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Policy Advisory

We deliver solutions backed by an extensive network of global experts in forestry and climate change, based on global best practices. This allows us to support evidence-based policy solutions that integrate ecological, economic and social dimensions of Forestry and Natural Resource Management.

Recent Projects

Analysing Feasibility of REDD+ on HCV Forests in Indonesia and Malaysia

Client:- Tripura JICA SCATFORM Project

IORA provided consultancy services to Standard Bank, Singapore and Sime Darby Corporation, Malaysia to analyze the feasibility of development of REDD+ projects on High Conservation Value (HCV) lands. IORA also assessed carbon sequestration capacity of the Palm Oil plantations and other project areas.

Recommendations to 15th Finance Commission of India for Enriching Current Tax Devolution Formula for Increased Allocations of Funds towards Forest, Environment & Climate Change

Client:- MoEFCC

In continuation to our collaborative study with Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) and Forest Survey of India (FSI) on High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) for the 14th Finance Commission in 2014, IORA developed a set of recommendations for the 15th Finance Commission. We recommended performance-based pollution abatement grants, along with grants-in-aid for meeting NDC commitments and restoration of forest ecosystems. We further advocated for maintenance of the current weightage of forest cover in the main devolution formula.

High Conservation Value Forests: An Instrument for Effective Forest Fiscal Federalism in India

Client:- IIFM, Bhopal

IORA and IIFM developed a new set of criteria for the 14th Finance Commission to identify High Conservation Value Forests. The study helped develop India’s current tax devolution formula for distributing revenue from central to state governments. The new tax devolution formula balanced the distribution of the sharable central taxes amongst states based on the quality of their forest cover. Making India the first country to undertake Ecological Fiscal Transfer (EFT) based on forest cover, the formula provides 7.5% weightage to forests, amassing sharable central taxes to the tune of ₹ 3.53 Lakh Crores. This amount was disbursed to the states during the XIV Finance Commission’s term.

Developing Road Map for NDC Goal 5 of India

Client:- MoEFCC, GoI

In line with India’s commitment “to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2eq through additional forest and tree cover by 2030”, IORA was commissioned by MoEFCC to develop roadmap for achieving of India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Goal 5. We mapped pre-existing plans, programs, measures and mechanisms pertaining to the complete forestry sector, encompassing trees outside forests, mangroves, wetlands, coastal and marine ecosystems and plantations along highways. We conducted SWOT analysis in the spheres of policy, technology, finance and capacity building, towards recommending sector specific measures including budgetary requirements that will aid in fulfilling the goal.

India specific REDD+ Methodology

IORA with GIZ India developed the REDD+ ARR Methodology as per Verified Carbon Standard, which can be utilised to combat deforestation and degradation across the Indian landscapes. Various aspects including mapping of drivers of degradation and agents of forest change, baseline development, quantification of emissions from pools, stakeholder engagements, and monitoring structure have been detailed in the methodology. It also helped project developers to bring down transaction costs while developing REDD+ projects efficiently.

REDD+ Reference Policy Document

Client:- MoEFCC, GoI

IORA supported the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India to develop a REDD+ Reference policy document for India for 2014. IORA designed the institutional framework of REDD+ in India and assigned the roles and responsibilities to the government and social institutions involved – MoEFCC, Forest Survey of India (FSI), Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), State Forest Department, Joint Forest Management (JFM) Committees, Panchayats and Gram Sabhas. The document gives a thorough account of the concepts and approaches adapted in building up national forest reference level based on forest inventories. Furthermore, Iora also developed governance and safeguard mechanisms to ensure that REDD+ implementation supports the rights of local communities and indigenous tribals along with biodiversity conservation in forests.

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