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Sun Dec 7, 2014, 06:52 PM

Latin American nations launch 2020 land restoration plan

Latin American nations launch 2020 land restoration plan
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Sun, 7 Dec 2014 22:18 GMT
Author: Megan Rowling

LIMA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Latin American and Caribbean countries will begin restoring over 20 million hectares of degraded land by 2020, backed by up to $365 million of new financing, governments and their partners said on Sunday.

Under the "Initiative 20x20", Mexico plans to restore 8.5 million hectares of land, Peru 3.2 million hectares, Guatemala 1.2 million hectares and Colombia 1 million hectares. Ecuador, Chile, Costa Rica and two regional programmes will account for the rest.

The total of 20.5 million hectares represents an area larger than Uruguay, and is 10 percent of the 200 million hectares that could be restored in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to research groups. More land may be added to the initiative in the future.

The land restoration programme will help avoid deforestation, plant new trees, store carbon, make agriculture more productive and improve people's livelihoods, according to a statement from the initiative.

“Land restoration in the region is an essential element to promote equity, poverty reduction (and) alternatives for development in poor rural areas as well as a mechanism to achieve a low-carbon, more resilient future,” said Gabriel Vallejo, Colombia's minister of environment.


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