Green Climate Fund approves the first proposal to reduce emissions from deforestation and support forest conservation in Ecuador

Oct 20, 2016

The Amazon rainforest in Pastaza, Ecuador (Josep A. Garí)

The proposal elaborated by the Ecuador Ministry of Environment with the support of the UNDP REDD team consists of a grant of US$ 41.2 million to finance the implementation of Ecuador’s REDD+ action plan.

During its meeting #14 in Songdo, South Korea, the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved the first ever GCF project to co-finance the implementation of policies and measures to reduce emissions from deforestation (REDD+: reducing emissions from deforestation, forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries). The GCF decision includes a grant of US$ 41.2 million to co-finance the implementation of Ecuador’s national REDD + Action Plan.

At the end of 2015 the Ministry of Environment of Government of Ecuador, which is the National Designated Authority (NDA) for the GCF and the national REDD+ focal point for the UNFCCC, requested UNDP to act as the GCF accredited entity and support the development of a funding proposal for submission to the GCF. This US$ 41.2 million proposal is the single largest grant ever mobilized by Ecuador, in the context of environment and climate change. It is also the very first program approved by the GCF that is fully consistent with the requirements of the UNFCCC Warsaw Framework on REDD+.

The UNDP REDD+ team has supported Ecuador’s REDD+ readiness process since 2012, hand in hand with FAO and UNEP through the UN-REDD Programme. As a result of this support, Ecuador developed a National REDD+ Action Plan. The support provided by the UNDP REDD+ Team and UNDP-Ecuador Country Office, working together, has been pivotal in developing the GCF funding proposal, and more specifically to finalize the economic and financial analyses and feasibility studies and in “translating” all the elements and available information regarding REDD+ in Ecuador to the specific requirements of the GCF. 

The GCF financing will support the implementation of Ecuador’s National REDD+ Action Plan: Forests for the Good Living (Plan de Acción Nacional REDD+: Bosques para el Buen Vivir), which is closely aligned with Ecuador’s national development policies and was developed with strong participatory and technical processes led by Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment. This is the very first time that the GCF approves a REDD+ phase 2 project (implementation of national policies and measures prioritized in an action plan).

“We are immensely pleased by the approval of the first Green Climate Fund to Ecuador and in the amount of $US 41.2 million. I congratulate and thank UNDP who have made this possible” said Diego Zorilla, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Ecuador. “This is a great example of a well-orchestrated endeavor at all different levels of our organization as well as at the national level with the Government of Ecuador and with multiple stakeholders to promote sustainable human development in one of most biodiverse areas in the world, the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin”.

The funding provided by the GCF will specifically assist Ecuador in addressing the main causes of deforestation by coordinating initiatives to mainstream climate change and REDD+ in national public policies, and in the main instruments of land-use planning at the level of local governments and communities, indigenous peoples and nationalities.

The funds will also help implementing, or reorienting when needed, financial and economic incentives in non-forest areas to support the transition to sustainable deforestation-free agricultural production systems and implementing financial and non-financial mechanisms for restoration, conservation and connectivity through Government’s existing programmes that serve to protect the ecosystems of watersheds impacted by existing hydroelectric dams and secure the provision of ecosystem services to adjacent towns and cities.

“This is a great example of UNDP's comparative advantage in supporting the development and implementation of national REDD+ strategies and investment plans - blending the technical expertise of its REDD+ Team, with the engagement of its Country Office in national development planning processes” said Tim Clairs  Principal Policy and Technical Advisor REDD+ at UNDP in Geneva.

Contact information

Tim Clairs - email: Tel: +41 22 917 85 34

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