Africa: USAID Announces Major Programs to Conserve Critical Carbon Sinks

press release

Administrator Samantha Power announced new USAID programs in support of the Plan to Conserve Global Forests: Critical Carbon Sinks, which President Biden announced at COP26 on November 2. The plan--the first of its kind for the U.S. Government--outlines how the U.S. will help protect the Amazon rainforest and other critical ecosystems worldwide that sequester large quantities of greenhouse gases. Conserving these ecosystems is essential for combating the climate crisis.

In alignment with President Biden's plan, USAID announced a new target to support the protection, restoration, or management of 100 million hectares of critical landscapes--an area more than twice the size of California--by 2030. This target will be achieved through a series of new and forthcoming programs, including:

Sustainable Environmental Governance Across Regions - a new $32.7 million program that will support Indonesia in achieving its Paris Agreement Nationally Determined Contribution targets in forests and land use change. The program is expected to improve management of 7 million hectares of tropical forest and peatland, mobilize $45 million of public and private finance by 2026, and reduce 55 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Conservation through Economic Empowerment for the Republic of Congo - a new $15 million USAID activity will support local conservation-friendly enterprises and threats to biodiversity, carbon-rich forests, and peatlands in the Republic of Congo.

Amazon Alive - a new program that assists the Government of Colombia to improve environmental crime prevention and prosecution to reduce deforestation and increase forest conservation and management for improved economic benefits derived from sustainable natural resource practices. The activity prioritizes interventions in areas that are critical to maintain biodiversity connectivity and are adjacent to natural parks, forest reserves, and Indigenous territories.

Forest Data Partnership - a new partnership with the World Resources Institute, Unilever, Google, NASA, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to address a key barrier to private investment in forests and restoration - the lack of reliable and accessible data on forests and lands. The partnership will focus on key geographies, including the Amazon Basin, Southeast Asia and West Africa.

Business Case for Collective Landscape Action - a new partnership with Rainforest Alliance, CDP, Clarmondial AG, and Conservation International that will bring together the private sector, governments, and local actors to reduce commodity-driven deforestation, increase forest restoration, conserve biodiversity, and improve livelihoods in key tropical ecosystems.

Cocoa for Climate - a new public-partnership with Barry Callebaut, one of the world's leading chocolate manufacturers, to combat deforestation and improve large-scale native forest restoration in cocoa supply chains in key countries including Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, and Indonesia.

USAID will also align ongoing and forthcoming natural climate solutions and biodiversity programs with the core elements of the plan.

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