Subnational Actors Continue to Lead at 2017 GCF Annual Meeting

Governors’ Climate & Forests (GCF) Task Force

 Annual Meeting Summary

Balikpapan, Indonesia

September 25-29th, 2017

The Governors’ Climate and Forests (GCF) Task Force held its 2017 Annual Meeting in Balikpapan, Indonesia, from September 25-29th, 2017. The meeting was hosted by the 2017 GCF Chair, Governor Awang Faroek of East Kalimantan.

Eleven GCF Task Force Governors and Vice-Governors attended the Balikpapan meeting, where they welcomed three new members to the GCF Task Force: Oaxaca (Mexico); Pastaza (Ecuador); and Roraima (Brazil), which brings the GCF Task Force membership to thirty-eight states and provinces in ten countries (including all states in the Brazilian Amazon). GCF Task Force members California (U.S.) and the Yucatan Peninsula member states of Yucatan, Campeche, and Quintana Roo (Mexico) were elected as the 2018 GCF Task Force co-chairs. The GCF Task Force members also agreed to form an Executive Committee to work more closely with the GCF Task Force Secretariat, regional coordinators, and key partners on strategic issues, and the GCF Task Force’s members from Nigeria and Ivory Coast chose a GCF Task Force coordinator for Africa. Attendees were also very pleased to honor Jason Gray, Chief of the Cap-and-Trade Program at the California Air Resources Board, with the GCF Task Force’s Everyday Hero Award.

The public portion of the 2017 Annual Meeting in Balikpapan was a great success on many fronts, with the theme of “partnerships” highlighted throughout. Outcomes include:

  • The GCF Task Force’s leading supporter, the Government of Norway, announced the selection of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through its REDD+ Team in Geneva, Switzerland, as the implementing partner for Norway’s NOK 200M pledge (approximately USD 24M) to the GCF Task Force. We are eager to draw on the UNDP’s expertise as we unite to support subnational leaders working to reduce deforestation and promote low emissions development in tropical forest states and provinces.
  • The Annual Meeting also served as a venue to support the launch of two place-based multi-stakeholder partnerships that promise to take inclusive approaches to addressing deforestation:

(1) East Kalimantan supported the signing of a Green Growth Compact, which brings stakeholders together to drive a common vision for low emissions economic growth and forest conservation.  The compact was signed the Governor, several district Regents, private companies, indigenous peoples' representatives, and civil society organizations.  It will focus initially on seven models for green, inclusive development.

(2) Piura announced the official launch of the Platform of Northern Forests Peru, a forum for bringing together public authorities, the private sector, and civil society in Piura, Tumbes and Lambayeque in an effort to coordinate and promote policies and initiatives that conserve dry forests, mangroves, and moorland ecosystems. A strategic plan and operating structure will be finalized with support from the GCF Task Force Peru coordinator in early 2018.

  • The Balikpapan Statement, a document that connects and scales the myriad regional processes to advance GCF Task Force members’ Rio Branco Declaration commitments, was featured throughout the meeting. GCF Task Force members have already registered over 100 actions and partnerships that will advance the Balikpapan Statement’s three agendas: (1) finding ways for jurisdictions producing agricultural commodities to work together with supply chain actors to reduce deforestation; (2) protecting the rights and promoting the welfare of indigenous peoples and local communities; and (3) ensuring that financial resources flow to support subnational forest and climate efforts.
  • The Balikpapan meeting also provided a chance for stakeholders from civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and community-level organizations, and the donor community to plan integrated strategies in preparation for the UNFCCC COP-23 in Bonn and other global events.
  • Finally, the meeting featured two high-level dialogues between GCF Task Force governors and two key groups: indigenous and traditional community leaders, and private sector/supply chain leaders. This was the first time that GCF Task Force governors met as a group with these two sets of leaders, who are key to meeting their RBD commitments. The GCF Task Force intends to support more dialogues like this in the coming year. 

We believe the GCF Task Force is stronger and more diverse than ever as it continues to support and strengthen subnational leadership for reducing deforestation and promoting low emissions development in tropical forest states and provinces.  We look forward to a productive year ahead, culminating in the September 2018 GCF Task Force Annual Meeting in California.

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