Amazon Fund

Summary

The Amazon Fund was created to raise donations so that investments can be made in efforts to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation, as well as to promote the conservation and sustainable use of forests in the Amazon Biome. Although the Amazon Fund was created by the government and is managed by a public bank, it is a private fund.

Details on our Data
  • Latest confirmation received from Fund Managers: September 2016. Contributions and projects data are as of October 2016.
  • Other contributions, not known or tracked by CFU, are made into the Gaia Fund. The Amazon Fund can draw from the Gaia Amazon Fund, hence any discrepancy between the amount deposited and that approved for projects.

Basic Description

Name of Fund Amazon Fund (Fundo Amazônia)
Official Fund Website www.amazonfund.gov.br/FundoAmazonia/fam/site_en
Date Created Date fund proposed: 1st August 2008

Date fund made operational: 1st March 2009

Proposed Life of Fund Undetermined.
Administrating Organisation  The fund is managed by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).
Objectives The Amazon Fund aims to raise donations for non-reimbursable investments in efforts to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation, as well as to promote the preservation and sustainable use of forests in the Amazon Biome.
Activities Supported Activities supported include:

  • Management of public forests and protected areas;
  • Environmental control, monitoring and inspection;
  • Sustainable forest management;
  • Economic activities which use forests sustainably;
  • Ecological and economic zoning, territorial arrangement and agricultural regulation;
  • Preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; and
  • Recovery of deforested areas.
Conditions and Eligibility Requirements Eligible projects should directly or indirectly contribute to reducing deforestation in the Amazon. Besides this, up to 20% of the Fund’s disbursements may support the development of systems for monitoring and controlling deforestation in other Brazilian biomes and in biomes of other tropical countries. The efforts of the Amazon Fund should abide by the guidelines of the Sustainable Amazon Plan (PAS) and by the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of the Legal Amazon Deforestation (PPCDAM).
With the aim of boosting operating efficiency, to better distributing analytical work and BNDES’ monitoring of the projects, as well as project results, for operating purposes the areas for investment of the Amazon Fund will be grouped under the following modalities:

  • Protected Areas (Environmental Management and Services);
  • Sustainable Production Activities;
  • Science and Technology Development Applied to Sustainable Use of Biodiversity; and
  • Institutional Development and Improvement of Control Mechanisms.
Accessing the Fund Requests for financial support can be sent to the BNDES through a Financial Support Request Form which specifies the basic characteristics of the Applicant (e.g. company) and of the project to be supported by the Amazon Fund. BNDES recommends Applicants not to use intermediaries when presenting their projects.
Monitoring and Evaluation  Framework Project monitoring is based on standard BNDES processes, with mechanisms focused on checking that grant recipients are spending money on the activities stated. The process of monitoring has three stages.

–  First, projects submit performance reports to BNDES, according to agreed indicators.

–  Second, each release of funds is subject to verification by BNDES for compliance with relevant contractual provisions and clauses.

– Third, at the end of the project, the organisation must submit a final report which includes a narrative description cost breakdown, analysis of results and assessment of impacts and lessons learnt and a self assessment of the project and of the relationship with BNDES.

Two years after the project has been implemented, the organisation is required to submit an Effectiveness Assessment Report.

Since 2009, the Amazon Fund has published an annual report that reflects the insights from project level reporting. The annual report is reviewed and approved by the COFA. To date they have detailed fund mechanisms and the projects to which funding was allocated.

However, no results have been included on the basis that the Fund and its projects are at too early a stage to report impacts or lessons. Expected results are reported, however, for example the number of families receiving PES benefits, the number of individuals trained, and the area of properties mapped.

Fund Governance

Decision Making Structure
The Amazon Fund is managed by the BNDES which will also raises funds, facilitates contracts, supports and monitors projects and efforts.

The Amazon Fund’s decision making structure is based on:
•    The Amazon Fund Guidance Committee (COFA)
•    The Amazon Fund Technical Committee (AFTC)

The Amazon Fund Guidance Committee (COFA): a three-block committee comprising the federal government, state governments and civil society (including indigenous peoples, traditional communities, NGOs, industry and scientists). Each block holds one vote on committee decisions and each member holds one vote inside his block. COFA is in charge of setting the Amazon Fund guidelines and of following up on the results attained. In addition, it is COFA’s responsibility to ensure the adequacy of Amazon Fund projects under the guidelines it has set, and for the goals, commitments and policies of the Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon (PPCDAM) and of the directives of the Sustainable Amazon Plan (PAS).

The Amazon Fund Technical Committee (AFTC): six authoritative technical and scientific experts appointed by the Ministry of Environment for a three year term, extendable once for an equal period. The AFTC issues the certificates of carbon emission reductions and it calculates the amount of carbon per hectare as well as the amount of deforestation avoided.

An independent auditor also assesses whether the application of the funds adhere to the guidelines set by the COFA.

Non-Government Stakeholder Participation Consultations with non-government stakeholders are an integral part of the Amazon Fund’s decision making process as civil society organisations represent one of the three blocks of the COFA.
Information Disclosure Contributions and Disbursements can both be found on the Amazon Fund website.
Safeguard policies The Amazon Fund’s Social and Environmental Safeguards follow the REDD+ Social and Environmental Safeguards consolidated in 2010 by the Institute of Forest and Agricultural Management and Certification (Imaflora). These are the result of a broad discussion on the social and environmental risks of REDD+ in Brazil, based on a bottom-up approach that included representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities, smallholders, research institutions, the private sector, and environmental organisations. They are intended to be updated to keep them aligned with new decisions of the Guidance Committee of the Amazon Fund (COFA), which established the “Guidelines and Criteria for the Application of Resources” directed to the Amazon Fund’s main beneficiaries; namely traditional communities, settlements and family farmers.

The safeguards decision process led to the agreement of eight principles: legal compliance; acknowledgement and guarantee of rights; distribution of benefits; economic sustainability, improving standards of living and reducing poverty; environmental conservation and remediation; participation; monitoring and transparency; and governance.

These safeguards are implemented by analysing project proposals for potential risks and impacts and by identifying efforts for their elimination or mitigation. The result of this analysis may be changes in some aspects of the initial project, the inclusion of conditions to be met throughout stages of approval and contracting, and/or disbursement of resources for implementation.

Issues Raised  Issues raised by Brazilian Civil Society Organisations (in Portuguese only): include: a lack of transparency on eligibility criteria and the project approval cycle; the difficulty of access to the fund by local and grassroots organisations; and the coherence (or lack of) between the fund objectives and national development strategies.

Relationship with Official Development Assistance

Inclusion as Official Development Assistance Yes.
Financial Instrument/ Delivery Mechanism Used (e.g. grant, loan) Grants.
Nature of Recipient Country Involvement The Amazon Fund is owned and managed by Brazilian bodies, with restricted intervention from the donor countries. Norway has established targets for disbursing further resources of up to $1bn by 2015.