ISFL at a Glance
The BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) is a multilateral fund, supported by donor governments and managed by the World Bank. It promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the land sector, including efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+), sustainable agriculture, as well as smarter land-use planning, policies and practices.
The ISFL currently supports programs in Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Zambia. These large-scale programs are pioneering work that enables countries and the private sector to adopt changes in the way farmers work on the ground, as well as informing policies made at the international level.
Forests are the lungs of the earth. They safeguard our planet’s health by regulating the climate, counteracting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and protecting our dwindling biodiversity. Forests also provide a wide range of vital goods and services, such as food, fuel, and medicine, that support some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Although forests are essential to sustaining life, anthropogenic pressures threaten these ecosystems. Since 1990, approximately 420 million hectares of forest—an area larger than India—have been lost. While agricultural production is the main driver of deforestation and forest fragmentation, energy extraction, infrastructure development, and urban expansion also contribute to land degradation and increased emissions. Deforestation also leads to habitat loss and brings humans and wildlife into closer contact, which increases the risk of the transmission of interspecies diseases, such as Ebola and human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV), and of pandemics.
The international community has become increasingly aware of the ways in which forests are intricately tied to human well-being and to the functioning of healthy economies, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflecting the global drive to preserve our forests, new tools and approaches to conservation are being developed that offer hope for a resilient recovery and sustainable growth. Applied across agriculture, forestry, and other land-use (AFOLU) sectors, climate-smart land-use approaches and REDD+ techniques offer innovative and effective ways to address the multifaceted challenges of deforestation, land degradation, and unsustainable land use.
Partners and Stakeholders
Partnerships with public and private sector actors are essential to mobilize capital and align objectives to create sustainable and scalable models for long-term improved land use. The ISFL partners with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land use across an entire jurisdiction while simultaneously creating livelihood opportunities.
The ISFL has two key funding instruments, the BioCFplus and BioCF Tranche 3, which have been designed specifically to operationalize the vision of the ISFL.
BioCFplus supports grant-based technical assistance activities and capacity-building efforts in each jurisdiction. It provides the critical investment finance needed to establish an enabling environment for sustainable land use and develop systems for monitoring, reporting, and verifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. In addition, BioCFplus directly finances advisory service projects aimed at attracting private sector interest in ISFL jurisdictions, which can benefit farmers and other private sector actors.
BioCF Tranche 3 (T3) provides results-based payments for verified reductions in GHG emissions through an Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement (ERPA). The BioCFplus in combination with results-based finance from BioCF T3 allows ISFL programs to use tools and approaches tailored to a country’s specific context.
The BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) collaborates with countries around the world to reduce emissions from the land sector through smarter land-use planning, policies, and practices.