The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism

A Task Force on Best Practices

The UN Decade Task Force on Best Practices

WHY A TASK FORCE?

Unsustainable land use and destruction of natural ecosystems have contributed to global land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss. To prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2021–2030 as the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

All ecosystems, terrestrial and aquatic, have the potential to be restored. For the Decade, ecosystem restoration encompasses a wide continuum of activities that contribute to protecting intact ecosystems, avoid further degradation and repairing degraded ones. It means that restoration can happen in many ways and that it is not always possible – or desirable – to return an ecosystem to its original state. In that case, the goal is to optimize ecosystem functions and services, and to improve management practices and governance.

To support the implementation of the Decade, a FAO-led Task Force on Best Practices was established. This Task Force focuses on shaping the knowledge component of the UN Decade, including capacity development efforts and capitalization as well as sharing and dissemination of good practices for restoration in all ecosystems.

OUTPUTS

A roadmap was collaboratively developed around seven outputs:

  • Output 1: Task Force is operational, with clear Terms of Reference and representatives from key technical organizations.

  • Output 2: Ecosystems and geographies where knowledge capitalization will be focused at the first stage are prioritized.

  • Output 3: Partners are identified, and ways to interact with them to share, collect or generate knowledge are agreed upon.

  • Output 4: Capacity needs assessment is undertaken at global level for all stakeholders involved in ecosystem restoration.

  • Output 5: Action plan on knowledge and learning is developed and approved by the task force, based on the results of the capacity needs assessment.

  • Output 6: Terms of Reference for a short-list of flagship products that could be elaborated in the context of the UN Decade are developed.

  • Output 7: Good practices are collected and / or capitalized according to pre-agreed formats, endorsed and made available through the UN Decade digital hub and other partners’ websites and resources.

MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS

Output 1: Task force is operational, with clear Terms of Reference and representatives from key technical organizations.

A group of 138 members from 57 global leading organizations in the field of knowledge capitalization and dissemination joined the task force on a voluntary basis to contribute to the achievement of the outputs. Members of the task force currently focus efforts on outputs 4 (capacity needs assessment), 5 (Action plan on knowledge and learning ) and 7 (collection/capitalization of good practices). The task force is also coordinating with other relevant efforts, including those of the UN Decade task forces on Monitoring and Science.

Output 4: Capacity needs assessment is undertaken at global level for all stakeholders involved in ecosystem restoration.

A global capacity needs assessment to identify what and whose “system-wide capacities” need to be enhanced to achieve the goals of the Decade has been undertaken in order to:

  • provide a baseline of existing capacities;

  • help identify strengths, gaps, needs and barriers to achieving global restoration goals;

  • guide the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’s capacity development efforts, to the benefit of all involved, by helping to shape a knowledge and learning action plan (output 5).

A full report on this assessment will be presented in early September 2021, at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

Output 7: Good practices are collected and / or capitalized according to pre-agreed formats, endorsed and made available through the UN Decade digital hub and other partners’ websites and resources.

To successfully scale-up restoration, practitioners need to easily access good practices. To do so, the task force has been focused on:

  1. Shaping guiding principles for ecosystem restoration: ten principles applicable to all sectors, biomes and regions were developed and published in the brochure “Principles for ecosystem restoration to guide the United Nations Decade 2021–2030”. To develop the publication, besides Decade Lead Agencies UNEP and FAO (the coordinator of the Task Force), the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Commission for Ecosystem Management (CEM) acted as main convenor with the collaboration of WWF, CIFOR-ICRAF, and Ecohealth Network.
  2. Capitalizing and availing of existing good practices: A stock-taking of knowledge platforms that collect and disseminate validated good practices in different ecosystems is ongoing, in order to facilitate their access by linking these existing platforms to the UN Decade digital hub and guiding the users to the most relevant content according to their needs.
  3. Collecting new practices: Preparation of the long-term process of collection of new practices during the Decade.Access the template and submit your good practice here.

    HOW CAN YOU COLLABORATE WITH US?

    Strong cooperation with partners and stakeholders involved in restoration is key to fulfil specific needs for successful ecosystem restoration across the globe. You can be part of that effort by supporting the collection and dissemination of good practices by sharing widely the template of good practices and the existing good practices databases and other knowledge resources among your networks.