Chile will receive $63 million from the Green Climate Fund for successfully reducing greenhouse gas emissions from forests by 18.4 million tCO2eq between 2014 and 2016 through REDD+ activities, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
REDD+ (Reducing Emissions caused by Deforestation and forest Degradation) is a mechanism of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which assigns a financial value to results per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent of reduced emissions or enhanced removals in forests.
It also offers incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions while investing in low-carbon, sustainable development.
The funds will support an ambitious project designed to implement Chile’s National Strategy on Climate Change and Vegetation Resources that will clear the way for activities involving more than 57,000 people, including indigenous communities, in afforestation, restoration and sustainable forest management.
The project, designed by FAO and the government of Chile, will restore and conserve about 25,000 hectares of native forest in five regions of the country with direct interventions on both public and private properties, and focusing on small forestland owners.
It is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.1 million tons of CO2e by 2025 and 2 m tons of CO2e by 2030, through afforestation in more than 7,000 hectares and the sustainable management and conservation of over 17,000 hectares of forest. Strengthened control and law enforcement, extension services, education and technology transfer are expected to lead to additional mitigation results.
Eve Crowley, FAO Representative in Chile, noted that the targeted areas include more than 4,000 hectares affected by fires. “These will be restored with evergreen species including oak as well as Rauli beech and the coihue, which are both native Chilean species,” she said.
Chile has roughly 14.3 million hectares of native forests, in which unsustainable logging and agricultural practices, climate change and forest fires all have contributed to the degradation of the country’s forests. The project aims to further reverse this trend.
Other project highlights include improved forest management and environmental enforcement, introduction of forest residue technologies; acceleration of public-private partnerships; a focus on the rural-urban interface and strengthening cooperation among institutions.
Benefits are expected to include the improvement of livelihoods in some of the country’s most vulnerable areas, while reducing some of the negative impact of climate change. It will take into consideration the role of gender in forest use and management, as well as indigenous and vulnerable populations, with an eye to heightening the social and environmental impact.