Restoring Latin America's Landscapes

ABOUT INITIATIVE 20X20

Initiative 20x20 is a country-led effort seeking to change the dynamics of land degradation in Latin America and the Caribbean by beginning to protect and restore 50 million hectares of forests, farms, pasture, and other landscapes by 2030. The initiative—launched formally at COP 20 in Lima in 2014—supports the Bonn Challenge and the New York Declaration on Forests, global commitments to bring 350 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2030.

So far, 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries and three regional programs have committed to improve more than 52 million hectares of land (or about 124 million acres, an area roughly the size of Paraguay and Nicaragua combined) through Initiative 20x20.

The initiative is supported by more than 85 technical organizations and institutions and a coalition of impact investors and funds deploying US$2.5 billion in private investment. 

Initiative 20x20 Map

 

THE CASE FOR CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION IN LATIN AMERICA

An estimated 58% of Latin America’s climate-warming greenhouse emissions comes from land use, land use change, and forestry. When people cut down forests and damage ecosystems, the climate, biodiversity, and local people suffer.

Already, more than 40% of forests in Latin America and the Caribbean have been completely deforested or degraded. The region contains some of the most ecologically valuable forest ecosystems in the world, but 20% of forest lands (nearly 350 million ha) have been completely deforested and a further 20% (300 million ha) badly degraded. Large-scale and small-scale agriculture, infrastructure, and mining are the primary drivers of this change – and source of carbon emissions.

Why should people invest in restoring all of that land? It presents a special opportunity to shift the region’s landscapes from a carbon source to a carbon sink and to decarbonize the region’s economies. And because Latin America is home to an estimated 50% of the world’s biodiversity, protecting and restoring forests, wetlands, and other landscapes is key to protecting rare flora and fauna.

Healthy landscapes are also the lynchpin of the region’s agricultural sector, which represents an estimated 13% of global food and fiber trade. Sustainable agricultural and forestry practices – which can add up to $1,140 in value to a hectare of restored land – can support the growing demand for commodities and create jobs while maintaining and expanding forest cover. They can also help communities on the front line of climate change adapt to warming temperatures and extreme weather.

Initiative 20x20 partners are embracing that vision of a restored future by leading programs centered on six key techniques. In forests, reforestation (natural and assisted) and avoiding degradation and deforestation help bring ecological functionality to entire landscapes, protect biodiversity, and store carbon. In agricultural areas, the initiative works to boost crop yields while protecting water sources and soil health through agroforestry (trees on farms), silvopasture (trees on pasture), sustainable grassland management, and other low-carbon farming techniques. 

More than 60 examples of Initiative 20x20 partner projects that embrace these techniques are available on our Restoration Projects page.

6 interventions

ABOUT THE SECRETARIAT

World Resources Institute (WRI)‘s Global Restoration Initiative is the secretariat of Initiative 20x20. WRI works with governments and international partners to inspire, enable and implement restoration on degraded landscapes, returning them to economic and environmental productivity.

To get in touch with the Secretariat, email Luciana Gallardo Lomeli

 

Coordiantor for Initiative 20x20  Walter Vergara, Initiative 20x20 Coordinator

 

Rene Zamora Cristales  René Zamora Cristales, Latin America Research Coordinator

 

Luciana Gallardo Lomeli  Luciana Gallardo Lomeli, Mesoamerica Coordinator

 

Maria Franco Chuaire  Maria Franco Chuaire, South America Coordinator

 

Maggie Gonzalez  Maggie Gonzalez, Research Analyst

 

Will Anderson  Will Anderson, Communications Manager

 

Jerin Tan Jerin Tan, Communications Coordinator

 

Mary Gronkiewicz Mary Gronkiewicz, Project Specialist

 

Victoria Rachmaninoff Victoria Rachmaninoff, Latin America Policy Restoration Intern

 

Donors

bmu.de
regjeringen.no
mecdd.gouvernement.lu
www.cargill.com

 

 

 

Quotes


Main activities of Initiative 20X20

  • Inspire national commitments to restoration by engaging in a robust dialogue with Ministers of Agriculture and Environment in the region;

  • Make the economic case by assessing the societal benefits from restoration and avoided deforestation; and

  • Establish a financial mechanism that allows private sector impact investors to fund restoration projects

Key Facts

  • 49% of greenhouse gas emissions in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2012 resulted from forestry, land-use change, and agriculture.

  • Latin America and the Caribbean account for about half of the world’s remaining tropical and southern temperate forests.

  • Agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean expanded onto an additional 36 million hectares since 2000. This expansion came at the expense of forests and natural landscapes.

  • Land-use activities like agriculture, animal husbandry, and forestry contribute 5 percent of the region’s GDP and about 14 percent of its employment.

  • Land restoration can increase food productivity and security for an estimated 49 million under-nourished people in Latin America and the Caribbean.