Bangkok, Thailand – The Global Mechanism of UNCCD and Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) organized a joint workshop on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and Forest and Landscape Restoration (F&LR) on 30-31 July 2019 to foster co-ordination on the national implementation of the LDN with the forest and landscape restoration initiatives.
The participants included UNCCD and AFoCO focal points from 21 countries of Asia Ppacific, as well as representatives of strategic partners, including Green Climate Fund (GCF), Asia Pacific Network (APFNet), The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC), The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and UN agencies as FAO and UNEP.
Nearly 70 per cent of Asia's population lives in rural areas, depending directly on land and land-based ecosystem services. Healthy forests help stabilize the climate, regulate ecosystems, protect biodiversity, play an integral part to support livelihoods, and can help drive sustainable growth. Tackling land and forest degradation contributes to many SDGs as well as the commitments of the Paris Agreement, Aichi Targets, Bonn Challenge and REDD+.
Recognizing LDN as an aggregator of land-based interventions in which forest sector plays a significant role, workshop participants discussed institutional, policy and financing aspects of promoting synergies and coordinating efforts in the context of the upcoming UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).
Several countries shared examples of integrating the global goals, particularly on LDN and forest rehabilitation, in the national level policies and actions. Despite a variety of existing policies and practices, there is often a gap in implementation of comprehensive activities on LDN and forest rehabilitation. Workshop attendees reiterated that collaborative action and synergies can help achieve more effective and efficient implementation on the ground.
The need for an enabling environment and the mainstreaming of LDN targets into NDCs, including mid‐term frameworks and budgets, is critical for ensuring positive synergies across all sectors. Participants discussed approaches to achieve these objectives through LDN transformative Programnes and Projects (LDN TPP).