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FAO and Global Mechanism launch new publication on financing for forest and landscape restoration

5 December 2015, Paris – More than USD 300 billion are needed per year to restore the world’s degraded land in order to achieve a new Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target by 2030, according to a new publication by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (GM). The joint discussion paper, Sustainable financing for forest and landscape restoration: opportunities, challenges, and the way forward, was launched today at the Global Landscapes Forum in Paris during a session on "Investing in integrated landscapes to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals". Currently, the world’s degraded land amounts to 2 billion hectares, which is equal to an area the size of South America. Each year an additional 12 million hectares of land are degraded, while 7.6 million hectares of forest are converted to other uses or lost through natural causes. “The degradation of the world’s land and forests is a serious threat to the livelihoods and food security of millions of people who depend on them, and there is an urgent need to invest in forest and landscape restoration to bring a significant portion of that degraded land back to a productive state,” said Douglas McGuire, Coordinator of the Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism hosted by the Forestry Department of FAO. Funding falls short of global commitments Countries have already made ambitious commitments to forest and landscape restoration, including under Goal 15 of the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which sets a target (15.3) to achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030. In addition, some countries had previously pledged to restore 150 million hectares by 2020 in the framework of the 2011 Bonn Challenge, and 350 million hectares by 2030 under the 2014 New York Declaration on Forests. However, mobilization of funds is one of the chief constraints to achieving these global targets. The USD 300 billion a year needed for SDG target 15.3 aside, the Bonn Challenge is estimated to require USD 36 billion a year, and the New York Declaration USD 49 billion a year. “One of the main barriers is insufficient awareness of financing opportunities and investors’ lack of understanding of forest and landscape restoration,” said Markus Repnik, Managing Director of the GM. Key questions addressed at the Global Landscape Forum session on ‘’Investing in integrated landscapes to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals’’ The GLF is one of the largest events held on the sidelines of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The session on ‘’Investing in integrated landscapes to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals’’, at which the publication was launched, addressed a number of key questions on forest and landscape restoration financing, including: How are investments coordinated within integrated landscape initiatives? How can investors better engage with landscape stakeholders? How can these models be scaled-up and applied in the implementation of SDGs? The joint FAO-GM discussion paper addresses these issues by providing an overview of existing funding sources and financial instruments that could be adapted specifically for forest and landscape restoration purposes both at the local, national, regional and global levels. The Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative launched a complementary publication at the same discussion forum entitled “Scaling up investment & finance for integrated landscape management: Challenges and innovations”. Innovative financing solutions proposed in the publication launched in Paris The FAO-GM discussion paper sets out key messages on financing for forest and landscape restoration for governments, development banks, international agencies, environmental funds, NGOs and private companies. It also proposes innovative and non-traditional ideas such as crowdfunding and green bank cards.  “With both governments and development agencies facing increasing funding shortages, long-term financing solutions may rely on private-sector investors – businesses and individuals – whether in the framework of corporate social responsibility or as investors looking for a mix of social and financial returns,” said Ludwig Liagre of the GM. The joint publication also identifies ways to create an enabling environment for sound investments in forest and landscape restoration and proposes recommendations for building and strengthening financial alliances. A joint FAO-GM public policy brief and infographic with key messages on sustainable financing for forest and landscape restoration included in this publication were launched in October 2015 at the Forests and Landscape Forum - organized by the GM, FAO, and LPFN, among other partners- during the 12th Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD in Ankara, Turkey.   Related links: Discussion Paper on 'Sustainable financing for Forest and Landscape Restoration: opportunities, challenges, and the way forward' Infographic on Sustainable financing for forest and landscape restoration: key messages Policy brief on ‘’Sustainable financing for forest and landscape restoration: the role of public policy makers’’ FAO’s Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism Landscapes for People, Food and Nature publication

FAO and Global Mechanism launch new publication on financing for forest and landscape restoration
Mirova and the Global Mechanism join forces to establish the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), through its operational arm - the Global Mechanism – together with Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers dedicated to responsible investing, have signed an agreement to structure the first global fund dedicated to achieving Land Degradation Neutrality - the LDN Fund. French Caisse des Depôts is supporting the initiative. The Global Mechanism and Mirova are pleased to announce the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with the objective of structuring the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund. The LDN Fund aims at creating a new investment territory: land rehabilitation and avoided degradation. The LDN Fund will be launched in December 2016. Achieving LDN is one of the year 2030 targets (target 15.3) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). LDN refers to a state whereby the amount of healthy and productive land resources necessary to support ecosystem services in a given community or country, or globally, remains at least stable. In October, the Parties to the UNCCD agreed to set up voluntary national targets to support the realization of the LDN target on a global level. The concept of an LDN Fund emerged in 2014 following consultations among institutions that were engaged in the identification of sustainable solutions to the challenge of land degradation. The Global Mechanism presented the first concept at the World Investment Forum in Geneva in October 2014. The fund should provide a coordination platform for blended finance and is expected to be set up as a Public-Private Partnership among institutional investors, impact investors, development finance institutions and donors committed to supporting LDN. It should be structured as a privately managed layered fund intending to generate returns for investors in line with their respective risk/return profiles. The Global Mechanism and Mirova are joining forces to turn the project into reality. Text from the joint press release issued by Mirova and the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD in Paris on 3 December 2015.   Related links: Land Degradation Neutrality Fund Brochure (English) (1 MB) Land Degradation Neutrality Fund Brochure (French) (1021.15 KB) Land Degradation Neutrality Fund Brochure (Spanish) (1.13 MB) Download the Press Release (English) (470.14 KB) Download the Press Release (French) (397.38 KB)   For more information:  Simone Quatrini The Global Mechanism Tel. +49 228 815 2860 squatrini (at) unccd.int

