Forest and Landscape Restoration is an active process that brings people together to identify, discuss and implement practices that restore an agreed optimal balance of the ecological, social and economic benefits of ecosystems within a broader pattern of sustainable land uses.
Today we are seeing an unprecedented political momentum for supporting the ambitious targets set under the global ecosystem restoration agenda (CBD Aichi target 15, Bonn Challenge, New York Declaration on Forests, Sustainable Development Goal target 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality).
This represents an opportunity to restore the often neglected abandoned and degraded agricultural lands that play a key role for food security and supporting local livelihoods.
With political will, adequate policy and regulatory frameworks, sustainable financial support, effective partnerships for implementation, and meaningful engagement of local communities in both design and implementation phases, compelling and inspiring examples in countries -such as South Korea, Mali, Niger, Ethiopia, China and India teach us that achieving successful large scale land restoration is possible when the right enabling environment is in place.
These aspects were extensively discussed from during the Ecosystem Restoration Day organized at the Rio Conventions Pavilion, on October 20th 2015.
In this context the Forestry Department of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nation, the Global Mechanism shared the outcomes of the joint work that both organizations are undertaking to promote the sustainable financing of forests and landscape restoration efforts in support of FAO’s Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism.
Participants drew on the expertise of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to discuss the key role of the private sector. There was consensus that:
- There is a need to promote strong business cases and successful business models to support of land restoration actions
- Successful solutions can be scaled up through business innovation, improved stakeholder collaboration, and the redefinition of core business values
- Clear communication in a language that private sector can relate to is paramount
- Meaningful and measurable LDN indicators will empower businesses and facilitate effective outreach efforts.
The World Resources Institute also shared six key steps to support the scaling up of land restoration efforts on the ground:
- Identify and analyze successful ecosystem restoration cases
- Support peer learning, local engagement and ownership at the grass root level
- Create enabling policies and legislation
- Implement effective communication strategies to share success stories
- Develop agroforestry value chains that support local livelihoods
- Filling the current knowledge gap on costs and benefits of forest and landscape restoration actions
Finally, The German Technical Cooperation and the World Resources Institute briefed participants on the African Restoration Initiative, recently launched by the African Union as a new regional initiative contributing to the global land restoration agenda.