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Governance Assessment: Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) & DRC’s National REDD+ Fund (FONAREDD)

The Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), is an initiative launched during the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 29 September 2015 to support strategic, country-level REDD+ and Low Emission Development investments focusing on Central African countries with high forest cover. CAFI aims to support governments in six Central African countries to implement reforms and enhance investments to conserve and sustainably use forest resources in the Congo Basin. Through these efforts, CAFI seeks to protect forests in the region in order to mitigate climate change, preserve biodiversity, reduce poverty among forest-dependent populations, and contribute to sustainable development.

However, corruption threatens to undermine these objectives. If corruption and its drivers are left unchecked and undetected, support to CAFI’s intended beneficiaries is threatened, ultimately causing irreversible harm to the second largest tropical rainforest in the world.

This report assesses the governance, transparency and accountability performance of CAFI and the DRC’s REDD+ National Fund (FONAREDD). Since 2013, FONAREDD has served as a financial vehicle for the implementation of the National REDD+ Strategy in the DRC and has been tasked by the government with channelling CAFI funding amounting to US$231 million.

As the two funds’ performances and structures are interlinked, weakness in one has an impact on the other, making it critical to review both entities. The report is part of a series of similar governance assessments of climate funds by Transparency International. It analyses the anti-corruption policies and practices that these two funds have in place, with a view to identifying shortcomings and appropriate risk mitigation measures.