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Caribbean

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Despite difficult negotiations in Lima, discussions signaled the positive outlook among development banks for expanding climate finance in Latin America and the Caribbean.

With increasing low-carbon investments, pledges to the Green Climate Fund, and ambitious renewable energy and efficiency targets demonstrate robust political and financial commitments, building momentum for a strong global response to climate change.

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Between 2001 and 2012, Latin America and the Caribbean lost 36 million hectares of forest and grassland to agricultural expansion, and nearly half of the region's greenhouse gas emissions are the result of land-use change, forestry, and agriculture. So there’s a clear solution to curbing climate change in the LAC region—restore life to its degraded landscapes.

That's where Initiative 20x20 comes in.

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Bringing 20 million hectares of degraded land in Latin America and the Caribbean into restoration by 2020.

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Governments, businesses, development agencies, and NGOs are increasingly turning to economic valuation as a way to protect coral reefs and mangroves. This process makes the economic case for protection and sustainable use of natural resources by showing the monetary, employment, and infrastructure benefits ecosystems provide—metrics that are easily understood by decision-makers.

But not all economic valuations are created equal. WRI's new guidebook shows how NGOs and other stakeholders can conduct economic valuations in ways that lead to real change on the ground.

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Tropical coastal ecosystems—including coral reefs, mangroves, beaches, and seagrasses—provide a range of valuable goods and services to people and economies across the Caribbean. These ecosystems contribute to tourism, fisheries, shoreline protection, and more.

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Roughly 75 percent of the Caribbean's coral reefs are threatened--with more than 30 percent ranking in the "high" or "very high" threat category. But one reef system in Cuba, Jardines de la Reina (the "Gardens of the Queen"), offers great lessons—and hope—for effective coral reef management.

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Raising awareness of threats to coral reefs and providing information and tools to manage coastal habitats more effectively.

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Inspiring, enabling and mobilizing action to restore vitality to degraded landscapes and forests around the globe.

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Without the right laws and safeguards in place, development can come at the expense of the environment and local communities. This point is especially evident in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Newspapers across the region regularly document conflicts over land and natural resource use, hydroelectric power development, oil exploitation, expansion of agriculture into virgin forests, and the disruption of indigenous practices.

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Coral reefs provide a diverse array of goods and services to the people and economy of Jamaica. They help to build and protect Jamaica’s beautiful white sand beaches, which attract tourists from around the world.

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