Latin America and the Caribbean contain some of the most ecologically valuable forest ecosystems in the world, providing 27% of the world’s forests. Despite their importance, 20% of forest lands are badly degraded, and another 20% are completely deforested. The result: over 650 million hectares of landscapes are damaged in the region, threatening the communities and nations that rely on them. 

Initiative 20x20 is an effort led by 17 countries seeking to change the dynamics of land degradation in Latin America and the Caribbean by beginning to protect and restore 50 million hectares of forests farms, pasture and other landscapes by 2030. In total, that’s an area of land roughly the size of France.

As the initiative’s Secretariat, World Resources Institute works to boost investment in restoration through national investor roundtables and the Land Accelerator entrepreneur training program. It provides key technical support to member countries to help them plan restoration programs, create public policies through the Restoration Policy Accelerator and monitor their impact with tools like the Sustainability Index for Restoration. The team also produces and communicates cutting-edge research on topics from economic analysis to native tree species.

The initiative — launched formally at COP 20 in Lima — supports the Bonn Challenge and the New York Declaration on Forests, two global initiatives that are encouraging countries to restore 350 million hectares by 2030.

Initiative 20x20 is supported by more than 120 technical organizations and institutions, as well as a coalition of impact investors and private funds deploying $2.5 billion in private investment. With that funding, the Initiative’s partners run dozens of successful projects.

Watch a short video about Initiative 20x20: "Witness to Restoration"

Our partners tell Initiative 20x20 why building a restoration movement in Latin America is an obligation