Story | 01 Dec, 2016

Forests on the agenda at Convention on Biological Diversity COP13

IUCN will take part in the Thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP13) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Cancun, Mexico from 4 - 17 December 2016. Forests are high on the agenda, as one of the four main focus areas from the CBD.

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Photo: Luciana Ludlow Paz/IUCN

At COP13, IUCN will be leading conversations on the key role forest landscape restoration (FLR) plays in helping countries achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The FLR movement is centered around the Bonn Challenge – a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land under restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. The Bonn Challenge acts as an implementation vehicle for several international commitments including the Aichi Targets and others such as the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

More specifically, restoring forests can contribute to Aichi Targets 5, 7, 11, 12 and 15, while delivering real, tangible benefits for local communities including sustainable livelihood opportunities, improved food and water security and the empowerment of women. At a global scale, FLR and its subsequent biodiversity benefits result in increased carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation.

To guide these discussions taking place in Cancun, IUCN just released an informational document through the CBD, Restoration of forest ecosystems and landscapes as contribution to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The document offers examples from countries that are already implementing FLR activities; having integrated them as part of their national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) or having pledged actions on FLR under a number of other international commitments and initiatives that seek to support climate change mitigation, adaptation, improve water provision, and meet other social and economic development goals.

IUCN’s forest team will be hosting several related events:

On December 6, IUCN and the CBD Secretariat will be leading a side event, ‘Restoring Forest Ecosystems and Landscapes: examples of country leadership and progress to achieve the Aichi Targets.’ Experts from IUCN will showcase FLR interventions in Central America that have incorporated biodiversity considerations into programme design and that are demonstrating results. This will be followed by a discussion on countries that have included restoration in their NBSAPs as well as made commitments to the Bonn Challenge. They will focus on both  successes and the challenges they have faced in implementing FLR.

On December 9, 13:15-14:45, IUCN with partners Reforestamos Mexico and WRI will showcase how FLR is being implemented in Mexico during the side event, "Landscape Restoration: Bridging the gap between sustainable rural development and biodiversity targets at the sub-national scale". The session will outline the steps ahead for Mexico's Landscape Restoration Strategy and discuss how to achieve rural sustainable development through concerted actions by all stakeholders at the landscape level. Won't be attending COP13? This event will be live broadcast via 

December 13 is Ecosystem Restoration Day and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), of which IUCN is a member, is working with the CBD to draw attention to how landscape approaches to restoration can contribute to sustainable livelihoods, food security and biodiversity conservation. Additionally, the session will focus on the importance of coordinated regional efforts to achieve multiple goals and will showcase replicable methodologies for assessing restoration opportunities and monitoring impact. IUCN will lead training on the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) as part of this session.

Watch also on December 2, as the high-level segment ‘Maintstreaming Biodiversity for Well-Being’ kicks off with IUCN’s participation.

Our team will be attending events and sharing updates through COP13. Follow @IUCN_forests for the latest from us.