Goal 5: Restore 150 million hectares of degraded landscapes and forestlands by 2020 and significantly increase the rate of global restoration thereafter, which would restore at least an additional 200 million hectares by 2030

Key Messages

  • There has been significant development under this goal by way of commitments toward achieving the Bonn Challenge goal of restoring 150 million hectares by 2020.
  • The number of entities (countries, subnational regions, companies, and NGOs) committing to restore forests under the Bonn Challenge has doubled over the previous year, reaching 38. The area covered by these commitments has also doubled. In total, entities have committed to restoring 124.3 million hectares of forest landscapes, and with 90.3 and 34 million hectares pledged for 2020 and 2030, the Bonn Challenge is 60% and 35% towards its milestones, respectively.
  • Since early 2015, 114 parties to the UNFCCC have submitted intended nationally determined contributions containing land sector targets. The cumulative restoration, reforestation, and afforestation pledges are estimated to amount to 161.6 million hectares—equal to 46% of the 350 million hectare 2030 restoration target set by the NYDF.

 

 

OVERVIEW OF GOAL AND INDICATORS

Goal 5 adopted the 2011 Bonn Challenge target of restoring 150 million hectares of forest by 2020, and expanded it to an additional 200 million hectares by 2030. In support of the Bonn Challenge, IUCN began piloting a methodology for tracking implementation and progress toward these goals in multiple countries in October 2016.(27;28) While this methodology is being tested we will continue to use the restoration pledges made under the Bonn Challenge and the UNFCCC as imperfect proxies to signal progress. It is important to recognize that the UNFCCC pledges do not always specify the type of land (degraded or other landscapes) being restored nor are the pledges all bound by the same timeframe.

 

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FINDINGS

Criterion 1: Bonn Challenge forest restoration pledges

Indicator 1.1: Size of pledges committed by 2020 and 2030

Under the Bonn Challenge, forest landscape restoration is defined as “the long-term process of regaining ecological functionality and enhancing human well-being across deforested or degraded forest landscapes”.(28) Current pledges include activities such as restoration of forest lands (including planted forests, natural regeneration, or silvicultural enhancement); restoration of agricultural lands (including agroforestry and improved fallows); and restoration of protective land and buffers (including mangrove restoration, watershed protection, and erosion control).(29)

Since 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) held in Paris in December 2015, the number of Bonn Challenge commitments and hectares pledged has doubled from 19 to 38 and 62.6 to 124.3 million hectares, respectively (Figure 5). Since 2011, 31 countries, four subnational regions, one company, and two associations have made commitments under the Bonn Challenge. With 90.3 million hectares pledged for 2020 and 34 million hectares pledged for 2030, to date the Bonn Challenge has achieved 60% towards its 2020 milestone and 36% towards its 2030 overall total.(27)

The commitments continue to be clustered around high-level events that serve to accelerate action on forest landscape restoration. This past year saw 18 million hectares pledged at the occasion of the Paris climate summit, 11.5 million hectares at the Africa High-Level Bonn Challenge Roundtable, further commitments were made at the roundtable for Bonn Challenge Latin America in Panama, and the World Conservation Congress in 2016.(30) Since July 2016, 14 African countries have endorsed the Kigali Declaration – a Pan-African commitment to accelerate forest landscape restoration interventions in support of the Bonn Challenge. The Kigali Declaration was launched at a regional Bonn Challenge ministerial meeting, hosted by the Government of Rwanda, and supported by the East African Community and IUCN.(27;31) The African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) and Initiative 20×20 in Latin America are also fostering collaboration in support of the Bonn Challenge.(32)

 

 

Criterion 2: Commitments in INDCs

Indicator 2.1: Size of pledges committed

Since early 2015, 114 parties to the UNFCCC submitted intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) containing land-sector targets with forest landscape restoration, reforestation, and afforestation pledges totaling an estimated 161.6 million hectares—which, if pledged to the Bonn Challenge would equal 46% of the overall 350 million hectare 2030 restoration target.(3;33) Since the 2015 NYDF Progress Assessment, the number of parties with land-sector targets has increased by 46 and an additional 40 million hectares, bringing us 11% closer to the 350 million hectare 2030 target. Goal 7 provides more details on intended and final NDCs in the land-sector. The specificity of forestation and restoration pledges vary significantly, with some having explicit hectare targets, regions, and timelines, and others providing a percentage-of-forest-cover goal for the country, forest stock volume goals,xiii or targets conditional on support. While some NDC targets overlap with Bonn Challenge commitments, this rough estimate provides a glimpse of the potential restoration efforts underway, and shows a path for reaching the 2030 target.

 

 

DATA DEVELOPMENTS AND GAPS

There are two new developments to be released this year that will help address the gap in data and monitoring for forest landscape restoration.

 

Data Development #1. Expanded Forest Landscape Restoration Website

In November 2016, IUCN is launching a new website, an information hub on InfoFLR.org to complement the existing BonnChallenge.org site, which will capture and consolidate information, news, analyses, resources, and ongoing updates on restoration initiatives around the world. InfoFLR will feature a comprehensive package of information on more than 90 countries including domestic targets, policies and programs related to restoration; information on how restoration is dealt with in their NDCs, National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans and other plans; and the status of assessments to identify restoration opportunities, among other things.(27) Providing this comprehensive information in a standardized format will make it easier to identify and present global trends.

 

Data Development #2. Bonn Challenge Barometer

The second development is a progress tracking protocol called the Bonn Challenge Barometer. The Barometer seeks to achieve that by measuring real, on-the-ground progress that proves restoration is underway. It is being led by IUCN with support from the German Government. The scope of the Bonn Challenge Barometer includes tracking country and jurisdictional progress along three themes indicative of progress:(27)

  • First is policy commitment and financing for restoration which lists pledges to restore degraded and deforested landscapes (in hectares) with additional information defining the nature and extent of targeted landscapes and evidence of stakeholder support. Additional evidence for policy commitment and financing include: the existence of national/sub-national policies, plans and measures related to forest landscape restoration, domestic budget allocations in support of restoration, and private-sector funding for restoration.
  • Second is the presence of technical knowledge and underpinning. The Barometer will track whether a country has maps and analysis of national/sub-national restoration potential, and if they have identified priority areas for restoration and interventions.
  • Third is on-the-ground progress focused on hectares under restoration and estimated carbon benefits per activity type. This measure also includes an estimation of biodiversity and jobs benefits from restoration underway.