integrated with PalmGHG for assessing GHG emissions and removals from managed conservation areas within RSPO oil palm plantations.

Evaluation of Carbon Market Finance Programme

The GBP 50 million CMFP represents a highly innovative, large, and timely intervention to increase the flow of international carbon finance to least development countries with a focus on Africa.

It is widely accepted by the international community that there is limited evidence for how carbon market financing can deliver development benefits, particularly benefits at a community and household level. The CMFP aims to explore if the carbon market can deliver better for the poor by testing new business models to support low carbon investment in Africa using carbon finance.

LTS is the lead evaluator of the CFMP, over an 11 year period (2014-2025). The scope of the evaluations will cover activities supervised by the World Bank Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) through the two trust funds – the Ci-Dev Readiness Fund and the Ci-Dev Carbon Fund. LTS will closely track 20 or so pilot interventions in Uganda Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Mali and Nigeria covering off-grid energy, biogas and water purification. The evaluation deliverables include: inception report (after 6 months), biannual reports of M&E data; ongoing evaluation reports; 1st formative evaluation report (by 2016); mid-term (formative) evaluation report (by 2019); a final evaluation report (by 2025).

LTS will use evaluation best practice to inform our evaluation design and mixed method approach that includes: process tracing and outcome mapping, portfolio analysis, policy analysis, small sample surveys, in-country quasi-experimental quantitative surveys, economic analyses and value for money assessments, meta analyses of the substantial clean development mechanism data, and country and project case studies.

Image credit: Brendan Howard

Climate Private Public Partnership Programme – Monitoring and Evaluation

The GBP 140 million Climate Public Private Partnership (CP3) – a highly innovative programme that uses an unusual model to deliver UK ODA which is jointly managed and funded by BEIS (formerly DECC) and DFID. The CP3 programme is built on the assumption that private finance is essential to delivering substantial developmental and climate benefits, including stronger and more responsive financial markets which are the backbone of productive and low-carbon economic systems where people can take the lead to escape poverty and improve their lives.

CP3 aims to increase the amount of funding in Private Equity (PE) in the climate friendly space both by directly funding two commercially run PE Funds (who in turn fund sub funds and projects which would therefore be able to conclude their investments) and thus inducing a leveraging effect, i.e. bringing on board other donors and other institutional investors (sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and insurance funds), as well as by making direct investments in the climate area. This will also have a “demonstration effect”, showing that PE climate investment (and climate projects in general), have good financial risk and return, thereby helping the climate friendly market to grow faster.

LTS provides rigorous M&E of CP3, for both accountability and learning, to inform on-going delivery and help mitigate some of the risks associated with this highly innovative programme. The M&E support covers a range of activities throughout the programme cycle – starting with the development of baselines, indicators and milestones; the design and management of a system for monitoring financial and development impacts; and conducting reviews and evaluations to test the theory of change and eventually overall impacts.

The LTS team will capture, through on-going monitoring, the results of the programme as set out in the log frame and test the original theory of change model and its underlying assumptions. Several impact dimensions will be assessed, including among others, success in leveraging private investments for climate mitigation and adaptation, human development impacts, as well as transformational impacts such as the creation of financial infrastructure and the development of local capital markets that can help lever additional private investment. Where appropriate, opportunities for improvement will be identified and communicated on an ongoing basis to refocus efforts where necessary and to inform similar projects.

Support to the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund

Illegal wildlife trade is one of the biggest threats to the survival of some of the world’s most threatened species. In February 2014 the government hosted The London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, which brought together over fifty countries and international organisations to agree new and bold measures to tackle the trade.

Following the London Conference the UK Government committed 10 million pounds to tackle the threat of illegal wildlife trade. The Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Challenge Fund represents 6 million pounds of this funding, aimed to support work in three areas:

  • developing sustainable livelihoods for communities affected by illegal wildlife trade
  • strengthening law enforcement and the role of the criminal justice system
  • reducing demand for wildlife products.

LTS is involved in the design and implementation of the application for IWT Challenge Fund. This has included substantive liaison with Government representatives from 3 departments: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign Commonwealth Office. Our support to the fund since its inception has included:

  • Design and implementation of application scheme
  • Design and implementation of project monitoring
  • Financial management of projects

The fund is available to governments, charities and NGOs, social enterprises and businesses, and to partnerships of these organisations. More information on the fund can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-illegal-wildlife-trade-challenge-fund

Examination of Hectares Indicator for the UK International Climate Fund

The “Hectares Indicator” for assessing area of avoided deforestation is one of the current Key Performance Indicators of the UK International Climate Fund.This indicator is intended to be applicable across the range of current and proposed forestry programmes of the International Climate Fund.

The objectives of this assignment are to:

  • determine the fitness for purpose of the hectares indicator,
  • identify ways in which it could be improved, and
  • if the indicator was found to be critically flawed in terms of its practicality and validity of outputs, propose a modified or alternative approach that should be cost-effective and practical to apply

The assignment involves three steps:

Analysis of existing hectares indicator methodology, identification of limitations and potential for improvement

 

  • Review of international best practice for estimating impacts of avoided deforestation initiatives (scientific methods, other donor programmes, project certification methods)
  • Recommendation of practical indicator approaches, description of strengths, weaknesses and requirements
  • Recommendations for improvement or alternative methods.

LTS is responsible for identification of practical issues and constraints associated with use of the indicator through interviews with DFID Country Office staff and their contractors, and from the staff members’ involvement in applying ICF and other donor forest sector KPIs during previous assignments.

