Bonn Challenge in Latin America

View over treetops

Presentation and handing out of the commemorative coins for the Bonn Challenge Latin America 2016 meeting by the Minister of the Environment of Panama, Mirei Endara, to the German State Secretary, Jochen Flasbarth. Photo credit: REDD+ Landscape / CCAD-GIZ Program.

On August 26th, Ministers and Vice ministers of the Central American Region and the Dominican Republic, as well as representatives of Africa and Asia, gathered in the City of Panama for the Second Bonn Challenge Latin America Meeting, event that was launched by the Vice-Minister of Multilateral Affairs and Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Luisa Navarro and the Minister of Environment, Mirei Endara.

The Bonn Challenge – established in 2011 – is the most important international initiative for forest restoration. The participating countries have set themselves the target of restoring 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded land by 2020. Through the restoration of forests, the Bonn Challenge creates new livelihoods for people, particularly in developing countries. The focus is on tropical and subtropical countries, which make up the most biodiverse regions in the world. The German Federal Environment Ministry is supporting its partner countries in implementing their plans through its International Climate Initiative (IKI). 

The forests in Central America have an extremely high level of biodiversity. These areas, which cover less than one per cent of the global land surface, are home to more than eight per cent of the world’s plant and animal species. However, this unique habitat is under threat from deforestation, with around 280,000 hectares lost every year – equivalent to an area the size of Luxembourg.

The countries in Central and South America have made forest restoration in Latin America a joint political goal. Participants at this second regional conference in Panama will discuss ways of building technical and scientific capacities relating to REDD+ and how, within the context of sustainable development, these capacities can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change. The conference will also provide an opportunity to share knowledge and experience on implementation strategies for protecting forests, including processes that could also be applied in Panama itself.

Presentation of the main outcomes from the first Bonn Challenge Latin America meeting, held in El Salvador in 2015 by Ángel Ibarra, Vice-Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of El Salvador. Photo credit: REDD+ Landscape / CCAD-GIZ Program.

The event was organised by the Panamanian Ministry of the Environment with support from the IKI project REDD+ Landscape / CCAD.