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Ecuador’s Socio Bosque programme

This ‘Inside story on climate compatible development’ by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) presents Ecuador’s Socio Bosque programme as a successful example of a voluntary incentive-based scheme with combined environmental and socioeconomic targets. It engages the poorest private and communal forest landholders and, through conservation agreements, offers them annual per-hectare payments in return for maintaining forest cover. The programme was not designed to attract funds from the emerging international finance system for REDD+, but it has achieved many of the intended outcomes of REDD+ programmes and made a material contribution to Ecuador’s climate compatible development. Moreover, because of its straightforward design, the Socio Bosque programme can be replicated in other countries. This brief examines the motivations of the Socio Bosque programme, its structure, delivery and accomplishments, and what other countries can learn from Ecuador’s experience.