Land Restoration Projects in Latin America
Impact investors have earmarked millions of dollars for land restoration and forest conservation projects in support of Initiative 20x20. Following their individual investment frameworks that prioritize environmental, social, and governance (ESG) returns, these investors finance ecosystem restoration and conservation and sustainable agriculture projects across Latin American and Caribbean landscapes. Projects led by these investors are transforming traditionally extractive land use practices.
Initiative 20x20 investors combat land degradation across entire landscapes. Impact investors consider competing land uses and consider the wellbeing of both local communities and the environment to ensure that ecosystem restoration works in the long run. By relying on innovative business models that break from traditional forestry and food production systems, they enrich both communities and ecosystems and improve forest and agricultural commodity supply chains.
Several investors have developed state-of-the-art reporting systems that both communicate their impact transparently and inspire new funders to finance sustainable land use projects. The investors monitor the impact of nature-based solutions like ecosystem restoration on people’s livelihoods, biodiversity, and ecosystem services, like soil health and water quality. Investors also report to Initiative 20x20 where land restoration is happening and how much their projects have boosted land productivity and reduced carbon pollution.
Initiative 20x20 recognizes a gap in readiness to develop restoration projects across the region. Developing and implementing land restoration projects is a rewarding but technical undertaking. To bridge this gap, Initiative 20x20 has collected a series of tools and methods that can help restoration project developers achieve their desired ESG impact outcomes. The initiative’s Secretariat can connect impact investors with more than hundreds of researchers and civil society experts on ecosystem restoration and forest conservation.
Initiative 20x20 relies on its platform of partner organizations and governments to identify potential areas for land restoration. Initiative 20x20 also contributes to build the market readiness of projects, helping them operate sustainably and profitably. Through platforms like the Land Accelerator entrepreneurship training program, impact investor roundtables, and the terramatch platform, Initiative 20x20 is creating a pipeline of market-ready nature-based solutions projects. Every day, we work to expand economic opportunities tied to sustainable land use in Latin America.
Initiative 20x20 member countries lead the Latin American land restoration movement. Their agriculture and forestry agencies have made commitments to safeguard ecosystems and build strong rural economies through land restoration and forest conservation. These governments are putting national restoration plans into action to deliver on these commitments by adopting nature-based solutions for some of their most pressing social and environmental challenges.
Initiative 20x20 helps government agencies craft public policies and economic incentives that promote sustainable land use, fight land degradation, and support ecosystem restoration. Initiative 20x20 also links government officials who are developing land restoration plans and policies with technical experts with access to the latest science and practices on nature-based solutions.
Because deforestation and land degradation have limited the carbon storage potential of Latin America’s natural ecosystems, land use and land-use change are the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable land management, land restoration and forest protection are key climate mitigation activities that can reverse that trend. These nature-based solutions also help rural communities, whose livelihoods are tightly linked to healthy landscapes, adapt to climate change and increase their climate resilience. Realizing this opportunity, many countries have aligned their land restoration programs with their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement.
Agriculture and forestry support the livelihoods of millions of rural families in Latin America, the region’s food supply, and dozens of biodiverse ecosystems. Tackling unsustainable land use practices and restoring the functionality of natural ecosystems are key to achieving sustainable environmental and economic development goals. The environment, agriculture, and planning ministries of some countries are developing land restoration programs that lead to job creation, improved ecosystem services, and economic opportunity.
Through Initiative 20x20, technical partners share their expertise on land restoration and forest protection across Latin America and the Caribbean. Fighting land degradation requires deep engagement across multiple issues, like seed supply, monitoring, carbon markets, public policy, project development, and investment. The Initiative’s more than 100 partners respond to the technical needs of impact investors or government officials as they work to plan, finance, and scale up land restoration.
Land restoration and forest conservation researchers contribute their expertise to Initiative 20x20’s Task Forces, where they conduct research, collect, and disseminate standardized knowledge. They bring their insights on nature-based solutions, climate change, and sustainable agriculture and forestry and build up the capacity government authorities, investors, and restoration practitioners through reports, trainings, and webinars.
Corporations in Latin America and around the world are playing an increasingly important role in land restoration and forest conservation projects. Private sector engagement has varied from sponsoring reforestation programs to shifting supply chains to embrace agricultural and forest products sourced from areas under sustainable land management. Initiative 20x20 can help private companies maximize their impact by connecting them with technical experts, helping them restore landscapes, engage communities, and adopt best land use practices.
The Initiative 20x20 Secretariat and its network of 100+ partners can help private companies embrace the best practices of forest restoration and sustainable agriculture. Those projects 1) involve local communities and improve their livelihoods, 2) plant native species and protect biodiversity, and 3) match the long-term benefits of nature-based solutions with short-term economic opportunities.
Initiative 20x20 brings together land restoration monitoring experts to build and deploy tools that enable companies to track the impact of their reforestation and tree-planting programs. From carbon monitoring to tree cover growth, the Secretariat encourages companies to adopt the best techniques to measure the impact of land restoration on biodiversity and local communities.