Costa Rica became the first Central American country to receive non-reimbursable funds from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), for its successful results in climate matters by reducing greenhouse gas emissions ( GHG), associated with deforestation in the 2014-2015 period.
On November 10, the Green Climate Fund approved USD $ 54.1 million in non-reimbursable funds that it will give to Costa Rica under the modality of Payment for Results, within the framework of climate financing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ( UNFCCC). This modality recognizes the efforts made by countries like Costa Rica to respond to the climate crisis and provides funds so that they can continue successful public policies.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the REDD + Secretariat supported Costa Rica in the development and presentation of the proposal before the GCF, which asked to recognize 14.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide captured in that period through the country’s forests.
The funds will directly benefit thousands of Costa Ricans through three actions, to be executed over the next five years (2021-2026) through the Ministry of the Environment and Energy (MINAE): it will strengthen the Payment Program for Environmental Services (PSA) that has recently modified its criteria for selecting beneficiaries to also favor the entry of rural women; expand PES modalities in indigenous territories; and will improve forest fire prevention measures in rural communities.
“The protection of the environment becomes a source of wealth that improves the quality of life of the people of our country, benefits the generation of jobs in the communities and that leads us at a good pace towards our goal of being a decarbonized country for the year 2050 ″, said the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, reiterating his country’s commitment to continue working hard for climate action.
After decades of continuous forest loss, Costa Rica managed to halt and reverse the rate of deforestation in the 1980s, in part thanks to the support of successful programs such as the PSA. Today, thanks to the implementation of public policies and actions aimed at recognizing the importance of forests, it has a forest coverage of about 52%, protects more than a quarter of its territory and is home to 6% of the biodiversity of the planet.
“Once again, Costa Rica shows the world that environmental sustainability is economically viable and socially inclusive. It fills us with joy to be able to support the mobilization of important resources and thus advance in the path of decoupling the financing of environmental protection from those fiscal revenues that come from carbon consumption, ”said José Vicente Troya Rodríguez, UNDP Resident Representative in Costa Rica .
UNDP is working with governments, civil society and the private sector to develop recovery plans for COVID-19 that encompass renewable energy, sustainable business, green urban planning, and nature-based jobs and livelihoods.
This is crucial not only to protect ecosystems and biodiversity and restore nature, but to generate benefits such as creating new green jobs and reducing inequalities, while fostering more resilient communities.
UNDP supports countries in their efforts to secure financing for the implementation of their national strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation (REDD +), through the negotiation and co-design of large-scale results-based payment projects.
With this approval, UNDP consolidates its position as a leading agency in this sector, having supported 4 pioneering countries (Brazil, Ecuador, Indonesia and Costa Rica) to access more than US $ 270 million payments for results from the Green Climate Fund, to emissions reductions from deforestation.