BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL)

Climate Objective
Sectors and Themes
Forestry and Other Land Use
Industry and Infrastructure
Type of Support Provider
Type of Recipient
Public entity at the national level
Public entity at the sub-national level
Public entity at the regional level
Private sector
Fund Size

USD 355 million in fund capital

Co-financing Requirement
Trustee or Administrator
World Bank
Contact Information
East Asia and Pacific
Sub-Saharan Africa

The ISFL is a multilateral facility that promotes and rewards reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased sequestration through better land management, including reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), climate-smart agriculture, and smarter land-use planning and policies.

The ISFL aims to catalyze the development of a low-carbon rural economy in each of its program areas that will simultaneously result in livelihood opportunities for communities and an overall reduction in land-based emissions.

Four design pillars guide the ISFL’s overall objective to reduce GHG emissions, while addressing poverty and unsustainable land use.

Support Provider

Germany, Norway, Switzerland, UK, US

Purpose of Support
Project and program implementation
Funding Type
Organizational and Decision Making Structure

The World Bank’s Climate Change Fund Management Unit oversees several carbon finance initiatives and is responsible for managing the BioCarbon Fund. The team is in charge of “supervising and monitoring BioCarbon Fund activities, proposing new projects to the investing participants for review, serving to facilitate interactions with the Participants, and developing the land-use sector based on broad discussions with the public and private sector as well as market regulators”.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has the ultimate authority to amend the instrument establishing the BioCarbon Fund and to approve the projects’ grants.

Eligibility Criteria

ISFL countries are selected on the basis of criteria that provide the best foundation for ISFL programs to achieve the greatest possible impact. These criteria ensure that countries are prepared to undertake a complex land-use program that will be governed and monitored effectively. They also assess the global community’s commitment to working collectively toward in-country solutions so that countries have the necessary support to achieve results.

Engagement and capacity for large-scale programs: The ISFL assesses the degree of readiness for a large-scale emission reductions program. This is based on a preliminary assessment of a country’s engagement in and capacity for a results-based or REDD+ program and its potential to reduce carbon emissions. In particular, links between national efforts for sustainable forestry use and other land uses are considered, as well as the institutional arrangements in place and the capacity of local stakeholders to implement such a program.
Enabling environment and governance: The ISFL assesses the current quality of the enabling environment and its potential to improve, considering the strength of governance, private sector engagement, and in-country green growth initiatives.
Agricultural drivers of land use change: The ISFL analyzes the agricultural factors behind land-use change to understand which commodities, if any, are key drivers and whether the pressure on forests could be considered historically high or likely to increase significantly. This analysis allows the ISFL to understand the potential of climate-smart agriculture practices to reduce GHG emissions in potential program countries.

Eligible Countries

Forest countries around the world. ISFL programs will cover a variety of geographies. It is currently supporting projects in Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Mexico and Zambia.

Information on how to

To access the BioCarbon Fund, forest countries propose projects that can certify their emission reductions under a variety of standards such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

For selection of ISFL jurisdictions, a series of high-level quantitative and qualitative indicators across three areas are considered, including REDD readiness, general factors not related specifically to REDD+ or agriculture (such as private sector engagement in the country and potential co-benefits) and agricultural drivers.

Projects are only considered if they sequester or conserve greenhouse gases in forests, agro- and other ecosystems.