Restoring forests and landscapes: the key to a sustainable future

couple stand in river GPFLR report full image

Showcasing the success of large-scale restoration of landscapes burdened by natural or man-made disasters, the GPFLR today launch the report: Restoring forests and landscapes, the key to sustainable future.

The report is available for download below.

The unprecedented study chronicles the results of long-term and large-scale research and outlines several case studies in forest and landscape restoration. The report bears a positive message, presenting a variety of time-proven opportunities to bring infertile land back to life.

With wildfires, droughts and the steadily increasing number of migrants driven from their homes by land degradation, food insecurity or conflict over natural resources dominating the news, the report comes at a pivotal moment.

Securing enough healthy and fertile landscapes are key to address these pressing challenges. With 40% of global soil cover already being used for agricultural purposes, room for expansion is limited. Every year, we are losing ecosystem services – including food production – worth more than $6 trillion a year to erosion and other forms of degradation.

Nations around the world recognize the economic benefits that investing in restoration brings, and while the threats posed by degradation are daunting, our growing understanding of how natural systems work present enormous opportunities for positive change.

As of 2018, over 50 countries, including India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Peru have already committed to bringing more than 160 million hectares – the size of the Indian subcontinent – into restoration by signing on to the world’s largest restoration initiative – the Bonn Challenge.

pastoralist senegal GPFLR report

Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment“It’s clear that there is a growing movement for large-scale landscape restoration,” “All our international partner organizations working in this field agree it’s now time to significantly scale up this work. There is clear potential for an area of 350 million hectares of degraded land to be restored by 2030, something that give a huge boost to the fight against climate change, biodiversity loss and poverty. It’s essential that we mobilize and seize this opportunity.”

Boosting the momentum generated by the Bonn challenge and ultimately aiming to restore more than 2 billion hectares of degraded land worldwide, the government of El Salvador supported by UN Environment proposed to declare the next 10 years ‘Decade for Ecosystem Restoration’, devoted to promoting the rehabilitation of degraded, damaged and destroyed lands.

women planting India GPFLR report

Tim Christophersen, Chair of the GPFLR ‘Forest and landscape restoration is clearly an idea whose time has come. After testing the approach successfully in over 50 countries, we are now ready to scale up. A global ecosystem restoration movement is our best hope to limit climate change, create green jobs, and improve food and water security at the same time. We are ready to work with all stakeholders who want to join us on this journey’

The opportunities of a possible ‘United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration’ will be discussed at the Global Landscape Forum, taking place at the united Nations Offices in Nairobi on 29-30 August. Learn more about this event