There is broad acknowledgement in the global climate community that forests and land are both part of the climate change problem and solution. Conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems and sustainable land use practices in managed landscapes are crucial in all pathways described in the IPCC Special Report on the impacts global average temperature increase of 1.5C degrees.
Restoration has often been associated with site-focused and expensive tree planting efforts only. After 70 years of working with state and non-state members and other partners, IUCN came to realize that a shift in how we conceive of landscape restoration was needed. Not just about site afforestation and reforestation, but about where, how, with whom to restore, to create the thriving, low-emissions and resilient landscapes we need to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
The Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) approach is about regaining the ecological functionality of the landscape and enhancing human well-being by bringing degraded or deforested lands through a suit of forest and land restoration interventions through a portfolio of land use practices. To date, over 168 million hectares have been pledged to be brought into restoration by 56 national and subnational governments and other entities under the Bonn Challenge, underpinned by the FLR approach. While Nationally Determined Contributions largely acknowledge land use practices aligned with the FLR approach, this roughly represents 1/3 of the ambition reflected in measurable pledges under the Bonn Challenge. How do we scale up large-scale landscape restoration?
This discussion forum will bring together representatives from national governments, the private sector and non- governmental organizations to reflect on progress, challenges and opportunities for enhanced climate ambition and action through forest landscape restoration in the context of the 2020 revision on NDCs under the Paris Agreement.