This block type should be used in "unccd one column" section with "Full width" option enabled

News & stories

news
Latest news & stories

Keyword

Filter by

Date

Tags

Topics

Year

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
Land for Life Award Semi-Finalists Unveiled

Bonn, Germany, 6 May 2013 – The secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is pleased to announce the 16 semi-finalists of this year’s Land for Life Award. The semi-finalists are from 13 countries - Australia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe. From planting a great green wall in Indonesia, to building sand dams in Kenya, to growing food in the shade of solar panels in India, these semi-finalists offer innovative and inspiring lessons on how to restore and conserve land. “As with last year, this year’s semi-finalists show that land degradation and drought are not fates. Innovative and inspiring solutions exist that we can scale-up and scale out,” Mr. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD responded when the short-list was presented to him. “Recognizing efforts like these on sustainable land management is particularly timely because the global community is looking to create sustainable development goals that can be measured and achieved to curb land and soil degradation,” he added. Land degradation is often an underlying factor of rural poverty, which severely impacts the ability of subsistence farmers to grow food and access freshwater.  An estimated 70 per cent of the developing world’s 1.4 billion extremely poor people live in rural areas, according to a 2011 report by International Fund for Agricultural Development. This is the second cycle of the Land for Life Award, which was established in 2011 to recognize efforts that promote the natural health and productivity of the earth’s soils. The semi-finalists represent some of the most cutting-edge and practical solutions in global sustainable land management. The three winners chosen from among them will share a prize fund of up to 100,000 USD. Winners will be announced on 17 June, at the global observance of the World Day to Combat Desertification to be held at the Conference on Desertification and Land Degradation in Ghent, Belgium. The semi-finalists were selected from 137 applications submitted from 62 countries. The Award is open to individuals, NGOs, governments, business, media and others contributing to sustainable land management. Winners are selected by an independent jury of experts from the field of sustainable land management, with personalities like Ms. Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF, Dr. Vandana Shiva, a renowned environmental activist from India, Dr. Dennis Garrity, former executive director of World Agroforestry Center and Dr. Mary Seely from the Desert Research Foundation in Namibia, among other respected experts from government, the UNCCD and civil society. The sixteen semi-finalists are: Abellon CleanEnergy, India Abellon is the only business in the world that employs landless farmers and women to practice agriculture under the shade of solar panels.  The 12 hectares of solar panels provide the community with clean energy, as well as organic fruits and vegetables grown with water run-off from frequent panel cleaning. The Savory Institute, Zimbabwe A lifelong champion of sustainable land management, Allan Savory has pioneered the concept of holistic land management, promoting sustainable grazing particularly in the grasslands of Africa.  The Savory Institute is creating a global network of 100 locally-led hubs to provide training, consulting and implementation support for land managers. Ms. Bilha Givon, Israel Working in one of the most degraded environments in Israel, Ms. Givon has dedicated her life to environmental conservation in the Negev Desert. As the founder of the NGO Sustainable Development in the Negev (SDN), she is the key initiator of environmental responsibility forums, where communities engage in regular dialogues with industry polluters, which has resulted in improved environmental standards.  Her leadership has also resulted in the first “green” ISO-certified towns in Israel. Biovision Foundation, Switzerland and East Africa Through popularizing the Push-Pull method, the Biovision foundation has helped 50,000 maize farmers in East Africa prevent pests, increase crop outputs and enhance soil fertility.  The foundation also supports medicinal plant-based enterprises which protect forest biodiversity, as well as communication initiatives such as publishing the only newspaper on ecological farming in East Africa. Conservation International, Indonesia Targeting restoration of a key watershed, Conservation International Indonesia has planted a green wall of 100,000 native trees over a 200-hectare area bordering two national parks. The wall prevents soil erosion and protects water flows for 30 million consumers downstream in Greater Jakarta. Consejo Civil Mexicano para la Silvicultura Sostenible (CCMSS), Mexico The Amanalco Valle Bravo Basin in central Mexico provides vital water and forest resources to millions of people. But recently the land has suffered due to population pressures and unplanned development.  