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
Fourteen Semi-Finalists of the Land for Life Award Announced

Bonn, Germany, 20 May 2014 – The 14 semi-finalists for this year's Land for Life Award unveiled today are from Afghanistan, Canada, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Peru, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.  Their work ranges from scientific breakthroughs on reversing desertification to combining indigenous agriculture knowledge with modern techniques for soil fertility. Launched by the UNCCD for the first time in 2011, the Land for Life Award will recognize efforts that promote the natural health and productivity of the earth’s soils.  These efforts are lifesaving and provide sustainability and a better life for all, particularly to the poorest communities in the world.   Winners who will share a prize fund of up to 100,000 USD will be announced on 17 June during the global observance event of the World Day to Combat Desertification to be held in Washington D.C. The event will be webcast live. The Award drew interest from people working in all regions of the world, signifying the global scope of land degradation and individual as well as collaborative initiatives to recover the productivity of the land.  The individual, NGO, government, business, media and other applicants all demonstrate a strong commitment to manage the land sustainably. The winners will be selected by a jury with expertise in sustainable land management. It includes personalities like Dr. Vandana Shiva, a renowned seed sovereignty activist from India and Professor Joachim von Braun, Director of the Center for Development Research (ZEF) University of Bonn among others experts drawn from government, the UNCCD, civil society and academia. The fourteen semi-finalists are: Abellon CleanEnergy, India Abellon supports and works with rural communities to generate value from waste, provides enhanced income and employment to enable higher productivity and efficiency through agricultural best practices training.  It buys biomass from farmers to produce bio-pellets/bio-power for bioenergy generation that replaces fossil fuels like coal and lignite. Adi-Shimhabty, Eritrea A remarkable village works together using scientifically sound techniques to improve the environment and conditions in which they live.  The community has established permanent land closures, all from their own land and conducts joint activities such as terracing, checking dams and land leveling.  They have converted what was virtually barren land to 95% recovered vegetation. This example of unity and action to improve their own lives has become a model for the neighbor villages to solve life threatening issues.  Africa Centre for Holistic Management (ACHM), Zimbabwe The majority of rural communities in Zimbabwe are situated on dry rangelands.  ACHM provides training and support to local and international communities in Holistic Land and Livestock Management (HLLM) programs to properly manage livestock for the restoration of degraded range and croplands suffering from severe degradation and drought.  Agro-pastoralists who depend upon these lands for survival use HLLM to improve the quality of their soil, raise the water-table, increase crop yields and raise healthier cattle. AGIDE, Togo AGIDE demonstrates the overwhelming benefits of mushrooms in making natural fertilizer.  This further improves soil fertility and crop yields and creates a natural biocide that improves pest and disease resistance. Mushroom cultivation and consumption was a traditional aspect of rural life in parts of Togo that had almost died out until AGIDE began training villagers, particularly women, on how to grow mushrooms and make the compost and biocide, and use these products to improve soil and crop yields. Carbon Green Africa, Zimbabwe The turmoil in Zimbabwe’s agricultural production and population growth has led to significant damage to forests from overexploitation.  This is risking its fertile land into becoming desert in northern Zimbabwe. Carbon Green Africa’s project Kariba RED++ addressed deforestation risks through food security conservation farming, fire management, participatory territorial planning, and alternative livelihood generation, and wildlife protection for ecotourism. Chirapaq, Centro de Culturas Indígenas del Perú Chirapaq incorporates sustainable technologies with ancient knowledge for the production of Andean crops, ensuring a way for comprehensive food security with sovereignty for the indigenous Ayacucho Quechua families.  They produce organic fertilizer to improve soil quality and conservation of rainwater in the soil. The Conservation Organisation for Afghan Mountains Areas (COAM), Afghanistan COAM Afghanistan has made outstanding achievements under the challenging conditions of a country in transition. COAM uses ‘clean cook stoves’, which not only reduces the pressure for natural resources on vulnerable arid rangelands by 50%, it also provides health and livelihood benefits for women and families. Drynet, Turkey Drynet brings together different actors to generate outcomes on a larger scale.  It has created a bridge between local communities, scientists, national and international policy makers and provides sustainable development tools for dryland communities.  It serves as a hub for local knowledge, practice and scientific research and an advocate for sustainable natural resources management by local communities in national and international policy processes. Green Asia Network (GAN), Korea In the arid lands of Mongolia, the Green Asia Network has trained 2,800 locals in forestry practices and sustainable agriculture to restore degraded lands and improve the livelihoods of 14,000 people. GAN has also brought together over 25,000 volunteers (Mongolian: 21,700, Korean: 3,700) to work on sustainable land management projects.  Some 450,000 trees at six sites (total of 450 hectares) have been planted in Mongolia. GAN also operates eco-tours, giving an upfront look at climate change impact and allows participants to work on forestry projects. They have upcoming projects planned in Myanmar. Excellent Development, UK Transforming countless lives in drylands across East Africa, Excellent Development offers technical support for rural communities to build sand dams. Sand dams are benefitting communities in water use for livestock, domestic use and crop production and in coping with drought.  Water held in the dam spreads horizontally, recharging the aquifer, allowing trees and other fauna to grow and restore degraded lands. They have projects in many dryland regions of the world. Irob Community – the soil makers, Ethiopia Characterized by rugged and stony mountains in this geographical location of Ethiopia, there is little land suitable for farming.  Through hard work the communities are reclaiming farmland from valleys and gorges by building check dams and bench terraces.  Using indigenous techniques, the Irob Community has managed to generate almost non-existent farmlands and transformed them from a predominantly vulnerable pastoralism to a more resilient livelihood based on flood trapping and irrigation based agriculture in the face of overwhelming challenges brought by climate change. Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), India NCF works with agro-pastoralists in the high altitude areas of the Himalayas, an area that is home to unique plant and animal species.  NCF’s research in rangeland health has informed national policies and led to innovative community-based programs to improve soil health, increase water security, reduce livestock grazing pressures and protect this unique ecosystem. Society for Conservation and Protection of Environment – SCOPE, Pakistan Tharparkar of Pakistan is a drought prone region where a failed rainy season can cause a drought situation resulting in massive crop and livestock failure. Since its creation, SCOPE has carried out many activities in this region which include rainwater harvesting, rangeland management and enhancing agro forestry practices and has alleviated some of the suffering caused by food insecurity and malnutrition. Taking Root, Canada There was little incentive for agroforestry in Nicaragua due to the lack of missing markets for forest and non-timber forest products.  Since Taking Root was established, agroforestry has now become economically viable for smallholders.  This project takes a landscape approach. It considers how all the farms can work together within the landscape to reforest critical watersheds.  Smallholders are encouraged to reforest the under-utilized and degraded parts of their farms in exchange for direct payments over time as the trees deliver ecosystem services. For more information, click here. About the Land for Life Award The 2014 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, 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. Or contact: Mary Kapiniaris L4L@unccd.int +49 (0) 228 815 2830

Fourteen Semi-Finalists of the Land for Life Award Announced