After receiving USD 50 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 2015 and 2017, Paraguay + Verde, a REDD+ project that seeks to generate further reductions through the implementation of the National Forest Strategy for Sustainable Growth and the operationalization and capitalization of the Climate Change Fund, has begun.
The milestone that marked the beginning was the two-day kick-off workshop that brought together authorities and an average of 180 key stakeholders from different sectors, including representatives of indigenous peoples, to socialize and validate the roles and responsibilities of the executing partners; the first annual work plan; indicators, objectives and means of verification; the Gender Action Plan; and the monitoring and evaluation protocols.
Paraguay + Verde is led by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADES), the national environmental governing entity, together with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), as an accredited entity before the GCF and leading environmental authority in the world. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are also technical partners.
During the opening of the event, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Ariel Oviedo, emphasized the urgency of changing the current development matrix and practices for more sustainable and, above all, more profitable ones. "The world is understanding that the environment is the main resource we have. This project is the kick-off for many larger ones," he added.
Piedad Martin, UNEP's Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, also gave a message of recognition of the multiple benefits to forest-dwelling communities that will be generated by the project, which will also be the gateway to greater opportunities for financing carbon credits and climate investments to combat climate change.
Paradigm shift for forest conservation
The Paraguay + Verde project has great potential for change and will generate a "before and after" in the country's environmental policy, allowing the creation of "virtuous circles" through the reduction of deforestation and appropriate incentives, and the possibility of accessing new funds.
Over its six-year duration, it will implement actions to strengthen public and private protected areas, the national forest monitoring system, fire management capacity and territorial governance; ecotourism plans; analysis and revision of the current legal framework; sustainable production systems; payments for environmental services; and the operationalization and capitalization of the Climate Change Fund.
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