Findings and recommendations
The results of REDD+ so far are delayed and uncertain
- Conflicts of interest and changing political priorities in partner countries hinder and delay actions and results.
- In five of the eight bilateral partnerships, payment for emission reductions has been delayed.
- Poor implementation of REDD+ on a national level and in key tropical forests means that although logging stops in one place, it can be replaced by logging somewhere else.
Norway's contributions to REDD+ have not triggered sufficient financing from other donors
Norway is the largest donor of funding to REDD+. Compared with other large donors, the United Kingdom and Germany, Norway represented 51 per cent of the contributions from 2008–2016.
Monitoring of the implementation and results of REDD+ is unsatisfactory
- There is inadequate follow-up of social and environmental safeguards as regards indigenous peoples’ rights, poverty alleviation and preservation of natural forests. The recipient countries have little reporting. The Ministry of Climate and Environment does not compensate sufficiently for this.
- Measurement, reporting and verification of emission reductions as a result of REDD+ is only partially in place. Progress in this project has been low in Brazil and other places.
- The Ministry of Climate and Environment is not sufficiently systematic in its acquisition and use of data concerning the results of Norway’s Climate and Forest Initiative
- The Ministry of Climate and Environment has developed a framework for measuring progress towards milestones and goals. The relative lack of a systematic approach to the acquisition and analysis of data nevertheless reduces the ministry’s basis for management and learning from the testing of REDD+.
The ministries’ follow-up of the risk of fraud is insufficient
The investigation points to instances in which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Climate and Environment did not sufficiently prevent, follow up and handle the risk of fraud regarding key recipients of Norwegian funds.
The Office of the Auditor General recommends that the Ministry of Climate and Environment:
- Further develops initiatives to address the need for lasting results from REDD+ through the work relating to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and within the bilateral partnerships.
- Strengthens the ministry’s underlying information concerning the addressing of social and environmental safeguards in connection with results-based payments.
- Strengthens the follow-up of the Norwegian contribution to REDD+ through the systematic acquisition and processing of data concerning progress and results of Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative.
- Ensures responsible and active follow-up of risk, and the use of responses in the event of non-conformities and warnings concerning possible fraud.
Background and objectives of the investigation
The capture and storage of carbon in forests is seen as essential for achieving climate goals. It is therefore particularly important to preserve tropical forests in developing countries. Norway has actively contributed to the international initiative for this, called REDD+, with funding and negotiations. From 2008–2017, the Storting allocated NOK 23.5 billion to the initiative, which is Norway’s largest international climate initiative. The funds are primarily channelled to bilateral and multilateral partners, in addition to civil society organisations. Brazil received the most funding.
The goal of the investigation was to assess Norway’s efforts to establish an effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.