Landscape in Zambia

ISFL countries are selected on the basis of criteria that provide the best foundation for ISFL programs to achieve the greatest possible impact. These criteria ensure that countries are prepared to undertake a complex land use program that will be governed and monitored effectively. They also assess the global community’s commitment to working collectively toward in-country solutions so that countries have the necessary support to achieve results.

Initial Country Selection

Programs in Colombia, Ethiopia, and Zambia have been formally included in the ISFL pipeline, while Indonesia remains a target country at present. These four countries were selected based on several criteria, as outlined below.

Engagement and Capacity for Large-scale Programs: The degree of readiness for a large-scale emission reductions program was assessed through a range of indicators that provide a preliminary view of a country’s engagement in and capacity for a results-based payments or REDD+ program and potential to reduce carbon emissions. In particular, links between national efforts for a sustainable forestry use and other land uses were considered, as well as the institutional arrangements in place and the capacity of local stakeholders to implement such a program.

Enabling Environment and Governance: The ISFL assessed the current quality of the enabling environment and its potential to improve considering the strength of governance, private sector engagement, and in-country green growth initiatives.

Agricultural Drivers of Land Use Change: The ISFL analyzed the agricultural factors behind land use change to understand which commodities, if any, were key drivers and whether the pressure on forests could be considered historically high or likely to increase significantly. This analysis allowed the ISFL to understand the potential of climate-smart agriculture practices to reduce GHG emissions in each country.

Looking to the future

Since the original four countries were selected in 2013, significant agreements and declarations have been made that highlight commitments to action on forests and land use for climate change mitigation, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the New York Declaration on Forests and the World Bank Groups Forest Action Plan and Climate Change Action Plan. In view of this, the ISFL may also consider the elements highlighted below if it pursues possible additions to its portfolio.


Photo credit: Katie O'Gara, Zambia