This includes:

  • What are the challenges on the ground?
  • What datasets are available to project officers?
  • Discussion with programmes on alternative options

Image credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Forest Governance, Markets and Climate Framework

This framework contract (Forest Governance, Markets and Climate Framework, FGMC) involves a series of mini competitions for contracts between 25,000 and 25 million pounds that will contribute to a global effort that will help protect up to 39 million hectares of forest over the next 25 years and contribute to the greater sustainability of food production. By reducing deforestation and degradation the programme will contribute to efforts that avoid emissions of up to 33 billion MT CO2-e at the very low cost of under 2 pounds a carbon tonne.

Timber that is legally logged in accordance with national laws will increase forest taxes, providing up to 13 billion pounds of revenue to cash-strapped exchequers in developing countries. The programme will help protect the livelihoods of tens of millions of poor people dependent on forests for their livelihoods by reducing illegal logging. It will give them a greater say in what happens to their forests and reduce the likelihood of conflict over forest tenure. Clear and secure forest tenure can enable forest dependent communities to double their incomes. Similarly improved legislation, and monitoring of legal compliance with respect to other commodities, will lead to increases in incomes for 50 million farming men, women and children, and improved working conditions for 10 million plantation and ranching workers employed in the palm oil, soy, beef and leather sectors. With illegal logging and forest clearance reduced, livelihoods protected, and carbon emissions avoided the program will deliver a benefit-cost ratio of 52 pounds for every 1 pound invested in the intervention.

LTS is leading a consortium for 7 of the 8 lots of this Framework contract. LTS is providing a management team to the LTS-led consortia and quality control of all tenders submitted by the consortium.

The LTS Framework Manager is Rebecca Adler.

Real-time Evaluation of NICFI – Synthesis Evaluation

The aim of this assignment was to determine the results of NICFI towards achievement of its core objectives over the period from 2007-2013. The assessment covered the four most established bilateral partnerships (Brazil, Guyana, Indonesia and Tanzania), NICFI’s support to the multilateral REDD+ institutions; NICFI’s support to civil society, and NICFI activities focused on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change REDD+ negotiations.

Information was analysed and results synthesised across each country and modality of NICFI support to generate an assessment of overall achievement against the NICFI core objectives. In addition, findings of a strategic nature on REDD+, and NICFI’s place within the REDD+ arena, were identified with a view to informing discussions on the future strategy of NICFI.

A communication brief of the Synthesis Evaluation report can be downloaded here and the full report and annexes here.

Specialist Evaluation and Quality Assurance Services

DFID is placing a strong emphasis internally on the development and strengthening of programme M&E skills. At the same time, DFID is becoming a more “intelligent consumer” and commissioner of high quality monitoring reviews and evaluations, including the synthesis of evidence and strategic evaluation analysis.

Specialist Evaluation and Quality Assurance Services (SEQAS) delivers a range of core evaluation and monitoring services to support an improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of DFID programme performance. The services also support the development of programmes funded through the UK Government 2.9 billion pounds International Climate Fund (ICF), jointly managed by DFID, the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS, formerly DECC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

As part of the IOD consortium, LTS provides expert advice on M&E planning and design. This helps staff from the three organisations to make strategic choices from the range of appropriate methods, approaches and designs for monitoring reviews and evaluations, including theory of change design, business case development and impact evaluation. We also provide quality assurance services for M&E design, implementation and delivery.

Image credit: European Commission DG ECHO

Central Point of Expertise on Timber Procurement

The Central Point of Expertise (CPET) was established by Defra in 2005 to provide advice, support and communication on the UK Government’s Timber Procurement Policy (TPP), EU Timber and FLEGT Regulations. In light of developing a policy on sustainable procurement, Defra took steps to expand the CPET service to include palm oil and sustainable woodfuel. CPET provides detailed information on TPP and advice on how public sector buyers and their suppliers can meet these policy requirements in practice. Background information is available on how these practical solutions were developed, including the types of evidence that demonstrate legality and sustainability and the criteria for evaluating such evidence.

The LTS consortium has been contracted under a Framework Agreement for provision of services related to the UK’s Forest Governance, Markets and Climate (FGMC) Programme, effective from the 1st October 2012 with Efeca as Lead Partner. The contract seeks to support a variety of measures currently underway to address drivers of deforestation, by providing: (i) technical advice and support on the Government’s TPP; (ii) information and support on the EU Timber Regulations and FLEG; (iii) support on palm oil policy as it develops and (iv) support on sustainable wood fuel.

Growing concern about illegal logging and unsustainable forest management practices and the role of forests in climate change has driven international commitments and seen the evolution of international and national strategies for sustainable consumption and production and climate change mitigation. In addition to continuing to drive implementation of the TPP, the UK government is currently reviewing the feasibility of a procurement policy (similar to the TPP) to encourage the uptake of sustainable palm oil by the UK government and of inclusion of Sustainable Forest Management criteria under the Renewables Obligation and Renewables Heat Incentive; to promote market transformation within the UK. Furthermore, the EU Timber Regulation secondary legislation needs to be quickly and effectively communicated to stakeholders, in addition to FLEGT licenses awareness raising, as licensed timber becomes available.
The deliverables associated with this contract include: (i) develop and maintain an up-to-date web pages integral to the CPET website; (ii) assess how well the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certification schemes provide assurance of compliance with the timber procurement policy; (iii) maintain and operate the CPET helpline and enquiry service for private sector buyers; (iv) hold yearly meetings of the CPET Reference Board (v) maintain and update existing CPET training workshop materials, (vi) draft and circulate news updates; (vii) advise DEFRA to support its work on influencing implementation of the TPP; (viii) update (annually) the estimates of UK sustainable palm oil consumption; (ix) provide technical advice to the Biomass & Biogas Sustainability Implementation Group; and (x) comment on draft proposals for specific criteria on sustainable forest management for biomass electricity and heat generation.

More information on CPET can be found on its website at http://www.cpet.org.uk/