74% of forests in Ecuador are located in the Amazon region and they host the majority of the extraordinary biological richness of the country which makes it one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world. Photo: UNDP Ecuador

Panama City, September 17, 2018. At the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), leaders from all sectors of society gathered to demonstrate how they are taking ambition to the next level with a wave of fresh and courageous climate action announcements and commitments that, if implemented will generate over 65 million new, low-carbon jobs by 2030.

The event generated more than 500 commitments and within them, 17 announcements were made under the umbrella of the Forest, Food and Land Challenge that calls for actions to improve food production and consumption, better conserve forests and habitats and use land more efficiently and sustainably and thereby deliver up to 30% of the climate solutions needed by 2030.

In that context and at Session ‘Grounded: Locking Up Carbon through Restoration, Conservation, and Resilience Targeted Challenge’ Ecuador announced that the Inter-institutional Committee on Sustainable Palm Oil (CISPS, by its Spanish acronym), formed last year by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of Environment together with the private sector and NGOs, will work towards increasing production of palm oil on existing cultivation areas using sustainable agricultural practices based on national legislation and international standards, including the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This will decrease pressure on the country’s remaining forests and strengthen the sustainable management capacities of smallholder producers.

“There are many enabling conditions allowing for that, there is a lot of political will in Ecuador and I think that is always one of the biggest challenges that we can have, and we also have different stakeholders very committed to this process. This is an important milestone for Ecuador to have several sectors sitting at the same table for a common goal: to find a balance between economic development and forest conservation through effective social and environmental governance", said Carolina Rosero, Policy Manager at Conservation International Ecuador on behalf of CISPS.

The CISPS has taken on a complex task and is focusing on issues related to high conservation values and the reduction of deforestation, among others, all supported by PROAmazonía, a program implemented by the Government of Ecuador, with the support of UNDP, and financed with grant funds from the GCF and Global Environment Facility (GEF).   

“Ecuador has been promoting efforts to reduce deforestation and conserve forests since 2009, with the implementation of the Socio Bosque Program, which consists of providing economic incentives to individuals and communities committed to forest conservation, it has demonstrated its political will to reduce deforestation and advance in its international commitments. It will be one of the first countries to access results-based payments through the Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) pilot program. Efforts to reduce deforestation, restore forests and increase the resilience of communities to cope with the effects of climate change continue to be strengthened with the support of PROAmazonía” said Patricia Serrano, Coordinator REDD+ and finance, PROAmazonia.

These combined actions will contribute to Ecuador’s results in the fight against deforestation, using a jurisdictional sectoral approach, with a vision of reducing and eliminating deforestation from palm oil production in the Amazon by 2025, as well as achieving zero deforestation from the sector by 2030, nation-wide.

"This initiative is very promising and serves as reference to other countries in the region for its willingness to base actions on fundamental elements such as poverty reduction, sustainable development, indigenous rights, food sovereignty, adaptation and mitigation of climate change; and at the same time for being a platform that integrates representatives of government, NGOs, and producers with a special emphasis on small producers. At UNDP we celebrate this commitment and reaffirm our support to Ecuador in this big challenge that will undoubtedly contribute to several of the Sustainable Development Goals", added Pierre-Yves Guedez, Senior Regional REDD+ Technical Advisor of the United Nations Development Programme’s Climate and Forests Team.

Read the full announcement here

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