Mirova and the Global Mechanism join forces to establish the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund
World Leaders Renew Commitment to Strengthen Climate Resilience Through Africa’s Great Green Wall

World leaders and heads of major international agencies today pledged USD 4 billion over the next 5 years to step up implementation of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative. Over the next 10 years, more than 50 million hectares of land will be restored. This will help sequester an estimated 250 million tons of carbon. The metaphoric Great Green Wall will provide sustainable alternatives for millions of young people, who are considering migrating from poverty-stricken areas in Africa’s Sahel region. Leaders expressed hope that the renewed commitment to the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative– Africa’s largest rural development project – will create new opportunities for communities right across the Sahel, while establishing greater resilience against climate change long into the future. The Great Green Wall – originally launched in 2007 – is taking root in Africa’s Sahel region, one of the world’s most vulnerable areas to climatic variability. Macky Sall, President of Senegal, said his country has “already planted 12 million trees and restored 25 000 ha of degraded land. This has helped boost long-term food, energy, water and economic security.” President Sall was speaking Tuesday morning at the Global Summit of the Heads of State and Government that are Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative member states. The Summit was hosted by France’s President François Holland, in parallel to the Climate Change Conference taking place in Paris, France. The Ministerial meeting held Wednesday morning with Heads of development agencies was the follow-up to the Summit, with renewed commitments coming from the Government of France, the African Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the World Bank, and the European Union, as well as from the African leaders. The changes to Lake Chad, which borders five countries in West Africa and serves a large population in the region, including 2 million people who benefit directly, signal the depth of the crises. In just 30 years, the lake has shrunk by nearly ten times its original size from 25 000km2 to 2 500 km2. During this period, demand for water and arable land soared as the population around the lake rose from 22 million in 1991 to 38 million in 2012. The population is expected to reach 50 million by 2020. “The disappearance of Lake Chad is a security crisis that is fueling terrorist groups like Boko Haram”, said President Idriss Déby of Chad. He called for effective commitment on the ground to counter these threats. Persistent drought and land degradation in the Sahel are robbing land-dependent families of their livelihoods. Poverty, conflict over depleting natural resources, and increasingly, mass migration to Europe, are rife. More than 20 million people in the Sahel are currently food insecure, according to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs. The metaphoric Wall is a practical response taken by countries located along the southern margins of the Sahara Desert. “Ensuring vulnerable communities are resilient to climate change is our first line of defence against the growing challenges of forced migration, food insecurity, civil conflict and extremism. The constraints countries face demand that we take early and effective action in Africa and other regions of the world where people rely heavily on the land for survival,” commented Ms Monique Barbut, the UN’s top advisor on controlling the loss of productive land. “I commend the renewed commitment by the partners to the Great Green Wall, but hasten to add that it is in the interest of all countries to invest in land restoration. We can reduce the impact of future climate-induced disasters and quickly cut back the excess carbon dioxide emissions in the race to stay below a 2 degree Celsius target,” Ms Barbut added. A virtual reality film of the Wall, produced by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification together with global brand studio, Venture Three, is currently being shown at the Africa Pavilion, at the 21st Session of the United Nations Framework Convention to Combat Climate Change. The film titled, Growing a World Wonder, follows Binta, a young Senegalese girl, as she and her family tend to their section of the Wall. It explores the challenges they face and how the project is already transforming their lives for the better. “There are many world wonders, but the Great Green Wall will be unique and everyone can be a part of its history,” says Dr. Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. “Together, we can change the future of African communities in the Sahel.” About the Great Green Wall The Great Green Wall is an African-led project with an epic ambition: to restore the productivity of degraded lands across the Sahel region and transform millions of lives. Its goal is to provide food, jobs and a future for the millions of people who live on the frontline of climate change. The Great Green Wall brings together African countries and international partners, under the leadership the African Union Commission, which includes the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the European Commission.   Article based on The African Union Commission Press Release, Paris, 02/12/2015 For interviews please contact: Elvis Paul Tangem, Coordinator, GGWSSI, African Union Commission, email: Elvispault@africa-union.org, Tel: +251936542733   Partners: THE AFRICAN UNION

World Leaders Renew Commitment to Strengthen Climate Resilience Through Africa’s Great Green Wall