- Identify and measure the impact of private and public finance on the implementation of REDD+ actions and on the achievement of national forest and climate objectives.
1. Scoping summary
2. Detailed objectives of the study
Ecuador articulates national efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation through its REDD+ Action Plan: Forests for Good Living (2016-2025). Understanding the current landscape of land-use financing and how different public and private financing flows positively or negatively impact forests is an opportunity for national and international actors to increase REDD+-aligned investment flows.
The main objective of the mapping is therefore to identify and measure the impact of public and private finance for the implementation of REDD+ actions on progress in meeting national forest and climate objectives. Specific objectives are to:
- Provide a baseline for monitoring public and private finance aligned and not aligned to REDD+ actions
- Measure investment flows that are potentially driving unsustainable actions and contributing to deforestation
- Report progress on forest and climate objectives by analysing resource mobilisation aligned to REDD+
- Identify opportunities to increase financial support for the implementation of actions
3.1 Stakeholder involvement
A stakeholder engagement strategy was developed to guarantee access to data and ensure a broader information gathering and thus more relevant results. To this end, stakeholder groups were identified based on stakeholder interest and influence. The interaction mechanisms that work best with each group/stakeholder were also determined. This categorisation allowed for optimising the time of the analysis by not over-communicating with groups that do not require the same level of attention as the most influential group with highest interest. It also allowed for engaging the most influential groups with highest interest in greater depth.
Tools for stakeholder engagement were then determined:
- Group 4: Workshops, interviews and surveys. Communication channel from MAATE to programmes, projects and other partners.
- Group 3: Interviews and surveys: communication channel from MAATE.
- Group 2: Secondary information, interviews and surveys. State and decentralised government databases.
- Group 1: Socialisation of the analysis through MAATE.
3.2 Typology development
This phase consisted of a series of participatory workshops of stakeholders from Group 4 through MAATE focal points. Participants identified those activities that are prioritised by the Environmental Authority to map financial flows related to land use. During this task, the conceptual definitions of the Land-use Finance Tool methodology, the exhaustive review of various documents provided by MAATE and secondary sources were discussed with the focal points to build a typology according to the prioritised sectors.
3.3 Data collection and analysis
A basic element for the development of the database was the categorisation of the activities collected in the typology according to the three flows: green, grey or brown. The diagram below was developed with MAATE and shows the decision tree that allows the identification of the sub-sectors and activities directed towards the different flows.
Development of the data collection instrument
Once the typology of activities was defined, the data collection instrument was developed in accordance with the Land-use Finance Tool methodology. This data collection instrument was developed based on surveys using the Kobo Toolbox tool, which allowed for the simultaneous online collection of information. This tool was used to collect information from international cooperation, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, decentralised autonomous governments, public institutions and the financial sector.
Interviews were conducted with the identified stakeholders to: present the Land-use Finance Tool methodology and its purpose, the scope of the study and the collection instrument; and collect information to feed into the database. However, several stakeholders did not send all the information despite reminders.
Collection of secondary information
Together with the MAATE Forestry Directorate, we sent letters to the identified institutions to request information related to amounts invested from 2018 to 2021 and geographic location, as well as other information related to the typology and sectors identified for the study. A variety of important information was received, which populated the database with robust information from public and private sources. In addition, the information was corroborated by the review of information and reports found online and in documents received.
Workshops with the Associations
This process and the awareness raising workshops were supported by PROAmazonía. The project team visited all the Amazonian provinces to gather information from the associative sectors of agricultural and livestock producers to gather their perspectives and actions related to the REDD+ policy.
The Land-use Finance Tool methodology enabled the collection of information at primary and secondary levels on both the origin and destination of funding. It also showed the distribution of the flows collected for the period 2018-2021 at the provincial level. In total, it was possible to account for USD 12.64 billion, of this figure barely 1% corresponds to green flows, in part, this is due to the fact that it was not possible to collect comprehensive information on government cooperation and programmes.
Grey and brown flows represent 39% and 60% respectively. The main sources of information correspond to credits (agricultural, livestock, forestry, aquaculture and fishing activities) from public financial institutions, private banks and the solidarity-based financial sector. The distribution of flows is mostly concentrated in the country’s financial epicentres such as Guayas, Manabí and Pichincha. The provinces of the coast and the north-central Sierra are the main destinations of financial flows, mainly grey and brown, for activities aimed at expanding the agricultural frontier.
The green flows show the distribution mainly towards the Amazonian provinces, the hypothesis being that financial resources are mostly directed towards forest conservation in this area of the country, and this is where relevant projects such as PROAmazonía are found. Although the Galapagos province receives significant funding from cooperation, the study did not collect information for this province in great details and focused on the mainland where there are high rates of deforestation.
This analysis shows the need for reversing the trend so that grey flows do not turn into actions that encourage deforestation. To this end, the financial sector and credit policies must be directed towards commercial sectors that promote sustainability, framed under national and global goals to fight desertification, climate change and biodiversity loss.