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Paraguay takes action against climate change

After receiving USD 50 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 2015 and 2017, Paraguay is taking action to reinvest that money in generating new reductions in GHG from the forestry sector.

Paraguay + Verde is the initiative that seeks to achieve this objective through the execution of the National Strategy for Forests for Sustainable Growth and the operationalization and capitalization of the Climate Change Fund. The Start-up Workshop, which marks the start of the project, was held this week with key players from various sectors.

The Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development (MADES), as the national environmental governing body, is the institution that leads the initiative, together with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), an entity accredited by the GCF and an environmental authority. leader in the world. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) are also technical partners.

On the occasion, the Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Ariel Oviedo, expressed that it is urgent to understand that the current development matrix must be changed for a more sustainable one, and, above all, more profitable than other products due to its importance for life. “The world is understanding that the environment is the main resource we have. This project is the kickoff for many bigger ones,” he added.

For her part, Viviana Casco, Minister of the Technical Secretariat for Economic and Social Development Planning (STP), highlighted the role of the institution in the initiative regarding land use planning, which calls for the establishment of new tools. She also emphasized that it is a component that will allow municipalities to have a guide in the occupation of their territories with a sustainable approach.

Meanwhile, Marcelo González, Vice Minister of Livestock of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), pointed out that with this initiative the country can demonstrate its full potential in what has to do with environmental conservation, and that it also goes hand in hand with sustainable production techniques and practices.

In a subsequent moment, the Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of UNEP, Piedad Martin, acknowledged that this project will generate multiple benefits for the communities that inhabit and care for the forests, and that it will be the gateway to greater opportunities for financing of carbon credits and climate investments marking a milestone in the fight against climate change.

Also participating were Deisy Gill, Office Manager of the National Forestry Institute (INFONA), Alfonso Fernández, Deputy Representative of the UNDP, and Jorge Meza Robayo, Acting Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Paraguay and Resident Representative of the FAO.

The Workshop aims to detail and clarify the roles and responsibilities of the different partners involved in the implementation; validate the first annual work plan, the indicators, objectives and means of verification; socialize the Gender Action Plan; and present monitoring and evaluation protocols.

Paradigm shift for forest conservation

The Paraguay + Verde project has great potential for change and will generate a “before and after” in environmental policy, allowing the creation of “virtuous circles” by reducing deforestation and the possibility of accessing new funds.

It also aims to ensure that communities in vulnerable situations and families of peasant family agriculture have access to the benefits generated by environmental services.

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