Resilience Dispatch #30: Climate finance-savvy governments, markets, and communities

Mar 1, 2023
In this edition: Nature-based know-how
Missed our last Dispatch? When net zero investing meets the “value-carbon frontier”
Next month’s Dispatch: Systems change… and sneak attacks

In this edition

Carbon is a new global currency. This special series of the Resilience Dispatch explores how we can put more “money in the carbon bank.” That is, how do we invest to build up our natural carbon sinks? We’ll look at where demand comes from, how we design investments to be more effective, fair, and durable, and how we deliver real results.

In this Resilience Dispatch, we look at one fundamental of designing nature-based investments: having people and institutions armed with the knowledge and resources they need. We begin with human capital, and some recent examples of how we think about it here at Forest Trends.

In this edition:

Nature-based know-how

Last fall, we examined a set of solutions to ramp up private sector demand for natural climate solutions. Now we turn to part two: design.

By design, we mean: What are the pieces in place (beyond a financial commitment) that you need to stand up investments in nature that are effective? That are fair? That are durable? What’s the architecture that’s needed?

As it turns out, investing in nature requires investing in people. New opportunities are rapidly emerging in this decade in the green economy – but will countries and communities be ready to seize them? A core part of Forest Trends’ strategy this decade is leadership development and capacity building.

This month’s Resilience Dispatch shares some exciting new work Forest Trends is leading to build capacity among the key players in the climate solution set.

At a global level, we’re partnering with national governments, with support from the US Department of State, to help governments understand carbon markets opportunities and formulate national climate strategies. At a regional level, we’re supporting a set of initiatives that are “networks of networks” including one focused on bioeconomy value chains spanning the Amazon. And at the community level, we’re launching a new effort with the Climate and Land Use Alliance to offer a climate finance training program and knowledge platform specifically for indigenous peoples. More information on all of these efforts is below.

Just last week, our team was in Cacoal, Brazil, where Forest Trends and GreenData hosted a two-day seminar for members of indigenous communities interested in learning more about carbon finance and what it might mean for their territories. Over 100 indigenous leaders from across Brazil joined us, as did members of Brazil’s new presidential administration. Together we discussed financial mechanisms, territories’ legal rights and the regulatory environment, social and environmental safeguards, negotiating with companies and governments, and experiences to date from around Latin America. It was a unique and very powerful convening – and the first of many more offerings we are co-designing with community leaders.

Our goal with all of this work is to ensure that all of these new climate finance commitments have somewhere to land, with the right people and projects. As always, be in touch if you see opportunities to partner with us.

– Michael

Some photos from this week’s seminar on Climate Finance and Indigenous Territories in Cacoal, Rondônia, Brazil. A summary of key outcomes will be released soon – stay tuned.


Our Ecosystem Marketplace initiative and the United States Department of State Office of Global Change are launching a new project to support developing country governments in considering how international carbon markets could enhance their national climate strategies. The project’s goal is to ensure national governments are well positioned to engage in carbon markets as part of their larger climate strategies, while enhancing investor confidence and the supply of carbon credits that meet key multilateral standards, including rules under the Paris Agreement and CORSIA (the international aviation industry’s carbon trading program).

This is an exciting new evolution for EM – from a leading source of data and publications on voluntary carbon markets into a leading analytics, services, and thought leadership provider focused on the broader set of global carbon credit markets.

“National decisions to authorize carbon credits for international use can unlock investments and resources that developing countries critically need in order to implement their national climate strategies,” says Molly Peters-Stanley, the US State Department’s Lead Negotiator on International Carbon Markets. “We are excited to work with this new EM initiative to equip those countries with robust recent data and training.”

Read the full announcement at EM.


Climate finance is pouring into mechanisms that pay land managers for the emissions reductions achieved from protecting and restoring forest carbon sinks. These mechanisms, including jurisdictional REDD+ and the voluntary carbon market, present new opportunities for indigenous communities worldwide – who are widely recognized as the planet’s most effective protectors of forests – but also new difficulties in navigating a complicated, and sometimes unwelcoming, arena.

“Information on jurisdictional REDD+ and carbon markets is often presented in very technical or legal language, and not necessarily in indigenous peoples’ first language. More concerningly, we have sometimes seen information on risks de-emphasized in proposals to communities, or hidden in the fine print,” explains Marcio Halla, Director of the Territorial Governance Facility and Economic Initiatives Lead at Forest Trends.

Forest Trends, with support from the Climate and Land Use Alliance, this week announced a new project to provide indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) with targeted and high-quality information, tools, and technical assistance to steer a course in the climate finance space. This will include a carbon training program for IPLCs; a climate finance information platform specifically for indigenous and community users; and technical assistance to help build productive and equitable working relationships between indigenous communities and jurisdictional governments, climate funds, and voluntary markets.

Learn more about our new efforts here.


Forest Trends provides incubation support to bring forest-based enterprises to market scale, through technical assistance, access to finance, market connections, and more. With our partners in indigenous communities across Brazil’s massive Tupi Mosaic we’re building sustainable value chains for açaí, artisan products, Brazil nuts, cacao, and native seeds and seedlings.

These aren’t small scale efforts. Our approach is based on a unique “network of networks” that includes over 50 indigenous and local communities, enterprises, and associations across 25 million hectares in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Mesoamerica.

We recently adapted a set of four technical manuals originally produced in Portuguese for communities into an English-language summary, which you can download here.