On September 26, 2019, The World Bank and The Government of Germany announced the launch of PROGREEN, a new global partnership to boost efforts to stop deforestation; restore degraded lands; improve livelihoods in poor, rural communities; and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
PROGREEN will bolster efforts by countries to tackle declining biodiversity, loss of forests, deteriorating land fertility and increasing risks such as uncontrolled forest fires, which are exacerbated by a changing climate. PROGREEN will help countries meet their national and global Sustainable Development Goals and commitments, including poverty reduction, in a cost-effective manner.
“The green lungs of our planet are burning. Deforestation is threatening the climate and destroying wildlife and human habitats. We must put an end to that. We must use our planet’s natural resources sustainably to preserve them for the future. PROGREEN will make an important contribution to this.” said German Development Minister Gerd Müller.
PROGREEN is an innovative way to create more sustainable and resilient landscapes and natural habitats,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “The program brings together sectors that rarely coordinate in order to reduce deforestation and the degradation of forests and land. It aims for impact at scale, by supporting the shift from transactional project approaches to performance-based approaches focused on improving national policies. We are grateful to have committed partners such as Germany to help us achieve solutions for these pressing problems.”
Forests and land-based ecosystems provide food, clean water, climate regulation, jobs and economic growth. However, the world’s remaining forests and natural habitats are under increasing pressure, often with dire consequences for rural communities who depend on these resources for their livelihoods and food. About one-third of total global land area is degraded, with an estimated annual cost of US$300 billion.
PROGREEN will bring together the sectors that typically drive deforestation and changes in land use – including agriculture, infrastructure, and mining – to work jointly to better plan and manage land use to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor. PROGREEN will do this through technical assistance, building government capacity, and providing financing to help reorient policies to create incentives for responsible commodity value chains, sustainable land management, and nature-based solutions for infrastructure.
PROGREEN will build on existing initiatives related to landscapes, forests, biodiversity, drylands, and climate change, to bridge technical and financial gaps to accelerate countries’ progress toward their goals. PROGREEN will prioritize participation of communities and vulnerable groups in projects, plus partner with the private sector to green their value chains and mobilize additional resources.
Germany, the seed funder for PROGREEN, is contributing 200 million Euros to kickstart the program. This commitment underscores Germany’s strong focus on forests, landscape restoration, and biodiversity more generally. The goal is to ultimately raise about US$1 billion for PROGREEN.