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Supporting Initiative 20x20: A country-led effort to bring 20 million hectares of degraded land in Latin America and the Caribbean into restoration by 2020

As of: April 2021

650 million hectares of land are affected by degradation and deforestation in Latin America and the Caribbean. The project supports the 20x20 initiative, which aims to restore around 20 million hectares of degraded land in the region by 2020. The initiative thus makes a substantial contribution to the Bonn Challenge . The project also works together with governments, authorities, research institutions and the private sector to this end. The project partners conduct a cost-effectiveness-analysis for restoration measures and identify new financial mechanisms with the help of the private sector. Partner countries are also given support to develop strategic plans for reforestation, and local communities benefit from improved soil functionality, less soil erosion and other advantages as a result. The project thus makes a significant contribution to mitigating the effects of climate change and strengthening the region’s resilience.

State of implementation/results

  • At COP 25, the environment ministers of Latin American countries issued a joint declaration to increase political commitments to restore 50 million hectares (mha) of degraded land by 2030. The ministers intend to include this new target in the region's NDCs for 2030.
  • The partners of the 20x20 initiative have initiated restoration and avoided deforestation processes through more than 100 projects on over 19 million hectares of land in Latin America. About half of these are now highlighted on the initiative's website. Some of the projects have significant scaling potential and transformative value. More details about the 20x20 projects can be found here:…
  • Based on the successes achieved by the 20x20 Initiative and its partners, efforts are being made and investments are planned with the participation of impact investors to expand some of the projects of great transformative value in Brazil and Argentina. These include efforts to find a replacement for the African Palm, which is a major driver of deforestation in the Amazon; efforts to combine REDD+ and conservation measures in the Amazon; efforts to expand the cultivation of native species to eliminate markets for illegal logging in Brazil; and efforts to restore and conserve remnants of the Atlantic Forest in Argentina.
  • Chile included the restoration of one million hectares of degraded landscapes in its revised NDC submitted to the UNCCC in April 2020.
  • At least two restoration projects are currently being evaluated by an impact investor at the Portfolio Development and Operations Roundtable held in Colombia in March 2020. The project team is looking for innovative ways to better align restoration project developers and impact investors so that investments in the restoration of forests and landscapes in Latin America can be made on a larger scale.
  • The 20x20 Initiative Technical Committee is consolidating a community of practice around landscape restoration in the region. Nine working groups are operational and transfer knowledge to the member countries and financial partners of Initiative 20x20. Further information about the task forces can be found at:
  • The inaugural Policy Accelerator, which focuses on developing innovative solutions to bottlenecks in public recovery incentives, was launched in August 2020. The Policy Accelerator focuses on four countries that belong to this project: Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Chile. Further information about the Policy Accelerator can be found here:…
  • The 20x20 initiative has launched a successful webinar series to connect top researchers and policy makers with the broader 20x20 network. The most popular webinar to date included a discussion on wetland restoration in Latin America. The webinar was presented in partnership with Wetlands International and attracted over 800 participants. For more information about 20x20 webinars, please visit…
  • In Uruguay, the design of the wetland restoration roadmap is progressing and technical reports on priority criteria, types of interventions and carbon sequestration potential in natural grasslands were published.

Further Links

Project data

Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay

Implementing organisation:
World Resources Institute (WRI)

Political partner(s):
  • Ministry of Agriculture - Chile
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP) - Uruguay
  • Ministry of Environment (MINAM) - Peru
  • Ministry of Environment - Ecuador
  • Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) - Costa Rica
  • Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) - Guatemala
  • Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) - Mexico
  • Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) - Colombia
  • Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development - Argentina*

Implementing partner(s):
  • International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

BMU grant:
4.632.021,00 €

12/2015  till  06/2021



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