ICAI has scored the UK aid’s approach to halting deforestation and preventing irreversible biodiversity loss as green-amber, meaning there is satisfactory achievement in most areas, but partial achievement in others. We made five recommendations for the government.
- UK programmes have successfully targeted the most relevant drivers of deforestation and biodiversity loss
- The UK has played a significant role in promoting global cooperation on the drivers of deforestation and biodiversity loss
- The UK has influenced several multilateral funding bodies to improve focus and capability
- UK support for NGO advocacy fills a useful niche
- UK aid has made positive contributions to knowledge, institutions, governance and policies in the case study countries
- The level of resources devoted to addressing deforestation and biodiversity loss is dwarfed by the scale of the challenge
- UK efforts on commodity-related deforestation are effective when they adopt a systematic approach
- The UK’s efforts to halt deforestation and prevent irreversible biodiversity loss lack a coherent, overarching strategy
- Coordination across government can be good but is not always so, particularly at country level
- The UK has piloted useful technical interventions and has been willing to take risks
- Successful pilots have not been scaled up to the extent expected or required
- The portfolio lacks a strategy to make the most of learning
- There is not enough systematic evaluation of UK-funded projects and programmes
- A lack of adequate results metrics makes it difficult to assess the UK’s contribution
- Some project business cases claim a contribution to reducing deforestation and biodiversity loss without a clear basis
- Many projects were not sufficiently grounded in evidence of ‘what works’
- Programmes do not consistently understand and engage with the people that they affect
- Programmes are not consistently considering or including women
- UK bilateral ODA support should have a tighter strategic focus to tackling deforestation and biodiversity loss, concentrating resources to increase impact
- All programmes addressing deforestation and biodiversity loss should be monitored and evaluated against common, measurable indicators designed specifically for assessing deforestation and biodiversity impacts.
- Independent external evaluations of the bilateral programme should be carried out regularly at programme, country and global levels and then used to shape strategic funding decisions.
- UK bilateral programmes should be guided by social impact analysis and safeguarding measures, to maximise the benefits for and minimise negative impacts on local communities, women and vulnerable groups.
- Gender issues need greater prioritisation in policies and programming in order to ensure women benefit from investments in forestry and biodiversity.
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