El Salvador

Assessment: Underway


1 million hectares
  • 2012 1 million hectares by 2020

A complete commtiment to restoring land

In 2012, Herman Rosa Chavez, El Salvador’s Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, announced his country’s commitment to restore one million hectares of degraded land as a contribution to the Bonn Challenge at the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC meeting in Doha, Qatar.

“Our commitment to restoring one million hectares - half the country’s territory - is a serious and desperate response to a changing climate that earned El Salvador the first and fourth places in Germanwatch´s Global Climate Risk Index in 2009 and 2011, respectively," Chavez said in his announcement at the COP. "With adequate support, landscape restoration at this scale will also allow us to make an important contribution to climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation, greatly enhancing our carbon sinks, improving livelihoods, ecosystem services and disaster resilience. Landscape restoration may be seen as a mitigation strategy," he said, "but for El Salvador it is an urgent and essential element for adaptation and reducing escalating climate related losses and damages.”

Learn about how we created the restoration opportunities map above.

Where do the Quick Facts numbers come from?

All "Quick facts" are 2012 values from the World Bank Indicators database, except threatened species, which are 2014 values.

Potential economic and carbon sequestration benefits from this restoration commitment are calculated by IUCN as a portion of the total economic and carbon benefits estimated to accrue from fulfilling the Bonn Challenge. Larger commitments will generate greater benefits for people and nature. However, these are very rough estimates taken from a global analysis. They should not be used to guide national policy or decision-making. They are meant to inspire restoration and should be informed by more detailed ground-level analyses.

On the climate benefits

Initial analysis by IUCN found that achieving the 150 million hectare by 2020 goal would sequester approximately 1 gigaton of CO2 per year. The New York Declaration on Forests raised the Bonn Challenge ambition by calling for restoration of an additional 200 million hectares by 2030. Analysis of that goal by Climate Advisers found that we could reduce CO2 in the atmosphere by 0.6 to 1.7 billion tons (gigatons) per year by 2030, removing CO2 emissions of at least 11.8 to 33.5 gigatons over the period from 2011-2030.

Learn more about the estimated benefits of fulling the Bonn Challenge

Learn more about our national assessments of restoration opportunity.