Scoping Study for Biomass Partnership Fund

The Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP) is an industry-led initiative formed in 2013 by major European utilities that use biomass, mostly in the form of wood pellets, in large thermal power plants. The partnership includes seven critical market players using woody biomass for large scale heat and power generation in the European Union:

A key objective of the partnership is: “To promote enhanced sustainable forest management and greater uptake of existing efficient and internationally recognised, third party verified forest certification schemes in key wood baskets”. SBP recognises the credibility of existing forest certification schemes (FSC/PEFC) and does not wish to compete with or replicate them.

A longer term aim of the SBP is to help projects that are working to support sustainable forest management and to increase the uptake of FSC and PEFC certification in key wood baskets. In addition, a condition of the SBP Standard is for organisations to engage in partnerships in areas from which biomass is obtained.

The SBP board commissioned LTS International to undertake a scoping study to “investigate options for a Sustainable Biomass Partnership Fund to support the uptake of certified forests in biomass supply baskets”. The key aims of the scoping study is as follows:

Identify the likely range of projects that could be funded based on comparative projects and projects currently being implemented or proposed in biomass supply baskets. Understand most effective approach to administer the fund to ensure its objectives are met. Explore opportunities for co-funding and co-operation with other funders.

This scoping study primary focus is the Southeast US supply chain basket. The Baltics, Iberia, and Canada are also considered. Services provided by LTS International Ltd. LTS has been contracted to undertake this desk-based scoping study to review options for consideration in the development of a SBP Fund.

The objective of an SBP fund would be to increase forest certification and promote Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in biomass supply baskets.

The study included telephone and skype interviews with a number of key informants and follow up on-line research. The study also draws on the experience of LTS in managing funds with similar objectives to the SBP over the last 10 years. LTS is providing key-technical advice to recommend options for the fund structure, objectives, governance and financing mechanism. The study also includes a review of current and recent projects which overlap with the SBP fund both in SE US and other areas; identifying opportunities for collaborative and co-funding opportunities..

Evaluation of the Conservation and Sustainable Development Program

MacArthur foundation has been implementing the Conservation and Development Strategy 2011-2020 Strategic Framework. They have supported 210 grants totalling $ 70,387,350 in the Mekong, Tropical Andes, Great Lakes region of East and Central Africa. There has also been emphasis of two global drivers of ecosystem decline namely: understanding China’s natural resource use and consumption patterns and the expansion of industrial scale agriculture. In addition emphasis has been on coastal marine management. The purpose of the evaluation is to understand: 1) the efficacy of the program’s approach and its outcomes and impact to date; 2) the relevance of the program and its priorities with respect to the problem of global biodiversity loss and the potential for philanthropy to catalyse effective solutions; and 3) the contribution of the program to climate change mitigation and ways to increase its impact. The evaluation is an opportunity to learn and adjust for the Foundation so that they know how to adjust their strategy and grant making to maximize impact this will be done through:

  • Assessing the efficacy outcomes and impact of the strategic framework to date
  • Assessing the impact of the strategic framework to date and future impacts
  • Assessing the relevance of the strategic framework and identifying course correction to increase future impacts
  • Assessing the contribution of the strategic framework to climate change mitigation and adaptation to increase impact

LTS has employed a theory based evaluation strategy based on a theory of change.