Protecting forests from degradation, deforestation and fragmentation, and tree-based landscape restoration are globally recognized as cost-effective solutions for combatting climate change. As part of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris climate agreement, India committed to sequester additional 2.5 to 3 billion tons CO2 equivalent by 2030. The Restoration Opportunities Atlas brings together best available data and rigorous analysis relevant to India’s NDC. The Atlas will be useful for decision-makers in national and state governments, funding agencies, restoration practitioners, researchers and academics as well as private and civil society organizations committed to climate action in India.
India has nearly 140 million hectares of potential for forest protection and landscape restoration that can sequester 3 to 4.3 billion tons of above ground carbon by 2040.
Forest protection and landscape restoration can lead to a range of benefits including biodiversity conservation, provisioning of fuelwood, fodder and non-timber forest produce and enhanced livelihood opportunities for local communities.
India’s extensive and varied experience of initiatives for improving forest and tree cover provide a strong foundation for planning programs and projects at scale. Local communities play an integral role in protecting forests and restoring forest and tree cover.
Protecting forests from degradation, deforestation and fragmentation, and tree-based landscape restoration are globally recognised as cost-effective solutions for combatting climate change. This technical note summarizes the methodology used to prepare the Restoration Opportunities Atlas for India. This Restoration Opportunities Atlas is a first-of-its-kind, web-based, accessible platform that brings together information relevant for India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement, which includes a commitment to sequester additional 2.5 to 3 billion tons CO2 equivalent by 2030 through increased forest and tree cover. Official estimates suggest that this commitment can only be achieved if existing forests are protected and improved and tree cover is extended by 25 to 30 million hectares. The Restoration Opportunities Atlas brings together best available data and rigorous analysis to answer three questions:
Where can forest and tree cover be protected and increased, and how much carbon sequestration will this result in?
Which tree-based interventions have been implemented in different states? Who are the principal actors who have implemented these projects?
What necessary enabling conditions need to be in place and what risks addressed to ensure achievement of protection and restoration goals?
The Restoration Opportunities Atlas has been developed by WRI India with guidance from a technical working group comprising experts from leading organizations in the environment and development sectors. The atlas will help decision-makers develop broad pathways for achieving the NDC and to plan for landscape restoration at scale to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.