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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The 20x20 Land Restoration Initiative in Latin America: Opportunity for Cooperation with NASANovember 20

About Our Speaker

Mr. Walter Vergara is a climate specialist with long standing interests in a variety of adaptation and mitigation topics. Currently at the World Resources Institute, Mr. Vergara coordinates the Initiative 20x20 – an ambitious, country-led land restoration effort aimed at substantially contributing to a reduction in the carbon footprint of land use and land use change activities in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Prior to joining WRI, Mr. Vergara retired from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) where he was the Division Chief for Climate Change and Sustainability. Before that and during 25 years Mr. Vergara was at the World Bank where his last post was as leader of the Global Expert Team on Climate Change. During his career Mr. Vergara has authored or coauthored 14 books and numerous technical articles. His last publication was “Agriculture and Climate Systemic Impacts and Possible Responses”, published as a discussion paper by the IDB. He was a review editor of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, recently released. Mr. Vergara is a Chemical Engineer by training with degrees from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Cornell University.

About the Talk

Initiative 20x20 is a country-led effort to restore 20 million ha by 2020 to counteract land degradation, improve livelihoods and contribute to carbon sequestration in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Launched at COP20 in December 2014, this effort targets reduction in land use related emissions as well as economic, environmental and social benefits. For this purpose, the Initiative is supporting actions oriented towards reforestation (natural and assisted), conservation of forests and avoided deforestation. Cognizant of the various degrees of land degradation in the region, the Initiative will also contribute to recover land functionality (soil conservation and recovery; carbon storage; water retention and stable hydrological regimes; biodiversity conservation and recovery) through agroforestry, silvo-pastures, and other sustainable land-use schemes. In this talk, the Initiative 20x20 activities will be summarized as well as its current implementation status. Cooperation opportunities with NASA will be discussed.


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This talk was held at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on June 16, 2015, as part of the Carbon Monitoring System Applications Policy Speaker Series.

For upcoming events, check out CMS Applications Policy Speaker Series.

Your suggestions for future speakers or feedback about our series are welcomed.  Contact the Applications Team.