Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This FAQ answers some of the most common questions about the Land-use Finance Tool.

Don’t hesitate to contact us through our contact form if you would like to learn more about the Tool.

Support / Resources

This open source Tool is standardised to allow countries to carry out the mapping analysis themselves or with limited support. The guidelines and templates are freely available on the website in three languages (English, French and Spanish). In the near future, additional training material will be available online.

The European Forest Institute has limited resources to provide technical backstopping to countries in their use of the Tool. However, we support a community of practice, extract lessons from experiences and provide selected training. We will also improve the Tool over time to support users and allow them to perform the mapping analysis themselves.

The resources required vary greatly depending on the scope of the mapping and sectors considered, and the ease of data collection and stakeholder engagement. On average, a mapping exercise takes about 9-15 months to complete.

A finance mapping team’s size depends on its members’ skill set, as well as the level of buy-in and involvement of key stakeholders who can help access and interpret data. Some key data sources, such as government ministries, may require allocation of dedicated internal staff to assist in the work. See Module 1 for more information on required resources.


  1. Watch our introductory webinar.
  2. Take a look at the Tool guidelines and templates.
  3. Define the objectives of the mapping and develop a first outline of the scope of analysis. Careful scoping will save time and resources (see Module 1).
  4. Identify relevant partners. You should define who should be engaged, why, when and how, in light of the envisaged scope and data to be collected (see Module 2).

Tracking private finance remains a challenge for most countries as private finance data is heavily fragmented. You can use bottom-up approaches to data collection, but collection and aggregation of information is time-consuming and challenging. It might be advisable to narrow the sectoral or actor scope. You can also use proxies to estimate investment flows. See Module 5 for insights on approaches to collect private finance data.

Stay tuned for more guidance on approaches to collect private data and information.

Tracking climate-aligned land-use activities can improve the overall understanding of the scale of finance planned or delivered to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. However, mapping finance flows that are potentially driving deforestation and/or forest degradation can be very helpful. It will enable you to identify opportunities to redirect existing finance flows to achieve forest or climate-related objectives and ensure greater policy coherence. See Module 8 for more information on how you can use these results.

The land-use finance mapping can include any (or all) of these suggested categories based on the objective of the analysis. The typology of land-use activities is developed nationally to reflect the country context – it is not a standard approach. That is why one activity can be considered as aligned in one country, and not aligned in another. The typology should be based on consensus among land-use stakeholders. Module 2 provides details on stakeholder engagement and Module 3 explains the different steps to build a typology.

Broad stakeholder engagement is crucial to ensure data access as well as ownership of the results of the study. Reasons to engage will vary among actors. It is important to identify incentives for each category of stakeholders as part of the stakeholder engagement plan (see Module 2). For example, sectoral ministries might want to make the case for additional budget by demonstrating the need for more climate and forest-related finance. The Ministry of Finance may want to increase its financial accountability or its efficiency. Actors in sectors driving deforestation might be the most reluctant at first, but such analysis could also be an opportunity to value their efforts or make the case for greater investment in greening their interventions.

Concerns about confidentiality can be a barrier to accessing data for land-use finance mapping. For reasons of confidentiality and sensitivity, only aggregate data that is shared in public reports and infographics, and after it has been validated by sources. Non-disclosure agreements can be signed with specific data sources if needed.

Data availability, access and quality are usually the main challenges. Data collection is time-consuming and a sufficient level of detail is essential for creating a representative and coherent image of the situation. However, the Land-use Finance Tool does not aim to generate a perfectly accurate picture. Rather, it identifies trends and priorities for action in order to incentivise or influence policy and investment flows.

Module 7 provides detailed guidelines on the approach to build a robust database, which you can use to generate visualisation products such as a Sankey diagram. It also provides examples of software that you can access to generate such outputs.

Strategic uses

The mapping of land-use finance can identify which finance flows are aligned, conditionally-aligned or not aligned with climate and forest objectives. By identifying gaps and barriers to sustainable investments, land-use finance mapping can inform policies aimed at mobilising additional resources and creating incentives for forest and climate-friendly investments. By identifying and quantifying financial flows potentially driving deforestation, land-use finance mapping can serve as a basis for cross-sectoral coordination and the mainstreaming of forest and climate objectives in relevant sectoral policies. For example, results from land-use finance mapping in Côte d’Ivoire served as a basis for the Ministry of Planning’s efforts to mainstream forest safeguards in budget programming.

Module 8 offers an overview of how results can be used.

Periodic tracking helps improve accountability and build trust with partners. Monitoring of financial flows over time can also provide useful input to regular international reporting requirements. If you plan to undertake frequent land-use finance mapping, you should pay specific attention to developing mechanisms that can ease periodic data collection, such as budget tagging or relevant domestic reporting approaches. You should also build a robust database or information system that can efficiently consolidate data over time.

Yes, if you can collect sufficiently detailed data or proxies to inform such a link. Most land-use finance mapping exercises have been limited to characterising financial flows with respect to their intended outcomes, as described in project documents. Additional information on the impact and final beneficiaries of specific projects or budget lines (such as from evaluation reports) can be used if available. However, this additional information may only become available a few years after project spending.

Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) originally developed finance mapping to track global financial commitments to climate action. The approach has since been adapted and further developed to support countries and jurisdictions in understanding their financial landscape in selected sectors of interest. Some countries, like Indonesia, have mapped climate finance across all sectors of the economy.

This Tool provides guidance that is specific to land-use objectives and related sectors to support countries’ efforts towards their forest and climate objectives.