The World Resources Institute (WRI) launched a report titled “Roots of Prosperity: The Economics and Finance of Restoring Land”, on 19th December, 2017 at the Global Landscapes Forum; by Felipe Calderón (former President of Mexico), Naoko Ishii (CEO of GEF) and Andrew Steer (CEO of WRI).
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT
- Forest and land degradation is estimated to cost the world more than US$6.3 trillion a year—equivalent to 8.3 percent of global GDP in 2016—and jeopardizes the livelihoods of half a billion people who depend on forests and land resources.
- Restoring degraded forests generates an estimated $7–30 in economic benefits for every dollar invested. Despite this favorable benefit-cost ratio, funding for landscape restoration falls short by about $300 billion a year.
- Investment is inadequate for several key reasons. For example, many of the benefits are public goods, which are difficult to monetize; the long-term nature of investments does not match investors’ desire for liquidity; and projects are perceived to be risky.
- Policy solutions and financial mechanisms exist to address these factors. Governments can shift incentives from land degradation toward restoration, implement carbon taxes and direct revenues to restoration, adopt an integrated approach across ministries, and support risk mitigation mechanisms that attract private investment.