Minae receives $3.59 million in payment for REDD-plus Project results

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By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

The Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae) received a transfer of USD 3.59 million under the REDD-plus Results Payments Project (PBR), implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

This is the third transfer that has been carried out since 2021, when the project financed by the Green Climate Fund (FVC) began, with resources that arise from the recognition of the emissions that the forests of Costa Rica avoided in 2014 and 2015.

In 30 months, the REDD-plus project PBR has transferred $40.82 million, corresponding to 87% of the transferable funds to strengthen the National Comprehensive Fire Management Program (PNMIF) and the Environmental Services Payment Program (PPSA) and contribute to the implementation of the REDD-Costa Rica Strategy.

As had already been announced from the Presidential House in November last year, when 11 vehicles were received for all the Conservation Areas that are being used to deal with the forest fire season (which began in December 2022), the funds transferred will arrive directly at the National Forest Financing Fund (Fonafifo), Minae, and the National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac), the Minae.

In the case of Fonafifo, USD 1.33 million will be allocated to the expansion and improvements of the PPSA in indigenous territories and in the case of Sinac, $2.27 million will be allocated to the PNMIF. These resources are also a valuable contribution to strengthening mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The Minister of Environment and Energy, Franz Tattenbach, indicated that the economic transfer takes place within the framework of the so-called Performance Based Payment Agreement. This agreement sets annual targets that the above-mentioned programmes agree to meet. After the established period (which in this case covered from September 2022 to August 2023), an independent audit verifies compliance with the previously agreed indicators and, according to this compliance, the amount of money transferred is determined.

With the third audit, 19 indicators were validated and the results achieved by government programmes, as well as their opportunities for improvement, were verified. The audit validated that Fonafifo manages contracts a day in 17 indigenous territories, which represents approximately 40,000 hectares of payment for environmental services (PSA) in forest protection activity, 880 ha in PSA for forest regeneration and 28,885 trees in PSA of agroforestry systems. In addition, it was corroborated that more than 20 territories are advancing in the construction of environmental, forestry and territorial plans (PAFT), Minister Tattenbach said.

In addition, in the case of the PNMIF, the audit verified that 100% of the firefighters and volunteer firefighters who faced forest fires in the 2023 season had a risk and accident policy.

Sinac demonstrated an investment to secure 671 firefighters and firefighters (33% are women) and an investment of more than $81,000 in protective equipment and training for firefighters and forest firefighters in 10 conservation areas. Some of the teams acquired supported the technical deployment made by national brigadistas in Canada’s mega-fires in 2023.

The audit managed to verify 89 per cent attention to fires that are controlled at their lowest level and do not evolve into more aggressive fires. During the evaluated period, the forest area affected by fires, in protected wild areas, was only 14%, well below 70% the previous year.

Do you deeply honor us that institutional efforts are realized and that they become an engine for continuing the protection of Costa Rica’s forests and the strengthening of sustainable development. But we are even more honored to know that these resources that we officialize today allow to bring economic opportunities to the indigenous territories, indigenous women, the elderly and young people of the territories. Transferring more than $1.3 million, which will be reinvested in these indigenous territories, in accordance with the investments that indigenous peoples have prioritized, fills us with satisfaction. As an accredited agency of the FVC, we will continue to work with Minae and make available our extensive global network of experts and knowledge, to chart a climate-smart, inclusive, resilient and fair future, said José Vicente Troya, UNDP resident representative in Costa Rica.

This third transfer of non-reimbursable funds recognizes the results of two very outstanding Minae programmes, in particular the achievements of PSA in indigenous territories and the strengthening of the PNMIF, which this year exported firefighters and forest firefighters to address the most serious fires in Canada, thanks to the increase in its training and equipment. We appreciate this transfer that allows us to have more resources to protect nature with a level of efficiency similar to that of a surgical intervention,” explained Carlos Isaac Pérez, Deputy Minister of Strategic Management.

ABSD demonstrates that both government programmes are initiatives that promote concrete and effective actions against deforestation and forest degradation and are very rigorous in documentation, transparency, technical effectiveness and elements that reflect continuous improvements.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in El Mundo