CCMSS has built the capacity of 1,500 families of smallholder farmers for sustainable agriculture and forestry management over 15,200 hectares. They also are piloting carbon finance (REDD+) and payment for ecosystem services programs in Mexico. DeCo! Ghana Farmers in the savanna region of Ghana have low crop yields as result of poor soils. DeCo! supplies them  with organic fertilizer through a sustainable business model, collecting local waste, fruit, vegetable and other biomass residues to produce rich compost. DeCo!’s compost offers a low-cost alternative to less sustainable government subsidized chemical fertilizers. EcoAgriculture Partners, United States The concept of ecoagriculture means managing landscapes in a way that supports people’s well-being, biodiversity, food production and the conservation of ecosystem services. Through developing practical tools, providing trainings and conducting research, EcoAgriculture Partners acts as global thought leader in the field of sustainable land management. Excellent Development, United Kingdom & Kenya Working in dryland areas across East Africa, Excellent Development supports access to clean water for rural communities by offering technical support for the building of sand dams.  Sand dams are reinforced concrete walls installed in seasonal riverbeds. The technique creates a higher riverbed, which acts like a sponge to store water and replenishes the aquifer. The technique has spread largely via word of mouth, and there are currently 2,000 sand dams globally. Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), India When land is shared by everyone, who is responsible for its well-being? Through land restoration and establishing community governance mechanisms, FES has worked to bring sustainable land management to over 200,000 hectares of common property rangelands, forests and water resources in India. Their work has improved the livelihoods of 1.7 million people living in more than 4,000 villages, and influenced national environmental policy. Liga para a Protecção da Natureza (LPN) Portugal Working in Castro Verde, the region in Portugal most susceptible to desertification, LPN supports farmers to continue traditional steppe farming, practices which support eco-systems that provide over 30,000 hectares of habitat for endangered migratory birds.  Rehabilitation of Arid Environments Trust (RAE), Kenya In Baringo County Kenya, 70 percent of land is arid or semi-unproductive, subject to increasing soil erosion, loss of vegetative cover and decreasing biodiversity. Working with the community over 30 years, RAE has implemented a variety of land rehabilitation techniques based on harvesting rainfall as well as other programs supporting rural livelihoods. Their work has benefited 20,000 farmers and pastoralists directly, and 380,000 people in the community at large. Royal Botanic Garden, Community-Based Rangeland Rehabilitation Project, Jordan In 2007, the Royal Botanic Garden decided to conserve a new parcel of land, building a fence around the 200-hectare site. But the local community was not on board and every night Bedouin herders would sneak across the fence and graze their animals. So the RBG introduced a program of managed grazing, engaging with the herders and allowing them to graze during certain periods, giving the land a needed respite.  As a result, erosion has declined and soil fertility and biodiversity have increased, including the return of some plants that had even disappeared in recent years Dr. Venanzio Vallerani, Italy (In memoriam) Dedicating his life to helping farmers in arid environments, Dr. Vallerani pioneered the “Vallerani system,” a method of land cultivation that uses a special tractor which can treat 30 hectares in a single day.  Through digging a series of half-moons, the method prepares the earth for planting and better water absorption during the short rainy season. Dr. Vallerani passed away in 2012 at the age of 88. He influenced an entire generation of foresters and land conservation technicians in the Sahel and beyond. Wildlife Works Carbon, USA & Kenya Wildlife Works is a for-profit company that has pioneered the first application of the UN REDD+ program and carbon credits to finance large-scale forest conservation in the tropics. By creating jobs in conservation, eco-charcoal production and at an organic clothing factory, Wildlife Works offers people an opportunity to earn an income through alternative means, reducing pressures on land. The initiative benefits 120,000 people in southeast Kenya and protects over 500,000 acres in a key wildlife corridor. World Vision Australia By popularizing the concept of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), World Vision has changed how thousands of farmers manage their land, helping them cultivate buried root systems or “underground forests,” in degraded landscapes, over time restoring productivity. Over the last 20 years, World Vision has trained thousands of farmers in FMNR, resulting in the restoration of thousands of hectares in West Africa and beyond. For more information and photos. click here. About the Land for Life Award The 2013 Land for Life award is a collaboration between the UNCCD and the Korea Forest Service, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Global Environment Facility, International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Qatar National Food Security Programme, and the Elion Resources Group, China. About the UNCCD Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Established in 1994, UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment, development and the promotion of healthy soils. The Convention’s 195 signatory Parties work to alleviate poverty in the drylands, maintain and restore the land’s productivity, and mitigate the effects of drought. Press Contact Wagaki Mwangi +49 228 815 2820wmwangi@unccd.int

Land for Life Award Semi-Finalists Unveiled