The IUCN India in partnership with MoEF&CC and ICFRE under the Bonn Challenge, organised a two day South Asia Regional Consultation on Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR): Challenges, Opportunities and Way Forward towards the Bonn Challenge Pledge from 29-30 August 2017 at New Delhi. Mr. Varun Grover participated in the consultation from NCCF.
The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030. Underlying the Bonn Challenge is the forest landscape restoration (FLR) approach, which aims to restore ecological integrity at the same time as improving human well-being through multifunctional landscapes.
A total of 85 delegates from India, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh attended the consultation. The two-day consultation provided a forum for countries to:
• Showcase the progress they had made on their restoration commitments, both national and towards the Bonn Challenge
• Share their experiences on restoration, with a special focus on the tools, financial mechanisms and policies developed to support forest landscape restoration
• Identify gaps in communication, technical support and partnerships needed to accelerate action on forest landscape restoration
• Exchange key lessons on restoring unique ecosystems, such as mountains, grasslands and mangroves
• Explore the need for a regional platform on forest landscape restoration for inter-country cooperation and promotion of trans-boundary knowledge sharing.
Session 1: Priorities and Progress - Key Issues from Restoration Experiences in South Asia
Session 2: Panel discussion on best practices in restoration, opportunities and challenges – perspectives from Indian States
Session 3: Sharing of restoration experiences from non-governmental agencies
Session 4: Tools, Techniques and Policies - enabling environment for Forest landscape restoration programmes
Session 5: Forest Landscape Restoration – Finance and Partnerships
The consultation was a landmark event that brought together government representatives, non-governmental organisations, private sector representatives and bilateral and multilateral agencies from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It significantly increased awareness in the region on the benefits of forest landscape restoration and the role that the Bonn Challenge can play as a platform for accelerating restoration, meeting national priorities and fulfilling international commitments, while helping the countries who have committed towards the Bonn Challenge pledge to start discussing the progress they have made towards their respective pledges.