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World Bank invites comments on Forest Investment Program design

World Bank invites comments on Forest Investment Program design

The World Bank has requested comments on the latest draft design of its Forest Investment Program, but it’s doing it’s best to keep quiet about it.

On 5-6 March 2009, the World Bank held a “Second Design Meeting for the Forest Investment Program” in Washington D.C. The Co-Chair’s Summary of the meeting is available here. The Summary includes the latest draft of the FIP design document which is open for public comment, but only until 27 March 2009. (Several NGOs are currently trying to persuade the Bank to extend the deadline for comments.) Comments should be sent to the CIF Administrative Unit.

The design document is to be revised based on comments received and released before the third FIP Design Meeting, which will take place in Washington D.C. on 7-8 May 2009.

For those who like abbreviations, this is the FIP, under the SCF, part of the CIF:

  • In July 2008, the World Bank’s board approved The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) which were developed by Multilateral Development Banks as “an interim measure to scale up assistance to developing countries and strengthen the knowledge base in the development community”. In September 2009, representatives of 10 countries pledged over US$6.1 billion to the CIF. The CIF comprises two funds, the Clean Technology Fund and the Strategic Climate Fund.
  • The Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) “provides financing to pilot new development approaches and to scale up activities aimed at a specific climate change challenge or sectoral response through targeted programs.”
  • The Forest Investment Program (FIP) is a “targeted programme” under the SCF. According to the draft design document, “The main purpose of the FIP is to support developing countries’ REDD-efforts, providing up-front bridge financing for readiness reforms and investments identified through national REDD readiness strategy building efforts, while taking into account opportunities to help them adapt to the impacts of climate change on forests and to contribute to multiple benefits such as biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods enhancements.” For an overview of the FIP, visit

Why the World Bank needs another REDD programme, when it already has the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is not very clear. “The FIP should complement, be coordinated with and cooperate closely with other REDD demonstrations initiatives and ongoing REDD efforts, such as FCPF and UN-REDD,” according to the draft design document. The Bank describes FIP as “the missing middle”.

The FIP design document includes details of a Sub-Committee for the FIP, “to oversee the operation and activities of the Pilot Program”. The FIP Sub-Committee may (or may not, depending on the final version) include representative from Indigenous Peoples, NGOs and the private sector.

Once the FIP Sub-Committee is established it will agree on the number of country or regional pilot programmes and how these programmes are to be implemented. In addition to the Sub-Committee there will be an Expert Group to “make recommendations on selection of country or regional pilot programs for the FIP”.

The FIP design document includes a proposal to make specific grants available to Indigenous Peoples and local communities as a component of each of the pilot programmes. The proposal is bracketed in the draft text (meaning that there were “diverging views” on this item).

In addition to comments on the FIP design document, the World Bank is also asking for for comments on the FIP background “information documents“. While these are not binding documents, they are of concern as they could in the future be used as guidelines for implementation of FIP projects. The meeting on 5-6 March 2009 “was not expected to negotiate or approve these documents. Therefore, the meeting did not agree to the content of the information documents.”

Information Documents

The deadline for commenting on these information notes was Friday, 20 March 2009. Given the potential importance of these documents and the ridiculously short comment period, REDD-Monitor suggests that anyone with comments to make should send them to the CIF Administrative Unit anyway. REDD-Monitor would welcome copies of any comments and/or discussion about the FIP in the comments, below.

I suspect that the World Bank isn’t really terribly keen on too many comments about the FIP. The fact that they are requesting comments is tucked away in a pdf file. You won’t find the email address of the CIF Administrative Unit anywhere on the Climate Change section of the World Bank’s website. For your information, here it is:


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  1. Since I posted this, the following announcement has appeared on the Bank’s FIP website:

    At the request of a number of participants in the FIP design process, we would like to extend the deadline for comments on the Co-Chair’s Summary: Second Design Meeting for the Forest Investment Program, (annexed to the Co-Chairs’ Summary) and the information papers that were before the second design meeting, to Monday, April 6, 2009.

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