The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved a $795 million project to help protect over 80% of the Amazon and boost efforts to combat climate change.
The GEF’s Council committed $113 million for the Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program, a regional program spanning Brazil, Colombia and Peru that is expected to leverage $682 million in additional financing and span over five years.
The program aims to maintain 73,000,000 hectares of forest land, promote sustainable land management in 52,700 hectares, and support actions that will help reduce CO2 emissions by 300 million tons by 2030, the GEF said.
“Together, Brazil, Peru and Colombia are responsible for about 83% of the Amazon basin within their territories. For the first time the concerned countries and partner agencies have come together to design an integrated, coordinated approach to the sustainable management of a significant portion of the Amazon ecosystem,” said Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson
It will be implemented by the World Bank as lead agency, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The programme will protect globally significant biodiversity and mitigate climate change by implementing policies to foster sustainable land use, protected areas management and restore vegetation cover.
“In Brazil over the last 10 years, we have reduced deforestation in the Amazon by 82%. We have recognized 13% as indigenous lands, and established 27% of protected areas,” said Ana Cristina Barros, Secretary of Biodiversity and Forests of Brazil’s Ministry of the Environment.
“The book of destruction is over. Building on previous success, we are now writing a beautiful story on forest restoration with a happy ending.”