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

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

Project data

Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay
IKI funding
4,632,021.00 €
12/2015 till 06/2021
Implementing organisation
World Resources Institute (WRI)
Political Partner
  • 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
  • International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

State of implementation/results

Project completed

  • In 2020, WRI conducted the first Restoration Policy Accelerator Program focused on identifying bottlenecks in policies and regulations that are diminishing the effectiveness of public incentives for landscape restoration. The 10-week virtual programme allowed government leaders from Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru to exchange experiences and discuss potential strategies to make polices more efficient. Key technical experts from WRI, FAO, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Fair Connection, the International Institute for Sustainability, and Chile’s Universidad de Concepcion facilitated the programme and provided trainings. By building south-south networks of mutual support and promoting smart policies, the Policy Accelerator hopes to help governments boost restoration implementation on the ground. A brief summary for ministers in the region was prepared and shared with them at the Initiative 20x20 Annual Meeting in May 2021.
  • Members of the project team recently published a book chapter entitled “How mapping the social landscape can accelerate forest and landscape restoration.” The chapter was included in the publication Forest Landscape Restoration and Social Opportunities in the Tropical World. The publication highlights the importance of social network analysis and mapping actors to understand governance and scale up restoration actions. The publication is available here:…
  • An article, led by a member of the project team, that showcases the economic argument for restoring riparian zones will be available through the Mesoamerica Yu’am.
  • An article about the restoration investment ecosystem and FLR opportunities in Guatemala was published in the Forests Journal from the Guatemalan Forest Service. A blog with the summary of the article’s highlights can be found here,… This is part of the effort to support a pipeline of projects in Guatemala, including the Emprende Bosques Incubator, a program launched in March 2021 to support the incubation of business ideas.
  • In collaboration with CATIE, Reforestamos Mexico, and FSC, the project team supported the launch of Innovature, an incubator for restoration ideas. The programme received 148 applications from 13 countries in the region and provided mentorship in business and finance strategies to negotiate and present projects to private impact investments.
  • The project team is supporting the Forestando Program, an initiative of Reforestamos Mexico, Initiative 20x20, and the Aspen Network of Development and Entrepreneurs to increase the capacity of restoration project proponents, companies, and entrepreneurs. Forestando is a three-month programme with different virtual sessions on topics such as moving from FLR ideas to accessing markets. Learn more here:…

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