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The Integrated Amazon Program for Forest Conservation and Sustainable Production in Ecuador was launched on September 7th and 8th in Tena, Ecuador. A video recording of the event is available here. To mark the occasion, the President of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, sang “Padre Pare” an environmental song by Catalan signer Joan Manuel Serrat.

Ecuador GCF logo

“  …Father, Tell me,

what have they done to the forest, that now there are no trees?,

In the winter we won't have fire,

nor in summer a place for shelter.

 

Father; that the forest is no longer the forest.

Father; before it darkens,

fill with life the pantry... “

 

Implemented under the umbrella of the National REDD+ Action Plan, the main objective of the program is to reduce greenhouse gases emissions from deforestation, which represents 30% of emissions in Ecuador. The plan provides a coherent package of policies and measures to address the drivers of deforestation as well as improve land use efficiency in the Amazon. The program will contribute to mitigate climate change and therefore to Ecuador’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Climate Agreement. It will also contribute directly to the protection of Ecuador´s rich biodiversity and key ecosystem services, providing social and economic benefits to local communities.

Ecuador launch photo

The Amazon Program is intended to generate paradigm shifts at different levels:

  • At the community level, by coordinating approaches to land-use planning, promoting the transition toward more sustainable, productive and deforestation-free agricultural practices, fostering sustainable forest management, conservation and restoration in forested areas, supporting the enforcement of existing regulations, traceability and certification systems.
  • At the national level, by strengthening the collaboration and coordination between government entities as well as with the private sector (mainly palm oil, cattle, coffee, and cacao supply chains); and by reorienting the current 1.4 billion USD of existing government agricultural subsidies towards more sustainable practices.  
  • At the international level, by creating explicit linkages between environmental performance and trade policies in the context of the implementation of the free trade agreement signed by Ecuador with the European Commission in 2016.  Linkages will also be made with the commitments made by international consumer goods companies, commodity producers and traders to eliminate deforestation from their supply chain by 2020 in the New York Declaration on Forests.

The launch of the Amazon Program is the culmination of a participatory REDD+ readiness process which benefited from the support of the UN-REDD Program since 2012 thanks to sustained financial contributions from Norway.  Indeed, Ecuador is the second country in the world to complete all the requirements to receive results-based payments for REDD+ set out in the UNFCCC (second only to Brazil).

Ecuador reported emission reduction of over 28 MtCO2 over the period 2008-14 (see UNFCCC REDD+ Information Hub).  In 2018, with the financial support of the Italian Government, Ecuador hopes to secure additional finance from the international community in the form of REDD+ Results-Based payments, for instance from the GCF’s recently adopted pilot programme for REDD-plus results-based payments. These resources should further help Ecuador in its effort to integrate commodity supply chain initiatives, domestic policies and finance, and international finance for REDD+ in coherent set of policies, thus creating a new partnership between governments and the private sector.  

Photo: SECOM

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