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El Salvadorian Minister of Environment & Natural Resources: “People Are Already Dying in my Country Because of Climate Change”

May 31, 2018 |

This article was originally published on Landscape News

“Reforestation and restoration of degraded landscapes worldwide is a priority for climate change mitigation and adaptation. How can we pull together to make this happen?

At the closing plenary of the Global Landscapes Forum Investment Case Symposium in Washington on Wednesday, speakers from diverse sectors shared their views and visions of what’s needed now to scale up reforestation efforts into a “global mosaic” of land use that serves the needs of people and nature.

“There’s a sense of urgency,” said Karin Kemper, senior director for Environment and Natural Resources at the World Bank. “We know that if we continue with business as usual, 100 million people will be pushed back into poverty by 2040, and by 2050 more than 40 million forced to leave their homes. It’s a global responsibility to limit temperature rise to below 2 degrees.”

Lina Dolores Pohl Alfaro, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources in El Salvador – one of the most vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change – agreed. “People are already dying in my country because of climate change,” she said. “In one tropical depression, we had 1.5 metres of rain in ten days, and we lost 6% of our GDP. So we urgently need to restore.”

Private Sector Role

While government officials like Pohl Alfaro have important roles to play in progressing restoration agendas, they can’t do it in isolation. “90 percent of the finances available in climate funds for adaptation can’t be used in El Salvador, because we don’t have large forest areas,” she explained. “So our implementation is limited by doing things only with national funds. We need private investment, too.”

As Kemper corroborated, “the event has shown us the importance of both the policy side – tenure reforms, payments for ecosystem services and so on – and the innovative financing needed to mobilise more private sector funding for sustainable landscapes. Natural capital needs to be part of a balanced portfolio in a country: it’s fundamental to the wealth of nations and to the planet.”…”

Read on at: Landscape News.

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