The largest restoration initiative the world has ever seen - now known as the Bonn Challenge - gathered momentum today at a Ministerial High Level Dialogue at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea.
The High Level Dialogue took the opportunity to build on international efforts and partnership towards achieving the Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands by 2020, and also to discuss the broader global Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) agenda. Experiences, insights and plans for FLR were discussed and shared among the participants.
All participants – taking the lead of co-hosts, the Korean Forestry Ministry and IUCN – shared their experience, insights and initiatives relating to national, regional and international restoration efforts.
All panellists recognised and praised the Bonn Challenge and its potential for delivering important results which respond to several global challenges, such as the fight against climate change, alleviating poverty, contributing to a green economy and preserving biodiversity.
Amongst other exciting developments, El Salvador announced a ‘pre-pledge’ to contribute 1 million hectares of restored forest land to the Bonn Challenge; Mexico urged concerted international partnership and effort to meet the 150 million ha target; and Honduras shared its strategy to restore 1.5 million ha of forest lands by 2038.
It is hoped that these Latin American contributions to the Bonn Challenge will be further elaborated and explored in discussions over the coming months.
Following the High Level Dialogue, panellists retreated to a private luncheon and walk through the local ‘Healing Forest’ of Jeju, at the invitation of the Korean co-hosts.
The High Level Dialogue participants were:
• H.E. Dr. Don Koo Lee - Minister, Korea Forest Service (KFS)
• Mr. Ashok Khosla – IUCN President
• Ms. Debora Barry – Head, El Salvador Delegation
• Mr. Marcel Brenninkmeijer - Founder, Good Energies
• Mr. Andrew John Rhodes Espinoza - Director, Climate Change Strategies, National Commission on Protected Natural Areas (CONANP)
• Mr. Jose Antonio Galdames - Vice Minister, National Institute of Conservation and Development of Forest, Protected Areas and Wildlife
• Mr. Luc Gnacadja - Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
• Mr. Cal Joyner - Associate Deputy Chief, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service
• Ms. Shuxin Li - Deputy Director General, Asia-pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation (APFNET)
• Mr. Stewart Maginnis – IUCN Global Director, Nature-based Solutions and Rights Group
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