Article | 14 Nov, 2016

IUCN launches online resource on forest landscape restoration to support climate action

Today, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) launched InfoFLR, an online portal with in-depth information on forest landscape restoration. InfoFLR will also house results from IUCN’s new project, the Bonn Challenge Barometer of Progress – a tool to monitor the implementation of restoration commitments to the Bonn Challenge.

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A cloud forest in Costa Rica

Photo: © IUCN / Ger Bergkamp

The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030. Achieving the 350 million hectare goal could sequester up to 1.7 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent annually.

InfoFLR was presented by representatives from IUCN and the German government at the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco. On hand to deliver an opening address and celebrate Germany’s partnership in the Barometer project was Jochen Flashbarth, Permanent State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

“As one of the co-founders of the Bonn Challenge, the German government is deeply invested in seeing its targets realised. We understand the challenges countries face in implementing these goals and have supported IUCN in developing the Barometer and InfoFLR to help overcome them,” he says.

InfoFLR will feature information on more than 90 countries, including domestic targets, policies and programmes related to restoration, as well as how restoration is dealt with in those countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). The website will also provide information on assessments of restoration opportunities, using the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM), developed by IUCN and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

These country profiles, created by IUCN, will highlight opportunities to deliver on existing domestic restoration goals while making important linkages to international climate change, biodiversity and land degradation neutrality goals.

“Forest landscape restoration is a perfect example of a nature-based solution which can help address a number of global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity conservation and desertification, thereby pushing us closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” says Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General.

The Barometer will collect data, profile restoration leadership and share quantifiable progress on the implementation of Bonn Challenge commitments. Its goal is to equip pledgers and partners working towards the Bonn Challenge goal with information to accelerate action, address implementation bottlenecks and direct investors and donors towards opportunities. Developed by IUCN with the support of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of BMUB Germany, it will be piloted in six jurisdictions to start.

Together, the Barometer and InfoFLR site will assist governments and others with determining pledges, exploring opportunities and potential benefits, identifying suitable interventions, and monitoring success.

“The world is on track to meet the 2020 Bonn Challenge target and we’ve made impressive progress on the 2030 goal as well. IUCN is confident that InfoFLR will support that momentum by providing governments, the private sector and NGOs with the information they need to drive effective restoration action,” says Carole Saint-Laurent, Deputy Director, IUCN Global Forest and Climate Change Programme.