By Swati

 - May 8, 2017

Delegates from nearly a dozen countries in Asia are coming together in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia on May 9-10, 2017 to identify ways to collaborate on forest landscape restoration (FLR) in support of the Bonn Challenge. 

Led by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of South Sumatra, in cooperation with IUCN, the two-day meeting will be instrumental in furthering regional momentum on the Bonn Challenge – a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.  

The Bonn Challenge is underpinned by the principles of FLR, which is a process for designing and implementing landscape-level interventions to restore ecological functionality and enhance human well-being across degraded and deforested land.

FLR manifests through different restoration strategies such as: new tree plantings, managed natural regeneration, agroforestry, or improved land management to accommodate a mosaic of land uses, including agriculture, protected wildlife reserves, managed plantations, riverside plantings and more. Critically, it is a multi-stakeholder process that brings together government agencies, scientific and academic institutions, civil society and local communities in a participatory process.

Pledgers to the Bonn Challenge benefit from its design as an implementation mechanism for multiple international commitments, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Land Degradation Neutrality Goal, among others. The Minister for Climate Change and Minister for Law and Justice of the Government of Pakistan, Mr. Zahid Hamid, underscored the relevance of restoration to achieving national goals:

“It is an important part of the mitigation efforts that we are making under our national climate change policy, and we want to implement it to show to the world that we are not only helping ourselves in terms of mitigating the adverse effects of climate change, but are also implementing our international obligations in terms of the United Nations Framework Conventions, the REDD+ initiative and also the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.”

To date, 40 governments, alliances and private sector organisations have committed over 148 million hectares to the Bonn Challenge. Pledges from Asia include 21 million hectares from India, 1 million hectares from Asia Pulp and Paper and 384,000 hectares from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.

Leaders on FLR in Asia including country delegates and partners will be joined by FLR experts from other regions as well as delegates from Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) and Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), among many other notable attendees, to further support the truly global efforts of the Bonn Challenge.

For more on the Bonn Challenge in Asia, check out IUCN's brief.

For more information on forest landscape restoration visit: InfoFLR.org

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Country: India, Indonesia, Pakistan