Ecuador receives US$ 18.5 million for having reduced its deforestation

July 7, 2019

Ecuador is the second country to access Results Based Payment under the Green Climate Fund (GCF) pilot programme. The first country was Brazil. Photo: Sergio Garrido

07 July 2019, Panama City, Panama – Ecuador just became the second country to receive financial resources from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for having successfully reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation in the past. Ecuador registers a historic reduction of its deforestation rate: 48.6% during the last two decades.

The decision praised Ecuador’s efforts and commitment to implement environmental initiatives and policies for forest conservation and promotion of the sustainable use of biodiversity. The country went from annual net deforestation of 92,742 hectares in the period 1990-2000, to 47,497 hectares in the period 2008-2014.

Among the initiatives, the “Socio Bosque” program stands out. It began in 2008, with the participation of diverse stakeholders from civil society, academia, private sector, indigenous people, Montubio people, afro-Ecuadorians and NGO, with the objective of conserving forest biodiversity, reducing carbon emissions and reducing poverty in rural areas. It offers direct payment of financial incentives to individual and collective owners to conserve native forests and other key ecosystems. Thanks to this action, the country has been able to protect 1.6 million hectares of native forests to this day.

The payment from the GCF will strengthen the next six years the implementation of REDD+ action plans. To this end under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment (known as MAE in Spanish) and with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection a proposal was developed to enhance the implementation of REDD+ actions in indigenous people territories; regulate land tenure in protected forests and areas; promote public-private partnerships and sustainable economic alternatives for natural resources, promote sustainable productions systems and incentivize the restoration of deforested and degraded areas. Ensuring continuity of the country´s efforts to reduce deforestation and access further international funding.

With the approval of the four new projects, UNDP has supported a total of 23 countries to access more than $785.7 million in GCF finance for full-sized climate change projects.

Notes to editors

Climate change is a priority for UNDP. The organization is the largest implementer of climate action in the UN System, supporting over 700 projects, in 140 countries of a total value exceeding US$ 3 billion. In addition to UNDP’s own resources, this grant support is delivered in partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) administered trust funds and the Adaptation Fund, as well as other multilateral, bilateral and national partners.

About REDD+[1]: the UNFCCC COP 19, held in November 2013 in Warsaw, Poland, adopted the 7 decisions of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+. This agreement has widely been recognized as a breakthrough in negotiations providing clarity on several important issues related to REDD+ implementation. The Warsaw Framework for REDD+ builds upon earlier decisions adopted by the COP, and basically:

1.   Reaffirms that results-based finance may come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources

2.   Encourages financing entities, including the Green Climate Fund in a key role, to channel adequate and predictable results-based finance in a fair and balanced manner, and to work with a view to increasing the number of countries that are in a position to obtain and receive payments for results-based actions

3.   Decides to establish an information hub on the REDD Web Platform, to publish information on the results and corresponding results-based payments

4.   Requests the Standing Committee on Finance to consider the issue of financing for forests in its work on coherence and coordination

Recognizes the importance of incentivizing non-carbon benefits for the long-term sustainability of the implementation of the activities referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70.