A pioneering REDD+ country, Ecuador continues to demonstrate innovative leadership in forest conservation. In July 2019, Ecuador received $18.5 million US from the Green Climate Fund’s pilot programme on Results-based Payments to be reinvested in the national effort to restore deforested and degraded areas and promote sustainable production.
On September 17, Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment and Water (MAAE) launched the REDD+ Results Based Payments Project (PPR) that commits the country to promoting sustainable production systems and encouraging the restoration of deforested and degraded areas. With an aim to conserving forests, the project was launched with the participation of stakeholders from civil society, academia, the private sector, NGOs and indigenous peoples and local communities, including the Montubio people and Afro-Ecuadorians. Given COVID-19 restrictions, the UNDP Sparkblue virtual platform was used, enabling broad participation from hundreds of stakeholders.
This is an international milestone, as Ecuador is among the first countries to receive REDD+ RBP financing. This was achieved thanks to the government's commitment to implement environmental actions and policies to conserve forests and promote the sustainable use of biodiversity. The $18.5 million payment from the operating entity of the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC recognizes roughly 3.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) not emitted into the atmosphere in 2014, as reported on the UNFCCC Lima Information Hub.
During the launch event, Paulo Proaño, Minister of MAAE, Matilde Mordt, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Patricia Serrano, Manager of the Amazon Integral Program for Forest Conservation and Sustainable Production (PROAmazonía) and Juan Chang, GCF Principal Forest and Land Use Specialist, reported on the start of the project, its objectives, scope and coverage.
Ecuador’s Results Based Payments Project will implement its national REDD+ Action Plan and its policy on Forests for Good Living to:
- contribute to forest restoration efforts within the framework of the 2019 - 2030 National Restoration Plan;
- implement climate change, forest-related mitigation measures in Decentralized Autonomous Governments;
- regularize lands within protected areas and protective forests in prioritized areas;
- strengthen the capacities of the Ministry of Environment and Water for managing the
REDD+ Action Plan, including periodic training for the technical team and the acquisition of specialized technical equipment.
The funds will be channeled through UNDP, as the GCF accredited agency, and will be implemented through PROAmazonía, a government initiative of the Ministry of Environment and Water and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Ecuador, with the support of UNDP and FAO.
Ecuador’s achievement represents another significant milestone by an early partner country to the UN-REDD Programme. Ecuador received National Programme and technical assistance support from the UN-REDD Programme partner agencies between 2012 and 2018, support that enabled Ecuador to complete all the requirements to receive REDD+ RBPs.