Helping protect and restore forests in Latin America and the Caribbean

Forests, when sustainably managed and protected, can play a key role in climate change mitigation, adaptation, maintenance of biodiversity, and economic development. By helping countries to properly manage forests, the IDB is helping the region to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; adapt to climate change; and protect biodiversity while promoting rural development along pathways that protect and sustainable manage forests.

An important challenge for Latin America and the Caribbean is to increase agriculture production to meet the growing demand for food, fiber, and energy without proportionally increasing greenhouse gas emissions or damaging other life supporting ecosystems services provided by forests. The Bank supports measures to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation by reducing open access to natural forests; fostering sustainable rural development; promoting economic activities to foster forest protection and conservation and research, impact evaluations and capacity building to improve understanding of policies that seek to reduce emissions from deforestation.

Reducing Open Access to Forests in Latin America and the Caribbean

Most of the remaining large wilderness areas in Latin America and the Caribbean have unclear or weak property rights. Insecure rights for land ownership are among the most critical factors associated with deforestation and forest degradation.

The IDB supports programs and policies to clarify tenure status of forested lands, including the creation, demarcation and establishment of protected areas, forest concessions for sustainable forest management, and indigenous and traditional communities to avert open access to unprotected forests.

These programs are generally coupled with additional investments to improve land administration, forest resources management, and technologies to improve land-use change monitoring.

Sustainable Rural Development

Promoting Sustainable Rural Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Conversion of native forest land to crops or grazing uses typically follows classic “slash-and-burn” methods, with trees burned to make way for agriculture. While some resulting agriculture may be intensive, most is low-yielding and extensive. Lack of access to modern agricultural practices and inputs for better pasture management, soil conservation, and agriculture and animal health can slowly deplete soil resources reducing land productivity over time and requiring new land to be cleared for production.

The IDB promotes agricultural policies and programs that intensify agricultural production as means to reduce the expansion of the agricultural frontier into forest areas. Instruments such as support payments for technologies adoption and value chain formation, especially for smallholders, are being promoted in the region to recover degraded land and intensify agricultural production.

Forest Protection and Conservation

Economic Incentives for Forest Protection and Conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean

Agriculture landscapes provide various environmental services, including carbon and biodiversity. In these places, the main problem is that society wants farmers to undertake natural resource management practices that are both costly and with no immediate benefits to farmers.

The IDB promotes and helps design policies and governance frameworks that establish proper economic incentives for farmers to restore degraded forestlands and protect existing forests in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Bank supports the development of carbon markets, which will bring major incentives to farmers and governments to develop these economic incentives for forest protection. Working across several sectors, the Bank’s projects on agriculture, land administration (land titling and cadastral systems linking property ownership to deforestation prevention and control) and payment for ecosystem services, and natural disaster management are combined to devise programs to reduce deforestation and forest degradation.

Research and Capacity Building for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation

The Bank has established strong partnerships with leading research institutions in the topic of climate change, agriculture, and development economics to deepen Latin America and the Caribbean’s knowledge about the effectiveness of policies to reduce deforestation and forest degradation.

These non-financial products open up room for a better understanding of development issues, innovation in the Bank’s business, and identification of new priorities.


Specialists in Forest Related Topics
Name Email Field of Specialization

Lima, Eirivelthon Santos                                                                   Natural Resource Economics and Management

Boulay, Axelle Natural Resource Economics

Corral, Leonardo R. Natural Resource Economics

Perazza, Maria Claudia Environmental Specialist

Piaggesi, Helena L. de Environmental Specialist

Quiroga, Ricardo Natural Resource Economics
Specialists in Forest Related Topics in the Country Offices
Country Name Email Field of Specialization


Vargas del Valle, Ricardo

Agriculture Economist


Balcazar, Fernando

Natural Resource Management


Horton, John

Agriculture Economist


Hintze, Luis Hernando

Rural Development Specialist


Mattos, Juan de Dios

Natural Resource Management


Nuennighoff, Sybille

Natural Resource Management


Nuennighoff, Sybille

Natural Resource Management


Damais, Gilles

Natural Resource Management


Poveda, Juan

Natural Resource Management
JA Molina, Edwin Mateo Natural Resource Management
ME Bustamante, César Tulio Economist
NI Llaguno R., Duval Natural Resource Management
PE Tolmos, Alfonso Rural Development Specialist
PN Alva-Hart, Viviana Rural Development Specialist
PR Muñoz, Gonzalo Rural Development Specialist
SU Norheim, Trond Natural Resource Management
UR Macagno, Luis Agriculture Economist


How Can You Print a Building?

Enrico Dini, inventor of 3-D printing, was one of the guest speakers at Demand #Solutions, an IDB sponsored event highlighting ideas for a better quality of life.