Ecuador to receive over US$80 million to curb deforestation

Jul 4, 2017

Indigenous peoples in Ecuadorian Amazon Forest. Photo: UNDP in Ecuador.

South American country to receive Green Climate Fund’s first support to UN programme to reduce emissions from deforestation

Songdo, Republic of Korea, 4 July 2017 - Ecuador is receiving the first part of a US$84 million disbursement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect forests, becoming the first country to receive financial resources from the Green Climate Fund (GCF)—a global fund to support developing countries’ efforts to respond to climate change challenges— through the REDD+, the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries.

The current transfer of $7.9 million to the UN Development Programme (UNDP)—which works in partnership with government entities, civil society and the private sector—marks a key milestone for the Fund in distributing climate finance supporting REDD+ and Ecuador’s targeted investment to control agricultural expansion into forest areas, with more sustainable livestock production practices to reduce deforestation.

The climate finance will also encourage loans that encourage sustainable farming practices, promote tax incentives for activities supporting REDD+, and ease the flow of deforestation-free commodities in the global market.

“The funding received by the Green Climate Fund is very important because it allows us to continue with the implementation phase of the policies and actions set out in the REDD+ Action Plan,” said the Minister of Environment of Ecuador Tarsicio Granizo.

“The implementation of the REDD+ Action Plan in Ecuador, possible thanks to the funding received from the Green Climate Fund, is an important milestone in helping the country achieve net zero deforestation by 2020, said Jessica Faieta, UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP’s Regional Bureau Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, adding that the initiative will also generate benefits for local communities, with a special focus on women and youth. 

Green Climate Fund Senior Forest and Land Use Specialist Juan Chang said REDD+ has enormous potential in bringing together the benefits of climate finance and sustainable development.

“REDD+ can contribute to significantly reduce emissions generated from unsustainable land use activities, conserve standing natural forests and increase carbon stocks in previously degraded lands, while also respecting indigenous people and forest-dependent people living in these ecosystems,” he said.

One of the most recent REDD+ studies indicates the programme has the potential to reduce global emissions by up to 30 percent.

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About the Green Climate Fund: The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change. GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change. It seeks to promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs of nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. It was set up by the 194 countries who are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, as part of the Convention’s financial mechanism. It aims to deliver equal amounts of funding to mitigation and adaptation, while being guided by the Convention’s principles and provisions. When the Paris Agreement was reached in 2015, the Green Climate Fund was given an important role in serving the agreement and supporting the goal of keeping climate change well below 2 degrees Celsius.

About REDD+ - The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries was launched in 2008 and builds on the convening role and technical expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The UN-REDD Programme supports nationally led REDD+ processes and promotes the informed and meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, including indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities, in national and international REDD+ implementation.