Ecosystem restoration - The rise of regional initiatives

Ecosystem restoration – The rise of regional initiatives

Ecosystem restoration - The rise of regional initiatives

Ecosystem restoration – The rise of regional initiatives

Regional initiatives have particular potential to engage national leaders, who are likely to interact more frequently and more deeply with their regional peers than at the global level. Regional initiatives also present the most immediate opportunities for sharing technical information and good practice, often within the framework of common technical institutions such as regional agricultural research centres and regional development banks. They benefit from the experience of many countries within the same region, and embody the principle of increasing South–South cooperation, especially if good regional practice can then be transferred across continents.

The new Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance seeks to see 6 million smallholder farms in Africa practising CSA within seven years. This effort contributes to the New Economic Partnership for African Development Vision 25×25, which aims to reach
25 million African farm households with CSA on some part of their holdings by 2025.63 In addition, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda have pledged to collectively restore 27.5 million ha of degraded forest landscape under the Bonn Challenge.64 Most recently, the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment in Cairo in March 2015 discussed an initiative to restore 30 million ha of forests, including watersheds, in Africa by 2030.65

Initiative 20×20 in Latin America and the Caribbean has achieved particular momentum.66 Launched at the Lima Climate Change Conference in December 2014, it aims to bring 20 million ha of degraded agricultural and forest lands into restoration by 2020. Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Chile, Costa Rica and two regional programmes pledged to support the initiative. Since then, Nicaragua has joined, Chile has increased the size of its restoration plan, and the 20 million ha goal for pledges has already been exceeded, with more commitments imminent.

Initiative 20×20 is facilitating technical support to countries committed to restoration, and the plan is to do the same for the two civil society regional programmes that have submitted restoration pledges to 20×20. Studies and workshops are targeted at key common issues such as fiscal and regulatory incentives for restoration, monitoring systems, assessments of specific restoration opportunities, and increasing access to seeds for native species. Technical support for the initiative comes from the World Resources Institute, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE ), Biodiversity International, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. This is complemented by a wide variety of technical institutions in the countries concerned.

Beyond the active engagement of leaders, a defining characteristic of Initiative 20×20 is the active participation of private- sector impact investors.67 Permian Global, Moringa Fund, Althelia Climate Fund, Rare, Terra Global Capital, the Forestry and Climate Change Sub-Fund, Sustainable Land Management Partners and EcoPlanet Bamboo have earmarked an aggregate of US$670 million for investment in 20×20 restoration projects as of publication; others are likely to join over time.68 Contacts have also been initiated with institutional development and climate finance investors with a regional focus on Latin America, both to explore options for a first-loss risk facility for the initiative and to boost resources available to impact investors to invest in the initiative.

There seems little doubt that the 20×20 partnership is facilitating collaboration between those with a stake in degraded land (governments, private companies handling outputs from the land and selling inputs to farms, landowners and people living on the land) and international investors that seek impact in addition to returns. Much has been achieved in a short time in terms of securing commitments, sharing experiences, identifying opportunities, and anticipating bottlenecks. The key now is to follow through with effective implementation.

Source :The New climate economy

Authors : Christopher Delgado, Michael Wolosin, and Nigel Purvis

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