Bonn Challenge and Landscape Restoration
At the invitation of the German Government and IUCN, the Bonn Challenge was established at a ministerial roundtable in September 2011 - it calls for the restoration of 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands by 2020. This is as a practical, action-orientated platform to facilitate the implementation of several existing international commitments that require restoration, including the CBD Aichi Target 15, the UNFCCC REDD+ goal and the Rio+20 land degradation target.
IUCN estimates that the annual net benefit to national and local economies of restoring 150 million hectares is approximately US$ 85 billion/year. This could also sequester an additional 1 GtCO2e per year, reducing the current emissions gap by 11-17%.
Several governments, private sector companies and community groups have signalled their intent to align with and invest in achieving the Bonn Challenge and almost 20 million hectares have already been pledged. Commitments of further 40 million hectares are being finalised.
The Bonn Challenge is supported by the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), for whom IUCN acts as the secretariat. The partnership is a voluntary network of governments, international and non-governmental organizations and others. It facilitates exchange and learning, generates new knowledge and tools, acts as vehicle to mobilise capacity and expert support to address the practicalities of in-situ landscape restoration. The partnership is working with private sector investors to identify ways to close financing gaps.
The Bonn Challenge resonates with ordinary people, helping them feel empowered to take practical action. In this respect it was voted, in an on-line poll of more than one million global citizens, as the most important forest intervention, and the second most important overall intervention, that global leaders should support as an outcome of Rio+20.