According to the latest National Green House Gas Inventory submitted by Ecuador in its third national communication, the total net emission GHG emissions (base year 2012) from Ecuador were 80,627.16 Gg of CO2-eq in 2012. The Energy sector is the major contributor to national emis­sions with 47%, followed by LULUCF (land use, land-use change and forestry) sector with a share of 25% of net emissions. The Agricul­ture sector is placed third with an 18% share of GHG. The main source of GHG emissions in the LULUCF sector is deforestation (transformation of native forest in other lands) while in the Agriculture sector, most emissions come from the enteric fermentation category.

In this context, Ecuador is working towards the development of a participatory Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) process under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment. It is important to mention that the NDC that Ecuador will send to the UNFCCC will be defined from technical inputs that are being generated through inter-sectoral work.




In that sense, the support of the UN-REDD Programme includes technical assistance from FAO for the generation of reference and climate change mitigation scenarios for the AFOLU sector, while for the other sectors, the government of Ecuador is receiving support from different donors through UNDP's NDC Support Programme and the European Union through the Euroclima+ Programme.

To respond to the unique country context, within the framework of the Paris Agreement, Ecuador’s NDC will address mitigation and adaptation components. The support provided by FAO is oriented to the AFOLU (LULUCF and Agriculture) sector, building upon the past collaboration with the UN-REDD National Programme, which supported the country on readiness for REDD+ all these actions are being developed in close coordination with the Under-secretariat of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment.


Participatory process

In order to provide a common ground of understanding for government technicians and private sector that will provide inputs for the construction of the NDC, the first phase of the work focused on socialization and intense capacity-building process. Workshops and trainings explained key concepts of the Paris Agreement, especially Articles 4 on NDCs and Article13 related to the Enhanced Transparency Framework.

The second phase involved the design and consultation of baseline scenarios, in order to construct the mitigation component of the NDCs. The Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, National Institute of Statistics and Census, National Secretariat of Planning and Development and other related institutions worked together with the support of FAO on this task through a series of technical meetings and trainings. This cross-ministerial process included the active engagement of the ministries of agriculture and environment.

Once the baseline is constructed, the next phase will focus on the identification and prioritisation of mitigation actions to include in the NDC. This process involves the identification of a series of criteria and indicators to be taken into consideration, i.e. any mitigation action should be measured, reported observing the five IPCC principles and verified. The next steps of this process will ensure that all identified mitigation actions will go through a consultation and validation process with the Ecuadorian government.

For the NDC adaptation component, the document that will be submitted to UNFCCC will be in line with the climate change adaptation prioritised sectors in Ecuador[1] (established by NSCC).


What can be learned from this process?

Ecuador has entered a new phase; a phase where all the elements and experience gained in reporting anthropogenic GHG emissions will be utilised to prepare robust country data to demonstrate its efforts to reduce emissions according to the target set in its NDC.

0000Countries are facing many challenges in constructing their NDCs. However, lessons learnt, including during the REDD+ Readiness phase, can contribute to the construction of other countries’ NDCs. In particular, consistency in the use of databases and forest-related data and methodologies for the preparation of different national reports under the Climate Change Convention and the Paris Agreement (NDC) are key elements. In addition, increased participatory processes that involve cross-sectoral national stakeholders: both policy-makers and technicians. One of the main take-aways is that a robust multipurpose National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) will contribute to the tracking mitigation actions defined under REDD+ strategies, and at the same time will allow countries to track progress made in achieving its NDCs under Article 4 of the Paris Agreement.

On the other hand, the incorporation of the adaptation component in Ecuador's NDC formulation process implies serious challenges, due to the importance that adaptation has for the country, and because of the technical difficulties and sufficiency of currently available information. To overcome these challenges, a specific technical process tailored to national needs and priorities is being implemented which will also ensure the alignment of the NDC with the provisions of the NCCS and the objectives of the National Adaptation Plan, which is being formulated in parallel.

This process has shown two important things:

  1. Cross-sectoral planning is fundamental for the NDC development and implementation and requires the involvement of all governmental agencies, plus academia and the private sector. Any action listed will require the support from policymakers to local stakeholders, so a clear understanding of the implications of any given action is important.
  2. A robust and consolidated NFMS is key to provide the framework to start the design of the NDCs. This NFMS provides data for the overall assessment to take an informed decision on how to set the baseline, how to formulate the mitigation actions, and how these actions are going to be monitored against the national target.

As noted by  Maria Victoria Chiriboga undersecretary of Climate Change from the Ministry of Environment  of Ecuador:

“There is effective cooperation between FAO and Ministry of Environment of Ecuador, and in this context, several processes executed jointly has made it possible for Ecuador to have reliable, consistent and precise information which is utilised in decision making processes including technical reports submitted to the UNFCCC. To date, Ecuador is formulating its NDC, and this process is being supported at the technical level by FAO.”


Useful links:

UN-REDD Programme

FAO REDD+/National Forest Monitoring webpage

Infographic booklet on FAO’s work on MRV

FAO’s technical paper on REDD+

FAO’s technical paper on REDD+ update 2018

FAO’s Voluntary Guidelines on National Forest Monitoring

FAO’s National Forest Monitoring Systems for REDD+

FAO’s Open Foris suite of tools

For more information, please contact:


Maria Belén Herrera

REDD+ Coordinator

FAO, Ecuador

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Angel Parra

Regional Advisor for LAC, REDD+/NFM Cluster

Forestry Department, FAO,

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Rocio Condor-Golec

MRV expert, REDD+/NFM Cluster

Forestry Department, FAO, Rome
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[1] The prioritized adaptation sectors In Ecuador are: Agriculture, Natural Heritage, Water Heritage, Health, Human Settlements and Productive & Strategic Sectors.