There are over 2 billion hectares of degraded and deforested lands across the world that could benefit from restoration. While much is known about how and why we should restore these lost lands, before restoration can begin world leaders and landowners alike must first answer a multitude of challenging questions. Who will pay the costs of restoration? Who will receive the manifold benefits? How shall we start? Where should we start? How to prepare for success?
“Forest landscape restoration has gained considerable recognition over the last ten years,” says Chetan Kumar, IUCN Manager of Science and Knowledge for Landscape Restoration. “It is an approach that we know can create multiple benefits and accommodate multiple uses.” But, he adds, “considerable knowledge gaps currently hinder the expansion of this approach in the very places where it is needed most.”
In 2012 IUCN launched a long-term project to begin to fill these knowledge gaps. The goal of the Knowledge and Tools for Forest Landscape Restoration project (Know-for-FLR) is to increase the pace and scale of forest landscape restoration (FLR) around the world by:
· Equipping global, regional, national, and sub-national policy-makers and organizations with the knowledge and tools necessary to facilitate implementation of FLR; and
· Ensuring that local, national and sub-national practitioners have access to the full range of knowledge they will need to successfully implement FLR at-scale and over-time.
IUCN is now working across the globe to gather, package, and disseminate crucial place-based knowledge on FLR. Through Know-for-FLR we will also develop decision-support tools to make this knowledge accessible and useful – and we will work to build capacity to use knowledge to implement FLR on-the-ground. Browse our project page to learn more.
“There are many questions left to answer,” says Kumar. “Even where we have the best knowledge available on a certain aspect of restoration, this knowledge is not always easily accessible or usable by key stakeholders.” And there are places where new knowledge must be created or aggregated, he notes. “For example, ecological pathways to restoration are a major area of study; however, little is known about economic pathways to which these efforts should be linked.”
From raising “awareness of the benefits FLR” to spreading “understanding on how to steward lands” after restoration, Know-for-FLR will target all levels of knowledge needs. “Through this new project we hope to provide robust evidence and truly-useable knowledge products to the stakeholders who will need to take informed decision about implementing FLR,” Kumar says.
Underpinning the Know-for-FLR project is the Bonn Challenge, a global movement to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s degraded and deforested lands by 2020. Through Know-for-FLR, IUCN will facilitate the restoration of land pledged to the Bonn Challenge goal by countries and organizations like Rwanda (up to 2 million hectares pledged), El Salvador (up to 2 million hectares pledged), and the United States Forest Service (15 million hectares pledged). Know-for-FLR will also assist countries and organizations considering pledges to the Bonn Challenge in assessing restoration potential and refining their pledges.
“Know-for-FLR represents an important contribution of IUCN to facilitating achievement of the Bonn Challenge and to the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration,” says Miguel Calmon, IUCN Senior Manager for Landscape Restoration. “We have a unique opportunity to support restoration of the world’s degraded lands. The time is right. We are now doing our part to ensure that all actors have the best available knowledge and tools - anything they will need to ensure the success of their restoration efforts.”
The Knowledge for Forest Landscape Restoration project (Know-for-FLR) is supported by UKaid (“from the British people”).
Visit the homepages of the Know-for-FLR project for project updates and access to forthcoming knowledge packages and decision-support tools.
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For more information contact:
Aaron Reuben, Communications Officer for Landscape Restoration