Restoring degraded landscapes and forests has the potential to enhance social and economic well-being while delivering powerful environmental benefits. The challenge is getting the funding to make that happen.
While Latin America and the Caribbean have lost an area of land the size of Mexico to deforestation and degradation, all hope is not lost. Restoration success stories from three nations point to a way forward.
For better or for worse, plantation forests are here to stay. But through sustainable management and a "landscape approach," plantations can actually help contribute to the global restoration movement. Researcher Jared Messinger explains.
In just one year, Initiative 20x20 has secured commitments to restore 27.7 million hectares of land by 2020—an area the size of the United Kingdom —with private impact investors earmarking $730 million to support restoration projects in the region.
The Bonn Challenge, a global movement aimed at starting to restore 150 million hectares by 2020, is on track to meet or exceed this ambitious goal. International partners meet in Bonn this week to discuss progress already made and a vision for what should happen after 2020.
Last month, 40 nations agreed to restore 5 million hectares (12.4 million acres) of degraded lands and areas of low-quality bamboo production into productive, healthy bamboo forests at the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan’s (INBAR) Ninth Council Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This pledge will help answer the Bonn Challenge—an effort to pledge to have 150 million hectares (370 million acres) of degraded and deforested lands in restoration programs by 2020—and could create significant environmental and climate benefits, if bamboo can overcome its image problem.