Economic benefit for local population is key to success

Seedlings in the greenhouse

Ecosystem restoration requires national incentive programmes. Photo: INAB

The Central American countriesare moving forward on national incentives programmes for ecosystem restoration.

During a series of webinars, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala exchanged experiences and presented their financial mechanisms and national programmes on environmental incentives for ecosystem restoration. The webinars were organized by UNEP in the framework of the IKI project 'Fiscal incentive reform for a Green Economy and NDC implementation: restoration and sustainable landscape management in El Salvador' with the support from GIZ and its partner institutions that work together in the IKI funded project 'Forest Landscape Restoration in Central America and the Dominican Republic and implementation of the Green Development Fund for Central America (REDD Landscape / CCAD)'.

The series of webinars focused on different experiences of REDD Landscape partners implementing incentives programmes through national financial institutions such as the National Forest Fund FONAFIFO in Costa Rica and the PROBOSQUE Programme in Guatemala and Payments for Ecosystem Services in Watershed Areas in the Dominican Republic. More than 80 organizations participated, exchanging and discussing different approaches and options for the succesful implementation of incentives programmes in the region.

At the end of the event, there was a panel discussion that focussed on the economic necessity to value ecosystem services and pay local populations for their restoration activities of watersheds and other priority areas. The panel included Jorge Oviedo, Executive Director of the Fund for Environmental Investments El Salvador (FIAES), Rene Zamora from World Resource Institute (WRI) working in different IKI funded projects in the region and Jan Bock, Director of the Green Development Fund for the SICA-region and the GIZ IKI project REDD Landscape. The three participants agreed that the monitary valuation of ecosystem services and the economic benefit for local populations arekey for successful restoration of watersheds as well as other important areas and ecosystems such as mangroves and forests.