James Anderson/World Resources Institute

Consultation key to overcoming the enormous challenges of restoring degraded land

The world faces huge and unprecedented biodiversity and climate change challenges. One way we can help address these challenges is through the restoration of degraded land.

Restoring landscapes—done properly in consultation with local communities, governments and scientists—has huge environmental, climate mitigation but also, importantly, economic benefits. It also contributes to many of the Sustainable Development Goals.

A 2015–2019 Global Environment Facility project, Building the foundation for forest landscape restoration at scale, implemented by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and executed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in partnership with five countries (Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya and Niger) is an important contribution to landscape restoration.

“There is no single way to restore degraded land, without incorporating diverse factors—cultural, social, economic and topographical—coming into play in different countries and regions,” says Ulrich Piest, a UNEP ecosystems expert. “While tree-planting is an important aspect of landscape restoration in many settings, it is not a silver bullet.”

The project facilitates national commitments to restoration by enabling improved legal and policy conditions across sectors. The big goal: to enhance the integration of trees in agricultural landscapes, and to restore forests in ways that support strategies to avoid deforestation and defragmentation and promote climate-smart agriculture.

“Investing in reviving land delivers tremendous socio-economic returns to protect standing forests, but planning must include all relevant voices to implement effective restoration,” highlights WRI’s Fred Stolle, the project’s coordinator. “Input from community leaders, producers, governments at different levels, scientists and technicians provides critical information to make better choices and bring prosperity to rural communities.”

Continue reading the full story at UN Environment.

For more information, please contact Fred Stolle.

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