GEF Amazon Project Delivers Biodiversity and Climate Change Benefits

14 March 2011: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is funding the second phase of the Amazon Region Protected Areas Project (ARPA), further to a successful first phase that allowed the designation of 24 million hectares as new protected areas and consolidated or established management and enforcement systems for over eight million hectares of the new protected areas.

The creation of 13 protected areas during ARPA's first phase are predicted to offset emissions equivalent to an estimated 0.43 billion tons of carbon by 2050. In cooperation with Phase I co-financing partners, German bilateral agency Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), WWF and the Government of Brazil, the World Bank is supporting ARPA's second phase (2010-2014) through a GEF grant of US$15.9 million. The goal under Phase II is to create an additional 13.5 million hectares of protected areas and to consolidate an additional 32 million hectares of tropical rainforest. Payments for carbon offsetting in protected areas through reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) will be directed to state governments and/or to communities in these areas. [GEF Press Release]