Restoration: Developing countries are doing it for themselves

Developing countries are already financing the bulk of domestic land restoration efforts and cannot rely on international donors to fill the finance gaps, according to Nigerian economist and former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

“If we look at where the money for landscape restoration comes from now, according to a study by the New Climate Economic Group, we need $US250 billion a year to restore degraded landscapes for developing countries,” she said.

 “We are getting $US25 billion now, about one tenth. But 60 percent of what we get are from the domestic resources of countries themselves.”

In an interview during the 2015 Global Landscapes Forum in Paris, Okonjo-Iweala said that the conversation the international community is having needs to shift from international donors and finance, to how countries can be supported to finance their own restoration.

“The question we need to ask ourselves as an international community is how do we support these countries, to raise more of their domestic resources, such as they can, and use those resources wisely to leverage private sector resources that can then scale up interventions for restoration,” she said.

“Landscape restoration is getting more attention than it used to, but is the conversation where we need it to be yet? The answer is no. We need to push. We need to push that conversation.”

The full interview follows.


Originally published at CIFOR’s Forests News