ABOUT INITIATIVE 20X20
Initiative 20x20 is a country-led effort seeking to change the dynamics of land degradation in Latin America and the Caribbean by bringing 20 million hectares of land into restoration by 2020, with US$2.08 billion of private investment. The initiative—launched formally at COP 20 in Lima—supports the Bonn Challenge, a global commitment to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030, and the New York Declaration on Forests that seeks to restore 350 million hectares by 2030.
So far, 17 Latin American and Caribbean countries and three regional programs have committed to begin restoring 53.2 million hectares (or about 205,400 square miles, an area roughly the size of France) of degraded land by 2020 through Initiative 20x20.
The initiative is supported by more than 40 technical organizations and institutions and an acting secretariat within the World Resources Institute (WRI).
THE CASE FOR CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION
In recent years, more than 40 percent (650 million hectares) of forests in Latin America and the Caribbean have been completely deforested or degraded. Latin America and the Caribbean contain some of the most ecologically valuable forest ecosystems in the world, but in recent history 20% of forest lands (nearly 350 mha) have been completely deforested and a further 20% (300 mha) badly degraded. The drivers of this change include large-scale and small-scale agricultural, infrastructure, mining. As a result, the bulk of the emissions in the Latin American region are generated not from energy but from land use, land use change, and forestry. Of the 4.7 GT emitted by Latin American and Caribbean countries in 2010, about 67 percent were from land use and loss of forests.
The initiative will support reforestation (natural and assisted), conservation of forests as well as avoided deforestation as elements of an integral restoration process. Cognizant of the various degrees of land degradation in the region, the initiative will also support efforts to recover land functionality (soil conservation and recovery; carbon storage; water retention and stable hydrologies; biodiversity conservation and recovery) through agroforestry, silvopastures, and other sustainable land use schemes.