Asian Development Bank approves US$4.5M co-funding for forestry, biodiversity program in Borneo; project supporting transition to green economy through sustainable forest management attracts total investment of US$30M

GLAND, Switzerland , March 1, 2013 (press release) – On Tuesday, 26 February, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) board formally approved its US$4.5 million co-funding for the new Sustainable Forest and Biodiversity Management program in the Heart of Borneo.

This funding is part of a program that was approved by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council in November 2012. In addition to the ADB’s US$4.5m, the GEF will provide US$2.5m, the Government of Indonesia US$0.5m and WWF US$2m. The GEF program is an example of the power of collaboration with public sector partners, which has resulted in several new funding mechanisms directed at the Heart of Borneo program.

An additional US$2m for social development and community empowerment from the Japan Fund for Poverty Alleviation, and up to US$19.5m from the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) in Indonesia.

In total a potential investment of around US$30.5m for forest conservation and green growth interventions in the HoB. The programs are designed to ensure the sustainable management of forest resources and biodiversity in the Indonesian portion of the Heart of Borneo (HoB) through direct engagement with governments, communities and private sector companies.

By reducing pressure on forests and promoting sustainable and equitable forest and land management, the project will help reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, with potential co-benefits in the form of poverty reduction, improved quality of life for the indigenous peoples and local communities, protection of local peoples’ rights, and enhanced conservation of biodiversity and other ecosystem services.

Through its unique partnership, WWF and ADB have been nurturing the development and design of new programs to support the transition of the HoB towards a green economy. The project will be structured around the following components:

1. Strengthening policies and institutions for sustainable forest and biodiversity management

2. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and carbon stock enhancement (REDD+) to improve management of land use and forestry practices

3. Innovative Sustainable Financing Mechanisms

4. Create Sustainable Livelihood Systems

The HoB is one of the four major regions in Asia and the Pacific where WWF and ADB seek to reduce the impact of the global footprint on natural capital. The other initiatives are the Coral Triangle, the Greater Mekong Sub-region and the Living Himalayas. See the: Ecological Footprint and Investment in Natural Capital in Asia and the Pacific 

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