Restoration pledge

2.5 million hectares

Focal point:

Maria Delgado, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, mariadelgado@mvotma.gub.uy


Uruguay recently joined Initiative 20x20 with a commitment to restore 2.5 million ha of degraded land. Initiative 20x20 aligns with a number of Uruguay’s strategic actions to sustainably increase agricultural productivity, adapt to and mitigate climate change, restore soil quality, and conserve land and biodiversity.

Uruguay’s commitment to Initiative 20x20 will also contribute to the country’s goals under the Paris Agreement, Convention on Desertification, Convention on Biodiversity, and RAMSAR.

Restoration approach

Uruguay’s plan to restore 2.5 million ha is broken down in the following way:

  1. Improvement of soil quality of 1.5 million ha degraded by extensive grazing and crop-pasture rotations
  2. Restoration of the condition of 180,000 ha of degraded native forests with support from REDD+, developing strategies to conserve 800,000 additional ha of native forest
  3. Improvement of 1 million ha of natural pastures

Uruguay’s Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries (Ministerio de Ganaderia Agricultura y Pesca or MGAP) and Ministry of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment (Ministerio de Vivienda, Ordenamiento Territorial y Medio Ambiente, or MVOTMA) will be responsible for creating and implementing the country’s restoration strategy. The strategy will work primarily within the framework of Uruguay’s Law on Use and Conservation of Soil and Water (Ley No. 15.239) and its Forest Law (Ley No 15.939).

Financing mechanisms

Uruguay finances its restoration efforts with the help of international funds and organizations as well as through state institutions. MGAP is implementing a project funded by the Adaptation Fund (established as part of the Kyoto Protocol of the UNFCCC) to restore grasslands degraded by extensive cattle ranching. A GEF-funded project focused on restoration of degraded grasslands will also be launched in 2018.

The Forest Fund (Fondo Forestal) established in the country’s Forest Law can be also used to finance restoration activities. As per chapters 2 and 3 of that law, the Forest Fund is housed in a special account at the Banco de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay (BROU) and is generated from the following sources:

  • Funds assigned by the Executive Branch in accordance with budget laws
  • The reimbursement of credits granted by the Forest Fund as well as the interest earned by them
  • Income generated by tickets to and use of National Forests
  • Fines collected from individuals for damages caused to National Forests or other infractions of the provisions and regulations of Forest Law
  • Donations and bequests

Credit lines from BROU can also be used to finance restoration as per the Law on Use and Conservation of Soil and Water.