International Day of Forests

A new platform connects specialists from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador in order to improve the protection of forests in the Andes. The Andean forests – which are important in absorbing CO2 emissions and reducing the risk of avalanches, floods and erosion – provide crucial protection from the effects of climate change.

Exchanging knowledge and experience to protect Andean forest ecosystems
The forests of the Andes are valuable in a variety of ways: they store and purify water, provide protection against natural hazards, and absorb environmentally harmful greenhouse gases. With the ANFOR project, the SDC is contributing to the long-term protection of Andean forests. The goal of the ANFOR project is to make proven strategies to protect Andean forest ecosystems accesible.

The long-term preservation of mountain forests in the Andes is important from a national and global perspective: forests store and purify water, provide firewood and building materials, reduce the risk of destructive natural events such as floods, and prevent soil erosion. They are also natural CO2 sinks that help to counter climate change.

At the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima in December 2014, the SDC launched the regional Andean Forest and Climate Change (ANFOR) project. The SDC is thereby contributing to the long-term protection of mountain forests. The seven Andean countries – Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela – are participating in the project.

Increasing incomes and protecting the environment
The aim of the project is to disseminate strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on Andean forests and to improve related policies.  This is to be done through thematic platforms in particular. Another aim is to enhance the data basis for decision-making.

The project is based on three thematic pillars:
1. Improved knowledge base and monitoring changes
2. Concrete implementation of innovative activities for sustainable forest management in selected locations
3. Influencing policies and adapting the legal framework

The project’s target group includes decision makers at the local, sub-national and national levels, specialised organisations, and researchers. But the ultimate beneficiaries of the project are Andean farming families who will be shown ways to improve their income in an environmentally and climate-friendly manner.

The SDC is supporting other regional platforms in Africa and South-East Asia in the field of climate change and forest protection which have proven to be effective. These are the ASEAN Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change, which is being implemented in the ten ASEAN countries, and the African Forests, People and Climate Change project, which is being implemented with the African Forest Forum.

Further information:
SDC: Shareweb Climate Change and Environment Network
SDC: Andean Forests and Climate Change (es)
SDC: Global Programme Climate Change in the Andes/the SDC in the Andes (es)
SDC: Forest and land use
ASEAN Social Forestry Network
African Forest Forum
Launch of the project ANFOR at the 2014 Climate Conference in Lima (press release of 16 December 2014, es)

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La Agencia Suiza para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación (COSUDE) es la entidad encargada de la cooperación internacional dentro del Departamento Federal de Asuntos Exteriores (DFAE). Con otras oficinas de la Confederación, la COSUDE es responsable de la coordinación general de la cooperación para el desarrollo y de la cooperación con los Países del Este, así como de los programas de ayuda humanitaria suizos.