WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 25, 2017 – Chile became the first country to be fully accepted by the Carbon Fund and can now access millions of dollars for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from forestlands through the implementation of its Emission Reductions Program.
“Chile is leading the world and Winrock is thrilled to be a part of this success,” says Dr. Timothy Pearson, director of Winrock’s Ecosystem Services Unit, which assisted Chile in the process. “Their application to the Carbon Fund is uniquely impressive because it’s the first to earn access to performance-based funding without revision. They have set an important example for other countries that are seeking REDD+ funding.”
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) defines REDD+ as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and forest carbon stock enhancements. This pay-per-performance system allows countries to earn payments for achieving reductions in emissions from forestland.
“We’re excited to have helped Chile gain access to REDD+ funding for implementing its Emission Reductions Program. This will bear multiple financial, social and environmental benefits for the people of Chile,” says Felipe Casarim, Winrock’s program officer. “We look forward to sharing our expertise with other countries that are inspired by Chile’s efforts.”
Chile’s application to become a member of the Carbon Fund of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) was the first to be accepted with no revisions or conditions. One of the many requirements evaluated during the rigorous process was Chile’s reference level – a benchmark measurement of emissions that is used to assess countries’ future performance in achieving reductions.
With technical support from Winrock International and its in-country partners — Chile’s Forestry Institute (INFOR) and the University Austral of Chile — Chile’s National Forestry Commission (CONAF) has gained approval from the FCPF and all donor countries to receive payments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from forestlands.
With funding from the World Bank, Winrock and its partners helped Chile’s National Forestry Commission establish the country’s reference level. By developing and implementing innovative, operational and scientifically robust approaches, Winrock estimated emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as removals of emissions through forest conservation and forest carbon stock enhancements. Scientists from Winrock have also just published the first consistent and complete analysis of emissions from forest degradation across 74 tropical countries and have found that 2.1 billion tons of carbon are released into the atmosphere each year through forest degradation, a number much larger than the 420 million annual tons of emissions that come from international aviation.
Chile’s reference level, which has also been submitted to the UNFCCC, is considered among that body’s most advanced and complete to date. The establishment of the reference level now enables Chile to create policies, regulations and incentives to reduce emissions from Chilean forestlands.
Chile’s Emission Reductions Program Document is available here
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