Proceedings from Initiative 20x20 Webinar: Achieving Economic Development Through Land Restoration

August 25, 2020

by Walter Vergara | Initiative 20x20 Secretariat

Proceedings from Initiative 20x20 Webinar: Achieving Economic Development Through Land Restoration

President Luis Alberto Moreno of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), introduced by World Resources Institute (WRI) Vice President for Food, Forests, Water, and the Ocean Craig Hanson, presented to the Initiative 20x20 community on the many linkages between forests, environment, climate change and livelihoods.

He highlighted the rich natural capital endowment of the region, which hosts 50% of all rainforests on the planet and is home to 40% of global biodiversity. Forests, he remarked, are also home to 30 million people, mostly indigenous groups.

The IDB, President Moreno remarked, has made a renewed commitment to protect natural forests, to prevent their degradation and to restore functionality to degraded lands. Now, the bank is focusing on sustainable forest management and institutional capacity building, including through the support of policies and an enhanced commitment to sustainable land use. The Bank has provided over the last decade over $1.5 billion USD in grants and loans across more than 100 projects.

The IDB is now strongly behind the use of nature-based solutions, which in his view are the anchor of environmental, economic and climate sustainability in the region.

The IDB intends to continue along this path and recognized the value of partnerships with institutions such as WRI and its Initiative 20x20 and is now seeking to expand its portfolio of activities through its deployment of the Nature Capital Lab, supported also by the Government of France, focusing not just on projects but also on ensuring a healthy relationship between economic development and the sustainable use of natural capital and the enhancement of livelihoods of marginalized groups in particular.

Moreno presentation was commented on by Johnny Brom, Founder and General Manager of SAIL Ventures, who remarked on the importance of working with the private sector on these issues, taking advantage of risk capital and sustainable business models. A comment was also offered by Carolina Suarez, CEO of Latinimpacto, who emphasized the role of philanthropy in the protection of natural capital.

The meeting was closed by Tom Lovejoy, who highlighted the pioneering role of Initiative 20x20 and its many partners in the protection and sustainable use of the region’s nature.

Please see the recording of the event here.