Bonn, Germany (March 21, 2015)– Since 2011, countries participating in the Bonn Challenge have restored more than 60 million hectares of forests and landscapes and are on track to meet an ambitious global restoration goal of 150 million hectares by 2020. Environment ministers from around the world marked the significant progress at the second international Bonn Challenge conference in Germany on March 20 – 21.
In much of Africa, rural farmers and communities are losing their land to government, investors and others. It's creating profound impacts on local livelihoods and the environment.
Local communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America can lose access to critical resources when land rights are weak, threatening food and incomes for more than two billion people. Three fundamental goals must be achieved to improve land rights.
Differences in the ways men and women understand and use forests mean natural resource policies can result in significant gender-differentiated impacts that oftentimes put women at a disadvantage.
Cécile Ndjebet, a partner of WRI’s Governance of Forests Initiative, explains the challenges rural, forest-dependent women face in Cameroon, as well as solutions for overcoming these problems.
Alda Salomao is the director general of Centro Terra Viva, an organization working to secure community land rights in Mozambique. In an interview with WRI's Celine Salcedo-La Viña, she describes the tension between communities in the Afungi Peninsula and a natural gas project.
Imagine that we have the chance to cut greenhouse gas emissions, boost household incomes and increase crop yields, while making vulnerable areas more resilient to severe weather and improving the lives of people in some of the world’s poorest regions.
The fact is, we could do all this and more by restoring the world’s degraded landscapes to productive, sustainable use.
COP 20 is a major milestone on the path to Paris and the 2015 climate agreement.
By narrowing down the options for the agreement and setting the rules of the road for putting forward and evaluating national contributions over the next year, this can be the global climate conference that puts us on the way to an effective, robust, and ambitious agreement.
The New York Declaration on Forests issued at the UN Climate Summit last month includes a global pledge to restore 350 million hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes by 2030.
Several countries confirmed their commitment to restore millions of hectares of degraded land, with Ethiopia making one of the most significant pledges—setting a target to restore 15 million hectares of degraded and deforested land into productivity by 2025.
Local communities are key to protecting the world’s last remaining forests. Indigenous peoples hold legal or official rights to one-eighth of the world’s forests, about 513 million hectares (1.3 billion acres).
Read more about how researchers used Global Forest Watch maps to identify lower rates of deforestation where governments protect communities’ rights.
One of the most far-reaching of the commitments from the recent UN Climate Summit is the New York Declaration on Forests, which includes a plan restore 350 million hectares of degraded forest landscapes into productivity by 2030. While restoration holds great promise for many countries, this ambitious new target is especially important for Africa. As we’re already seeing, if done right, restoration could boost food and water security, improve livelihoods, and curb climate change in some of the most vulnerable regions on Earth.