Ecuador has emerged as a global leader in reducing deforestation. The country’s success is fueled by innovative strategies that have been developed and implemented with the support and backing of the national government. They have made Ecuador one of only a handful of countries globally to be awarded pay-for-performance financing from international donors.
Ecuador defined its REDD+ strategy as a comprehensive policy shaped to help the country achieve its national climate targets and the projected 20 percent reduction in emissions from deforestation by 2025. The main public policy instrument to direct the implementation of the REDD+ process in the country is the Ecuador REDD+ Action Plan, which defines strategic components and a set of Measures and Actions to achieve climate change mitigation aligned with the agriculture and forestry sector ambitions of the Ecuador Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Climate Agreement.
Ecuador’s key conservation programs are Socio Bosque, the Agenda for Transforming Production in the Amazon (ATPA) and Water Funds.
The Socio Bosque Program was launched in 2007 with the aim of incentivizing forest conservation and creating alternative income sources for rural communities. Today the program encompasses 1.6 million hectares of forest and native vegetation, including the high mountain ecosystems known as páramos that hold much of Ecuador’s water supply. ATPA works directly with farmers to collectively define the future of Ecuador’s farms and their relationship to the forest. The water funds are a set of innovative programs that work with communities on preserving key watershed areas, restoring degraded lands and alleviating the impacts of agriculture on Ecuador’s páramos.
Combining cutting edge spatial technology with statistical analysis tools and stakeholder engagement, EII is partnering with Ecuador’s Ministry of Environment and PROAmazonia to evaluate the impact, efficacy and efficiency of these interventions, findings that will be used to develop a more holistic evaluation system that takes into account the wide variety of forces that fuel deforestation. EII is also working to develop an adaptive management strategy for Ecuador’s REDD Action Plan that give the government the ability to iteratively adapt and adjust its theory of change and proposed interventions.