The Restoration Initiative (TRI)

The Restoration Initiative unites 10 Asian and African countries and three Global Environment Facility agencies – IUCN, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, and the UN Environment Program – in working to overcome existing barriers to restoration and restore degraded landscapes at scale, and in support of the Bonn Challenge.

lonely seedling on right in dirt - green field


three blue logos Photo: IUCN/FAO/UNEP

TRI Programme Workshop 

October 7-11, 2019 - FAO Headquarters - Rome, Italy

Landscape restoration is vital

Healthy and productive landscapes, from forests and wetlands to pastures and farms, are the building blocks of livelihoods and economies, providing the bulk of essential ecosystem services on which human societies depend. These resources are increasingly under threat throughout much of the world, impacted by poor land use practices, rising populations and incomes, and climate change.

Reversing this damage through best practice forest landscape restoration (FLR) would yield enormous benefits for the climate, food security, and biodiversity conservation.

Addressing restoration globally

A growing global movement of political and community leaders, farmers, scientists, businesses and investors is taking action to restore degraded landscapes. One significant outcome of this support is the Bonn Challenge – a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030. To date, 57 governments and private sector entities have pledged 170 million hectares towards the Bonn Challenge target. However, there are still many obstacles to overcome.  As a result, restoration of degraded lands is occurring at just a tiny fraction of the needed scale and opportunity to make significant global headway.

The Restoration Initiative (TRI) is one major step in global efforts toward landscape restoration at scale. Supported by US$ 54 million in grants from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and mobilising an additional $ 200 million in partner funding, TRI is working in Asia and Africa to address barriers to restoration, and support countries in achieving restoration goals.

How TRI works

TRI brings the combined expertise of three GEF agencies: IUCN (lead agency), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), and the UN Environment Program (UNEP). They work in partnership with 10 countries where significant restoration opportunities exist, under a flexible framework that addresses common and key barriers to restoration. By bringing these unique stakeholders together under the shared objective of restoring degraded and deforested landscapes, the initiative provides enhanced opportunities for South-South knowledge exchange, capacity development, and cost savings.

For each partnering country, project interventions will include work in four key areas:

  1. Policy development and integration enhancing the in-country enabling environment for FLR;
  2. Implementation of restoration programmes and complementary initiatives providing direct support for implementation of integrated landscape restoration work, and providing scalable models for wider uptake;
  3. Capacity building and finance mobilisation supporting efforts to unlock and mobilise additional funding for FLR, and to strengthen and enhance the abilities of countries, institutions, and people to plan and manage FLR; and
  4. Knowledge sharing and partnerships providing support for the capture and sharing of innovative experiences and best practices, raising awareness of FLR needs and opportunities, and developing and strengthening critical partnerships.

Programme Structure

TRI is comprised of 11 national “child” projects, including two projects in Kenya. These national projects are complemented by a Global Learning, Finance and Partnership "child" project that provides overall support for programme coordination, monitoring and adaptive management, as well as additional technical support to countries along each of the four project intervention areas identified above.

circle with balls inside on left, blue arrows in middle, text on rightPhoto: TRI

TRI Programme profile summary

Country/Region: 11 national projects in 10 Asian and African countries; 1 global support project

Duration: 5-year average project length; most projects started in late 2018

Funding: US$54 million in GEF grants, $201 million in co-funding

Institutional arrangements:

  • Implementation by IUCN, FAO, UN Environment
  • Execution of national projects principally by country ministries/agencies and NGOs in some cases
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