NEPAD, others to chart course on forest restoration in Africa


Governments and civil society organisations will tomorrow October 11 begin a two-day conference that will set a roadmap on forest landscape restoration (FLR) in Africa, courtesy of the New Partnership on Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

The meeting that will take place at in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will end on Wednesday.

At the meeting, governments will work with their financial and technical partners to create a roadmap for countries to achieve their restoration goals. Representatives from Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Niger, Malawi and Cameroon will provide updates on progress made in their countries and smaller working groups will identify the barriers to up-scaling and the solutions needed to overcome them. They will discuss the modalities of institutional partnerships and regional and global mechanisms that need to be put in place for successful FLR initiatives.

To date, 17 African nations have pledged 63.3 million hectares to the Bonn Challenge, a global initiative to restore 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands by 2020 and 350 million by 2030. With its focus on creating multi-functional landscapes that provide essential ecosystem services and support the livelihoods of local communities, the Bonn Challenge helps countries achieve key development goals. In July 2016, African governments declared, “FLR offers multiple benefits that align directly with our nations’ economic growth and poverty reduction plans.”

The conference will help build synergies between the Bonn Challenge, the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) and related initiatives including the African Resilient Landscapes Initiative (ARLI), Great Green Wall and TerrAfrica. It will be followed by a two-day field visit to Tigray, an area under restoration in northern Ethiopia where benefits to groundwater recharge, food security and resilience are being documented.

Participating organisations include IUCN, the World Bank; Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany; Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Germany and the World Resources Institute (WRI). The sessions will be facilitated by a representative from the Institute for People, Innovation and Change in Organisations (PICOTEAM).

IUCN currently works in 22 African countries on FLR, assisting with the application of the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) and providing policy support and technical guidance.