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Unlocking the Investment Potential of Forest & Landscape Restoration

“Eighty percent of the potential land suitable for forest and landscape restoration (FLR) can be found in drylands”, said Eduardo Rojas, Assistant Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), during the closing session of a two-days expert consultation on Private investments in Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR), co-organized by FAO and the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD on 30 June and 1 July 2015 in Rome, Italy. Rojas also underlined that FLR contributes to the provision of livelihood opportunities for communities in rural areas and the reduction of forced migration. The workshop brought together some 30 international experts from multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental organizations, research institutes and the private sector to identify ways for increasing private sector investments in FLR. Currently, it is estimated that 12 million hectares of land are degraded every year, resulting in a total stock of more than two billion hectares of degraded land that offer opportunities for restoration, and three quarters of this area being suitable for mosaic restoration.  Initiatives around the world aim at up-scaling FLR in order to contribute to global ecosystem restoration goals and promote land degradation neutrality. Impact investors like the Moringa Fund invest in agroforestry systems such as coffee plantations in order to promote sound and viable management strategies at landscape level. Private companies such as EcoPlanet Bamboo promote largescale bamboo restoration for the production of fibre. At the same time, regional initiatives such as TerrAfrica in Africa and “Initiative 20 by 20” in Latin America, as well as national initiatives such as Payment for Environmental Services for sustainable cork oak production in Portugal, supported by WWF and Coca Cola, offer a variety of mechanisms to upscale investments in FLR. The workshop identified concrete opportunities to upscale FLR, for example through aggregating financial resources at landscape level, bringing together different stakeholders and sectors involved, thus preventing inter-sectoral or resource-use conflicts. However, participants also highlighted that certain key conditions must be in place in order to tap into increased finance for FLR, including an adequate enabling investment environment, the existence of local champions with the necessary skills, and the availability of bankable investment proposals that focus on promising value chains within landscapes. Missing information on possible returns on investments (e.g. ex-ante cost benefit analysis) as well as investment risk assessment and mitigation mechanisms, unclear tenure situation, and lack of coherence among possible investors and landowners/users have been highlighted among the key barriers that need to be overcome for increased investments in FLR. In order to identify key action required to upscale FLR, FAO and the GM of the UNCCD – through its Rome Liaison Office - established a partnership to deliver a Discussion Paper on “Sustainable Finance for FLR”. The paper will review best available information, discuss issues and success stories related to FLR funding, and assess opportunities to increase access to financing in support to FLR implementation at scale. The workshop report and the Discussion Paper will be made available soon on the FAO and GM websites. All the material from the workshop, including background papers and presentations, is also available via at the links below.   Related links: Workshop materials and presentations The FAO FLR Mechanism The Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration The Bonn Challenge

Unlocking the Investment Potential of Forest & Landscape Restoration
The Global Mechanism supports forest and landscape restoration processes

“The UNCCD and its 195 country Parties work with a broad range of stakeholders not only to protect and sustainably manage land resources, but also to rehabilitate degraded land. On 20 and 21 March, the Bonn Challenge 2.0   – a high level summit – brought together governments and international organizations committed to achieving a clear vision: to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020. Of the 2 billion hectares with restoration potential, identified by the Bonn Challenge, 75% are considered mixed-use or “working” landscapes, in which people manage the land as a mosaic of multiple uses, increasing productivity in a sustainable manner while protecting natural capital for future generations. With the Bonn Challenge as a backdrop, the Global Mechanism (GM) of the UNCCD hosted two meetings which contributed to this process and also promoted relevant operational synergies between UNCCD priorities and those of relevant partner institutions working on forest and landscape restoration efforts at the country level: On 19 and 20 March, the GM hosted a meeting of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), of which it is a member. This technical meeting brought together representatives from IUCN, UNEP, WRI, USDA Forest Service, the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, IUFRO, FAO, UNEP-WCMC, CIFOR, the CBD secretariat, ICRAF, and the GM/UNCCD.  It took stock of the work of GPFLR members to date, and discussed how this partnership could evolve in the near future in order to best mobilize the knowledge and expertise of its members in support of forest and landscape restoration activities on the ground. On 21 March, the GM also hosted a meeting of the Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (FERI), bringing together representatives from the CBD secretariat, the Republic of Korea’s Forest Service, Biodiversity International, UNEP-WCMC, IUFRO, FAO, CIFOR, ICRAF, ITTO, IUCN, the GEF, WRI, and the GM/UNCCD. Following the official launch of FERI at the CBD COP 12 in Korea in October 2014, this was its first operational meeting, which further defined the involvement of relevant partner organizations and the scope of upcoming activities, including the organization of relevant capacity building workshops, the assessment of degradation and restoration potential at (sub)national level, and the provision and coordination of technical support.”

The Global Mechanism supports forest and landscape restoration processes
The World Day to Combat Desertification celebrated globally

Bonn, Germany, 16 July 2011 – The World Day to Combat Desertification will be observed on Friday, 17 June 2011. The global observance event opened on Friday, 10 June, in Dakar, Senegal, with the First Africa Drylands Week that will conclude with the observance of the Day. Over 100 participants, among them policy-makers, scientists, representatives of civil society organizations and community groups are in attendance. Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Senegal’s UN Representative, Mr Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary and a community representative are scheduled to speak at the event that will be presided over by the Hon Djibo Leity Ka, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection of Senegal. © FAO/Seyllou Diallo An observance event will take place in parallel in Madrid, Spain, at which Spanish football star and Champion of the World and of Europe, Mr Carlos Marchena, will be designated a Drylands Ambassador of the UNCCD. The event is organized by the non-governmental organization, IPADE, with the support of the UNCCD. In his message for the Day, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, says the challenges facing the “forgotten billion” men, women and children in the drylands deserve special attention in the global efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Every year, the World Day to Combat Desertification is observed globally. This year, the event is also being marked in Argentina, Benin, France, Egypt, Iran, Lesotho and Mongolia, among many other countries. You too can join in the event by downloading and distributing this short film prepared specifically for mobile phone download. A comprehensive press kit to be released on Friday, 17 June at 12:30GMT, with the following contents: a press release, television footage, pictures from the field visits in Senegal, three successful drylands forestry projects and contacts for various international organizations for interviewees.  For more information on the event in Dakar, refer to the documents on the right-hand menu or contact: Ms. Yukie Hori Coordinator, ARCE Email: yhori@unccd.int Tel: +49 228 8152829 For general media related inquiries contact: Ms. Wagaki Mwangi Email: wmwangi@unccd.int Tel: +49 228 8152820 For interviews with the participants In Dakar, contact: Mr. Marten Roest maarten.roest@fao.org Cell: +39 346 5010574 In Madrid, contact: Ms. Andrea Perez aperez@unccd.int

The World Day to Combat Desertification celebrated globally