A global goal to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030, the Bonn Challenge was launched in 2011 by the Government of Germany and IUCN.

The Bonn Challenge responds to the urgent issue of land degradation that currently affects over 3 billion people globally, and, by conservative estimates, close to 30% of arable land. Globally, the financial implications of degradation and deforestation are compelling. In the last two decades, changes to land cover led to a reduction in the value of the annual flow of ecosystem services by USD 4-20 trillion per year and the losses of ecosystem services, specifically due to degradation, are estimated between USD 6.3 trillion and 10.26 trillion per year or 10-17 per cent of global GDP.

With 74 per cent of the world’s poor impacted by land degradation, the reversal and restoration of deforested and degraded land has been embedded in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Aichi Biodiversity Targets, Paris Climate Change Agreement and Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) goal that, together, provide a roadmap for a sustainable planet. Achieving these multiple national or sub-national objectives and international goals requires a flexible, nuanced approach that can be adapted to national and sub-national priorities and local conditions. The forest landscape restoration (FLR) approach that aims to reduce and reverse land degradation in order to restore ecological integrity and enhance human well-being is the solution.

IUCN and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) first proposed FLR at the start of the 21st century as a systematic framework for managing landscapes, to complement forest conservation and sustainable management efforts (IISD, 2002). Today, FLR is a powerful nature-based solution (NBS) that is transforming the lives of people worldwide. You can read more about the FLR approach here.

Investing in restoration also makes good economic sense. It is estimated that USD 75.6 trillion can be gained, on an annual basis, from transforming global policies by adopting environments that enable sustainable land management. When soil and water conservation, forest management and farmer-to-farmer extension projects in Niger, Mali, Tanzania, Ethiopia and northern Nigeria and Niger were assessed, they showed an economic rate of return of 12 to 40 per cent. A study across 42 African countries showed that while erosion-induced soil nutrient depletion cost 280 million tons of cereal per year, valued at USD 127 billion; taking action against erosion could generate USD 62.4 billion per year with an annual growth rate of 5.31 per cent.

Take a look at the ambitious pledges countries have made to the Bonn Challenge:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Argentina
1.00 million hectares
committed
Armenia
0.26 million hectares
committed
Asia Pulp & Paper
1.00 million hectares
committed
Azerbaijan
0.27 million hectares
committed

B

Bangladesh
0.75 million hectares
committed
Benin
0.50 million hectares
committed
Brazil
12.00 million hectares
committed
Brazil's Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact
1.00 million hectares
committed
Burundi
2.00 million hectares
committed

C

Cameroon
12.06 million hectares
committed
Central African Republic
3.50 million hectares
committed
Chad
5.00 million hectares
committed
Chile
0.50 million hectares
committed
Colombia
1.00 million hectares
committed
Costa Rica
1.00 million hectares
committed
Côte d'Ivoire
5.00 million hectares
committed

D

Democratic Republic of the Congo
8.00 million hectares
committed
Dominican Republic
0.31 million hectares
committed

E

Ecuador
0.50 million hectares
committed
El Salvador
1.00 million hectares
committed
Eswatini
0.50 million hectares
committed
Ethiopia
15.00 million hectares
committed

G

Gambia
0.45 million hectares
committed
Georgia
0.01 million hectares
committed
Ghana
2.00 million hectares
committed
Guatemala
1.20 million hectares
committed
Guatemala Private Natural Reserves
0.04 million hectares
committed
Guinea
2.00 million hectares
committed

H

Honduras
1.00 million hectares
committed

I

India
21.00 million hectares
committed

K

Kazakhstan
1.50 million hectares
committed
Kenya
5.10 million hectares
committed
Kyrgyzstan       
0.32 million hectares
committed

L

Liberia
1.00 million hectares
committed

M

Madagascar
4.00 million hectares
committed
Malawi
4.50 million hectares
committed
Mexico
7.24 million hectares
committed
Mexico (Campeche)
0.35 million hectares
committed
Mexico (Chiapas)
0.18 million hectares
committed
Mexico (Quintana Roo)
0.40 million hectares
committed
Mexico (Yucatán)
0.30 million hectares
committed
Mongolia
0.60 million hectares
committed
Mozambique
1.00 million hectares
committed

N

Nicaragua
2.70 million hectares
committed
Niger
3.20 million hectares
committed
Nigeria
4.00 million hectares
committed

P

Pakistan
0.10 million hectares
committed
Pakistan (KPK)
0.60 million hectares
committed
Panama
1.00 million hectares
committed
Peru
3.20 million hectares
committed

R

Republic of the Congo
2.00 million hectares
committed
Rwanda
2.00 million hectares
committed

S

Scotland
0.17 million hectares
committed
Senegal
2.00 million hectares
committed
Sri Lanka
0.20 million hectares
committed

T

Tajikistan
0.07 million hectares
committed
Tanzania
5.20 million hectares
committed

U

Uganda
2.50 million hectares
committed
United States
15.00 million hectares
committed
Uruguay
0.20 million hectares
committed
Uzbekistan
0.50 million hectares
committed

Z

Zimbabwe
2.00 million hectares
committed