Skip to Content

Development Aid

Fern’s aim is to improve the quality of EU and Member State aid so it contributes to the protection of forests and the recognition of forest peoples' rights.

Fern’s analysis:The European Union is by far the world’s largest donor. In 2013 the top 12 donors, in terms of the proportion of Overseas Development Aid (ODA) to Gross National Income, were European countries. European ODA increased from EUR 40.4 billion in 2002 to EUR 70.0 billion in 2012.EU ODA commitments for climate change mitigation increased more than four-fold between 2007 and 2011, reaching EUR 0.98 billion in 2011. The European country giving most aid was Norway and Germany was the Member State which spent the most on biodiversity. The element of ODA that went to forest-related projects also dramatically increased between 2002 and 2012, from EUR 130.2 million to EUR 493.2 million, while disbursements identified as biodiversity increased from EUR 74.8 million to EUR 329.6 million. Although this is all positive in principle, the increase in spending has often gone hand in hand with cuts in staff. Furthermore not all spending ensures that the rights of local people are being respected.

What Fern is doing: Fern has been working on this issue since 1995. Successes include ensuring that country environmental profiles (reports analysing the country's environmental situation) must now guarantee all aid programmes take ecological considerations and the rights of local communities into account. More recently our work has focused on effective implementation of the EU FLEGT Programme, funded by the European Commission and EU Member States (see

To learn more about this campaign:see history of the EC Forest Platform or Taking stock: Tracking trends in European Aid for forests and communities.

Most recent publications

Finding solutions to illegal logging: civil society and the FLEGT Support Project

FERN and Telapak outline the possibilities and limitations of the FLEGT Support Project - an EC-funded project aimed at tackling illegal logging and promoting the role of forests within Indonesia's sustainable development

PDF iconEnglish version239.61 KB
PDF iconBahasa Indonesian version124.77 KB

Back to the Forest: An evaluation of the EC forest programme in Indonesia

FERN Briefing evaluating the EC forest programme in Indonesia and outlining proposals to improve its performance in the future.
PDF iconOPEN208.03 KB

Comentarios conjuntos de ONG sobre la programación regional CE-AL 2007-2013

Aportes de FERN, ALOP, CIFCA, WIDE y Grupo Sur a la reflexión sobre la Programación Regional 2007-2013 de la Unión Europea para América Latina.
PDF iconDocumento en español215.23 KB

Comentario conjunto de ONG sobre la evaluación de la cooperación CE-AL

Aportes de FERN, ALOP, CIFCA y WIDE a la Evaluación de la Estrategia Regional de la CE en América Latina de cara a la Programación Regional 2007-2013
PDF iconDocumento en español62.17 KB

La temática ambiental en la evaluación de la cooperación CE-AL

Comentarios de FERN sobre la integración de la temática ambiental en la Evaluación de la Estrategia Regional de la CE en América Latina.
PDF iconDocumento en español110.24 KB

Joint NGO proposal for a Global Environmental Budget

Joint NGO demand for a European global environment budget in the external heading of the European Union (EU) future financial perspectives 2007-2013.
PDF iconOPEN107.21 KB