El Mecanismo para la Restauración de Bosques y Paisajes

The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism sparks vibrant dialogue on resource mobilization at the sixth advisory group meeting

Year published: 15/12/2023

The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) hosted its sixth advisory group and knowledge-sharing event in Rome, Italy, from 9 to 13 October 2023. This marked a significant milestone as it was the first in-person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic, signalling a return to normality in global interactions.  

The event brought together many influential individuals, including government representatives and project coordinators, who met to share ideas and insights about forest and landscape restoration (FLR). Among the attendees were representatives of key financial partners, including the International Climate Initiative (IKI), the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and the Korean Forest Service (KFS). Additionally, representatives of the FAO’s operational units for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) provided insights on the functioning of these funds and their respective funding windows. These partners all play a crucial role in bringing FLR-related projects to fruition. 

A key theme of the gathering was resource mobilization, with dedicated sessions where donor representatives explained the purpose and selection process for funding priority areas deemed critical in the near future. The IKI, for instance, presented a comprehensive overview of its fund, describing its core elements, background and selection procedure. The meeting also provided a platform to evaluate the achievements facilitated by the KFS fund and explore avenues to enhance collaboration between FAO and the KFS, particularly in the context of Phase 3 of their collaborative efforts in restoration projects.  

The FFEM unveiled its strategy for 2023–2026, structured around five priority themes, two of which are relevant to the work of the FLRM and its partners: 1)  biodiversity conservation and enhancement, and 2)  sustainable management of agricultural and forest landscapes. Understanding these is important to identify potential areas for collaboration and achieve a common vision. Participants had an important opportunity to explore the GEF, which underscored the importance of ecosystem restoration (within the GEF8 Integrated Program on Ecosystem Restoration). The commitment of the GEF to scaling up financing for nature-based solutions to address environmental challenges was also highlighted. 

Participants also explored access to the GCF, including its readiness window. The importance of synergies between the GEF and the GCF was also stressed as projects piloted under the GEF provide an excellent basis for upscaling under the GCF. During this session, a representative from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) called attention to the opportunity at country level to provide funding for developing climate change project proposals and concept notes.  

The advisory group meeting enabled partner countries to gain a clear understanding of different funding opportunities and donor perspectives while providing donors with insights into the challenges and dynamics faced by practitioners in the field. Finally, it emphasized underscores the broad commitment to the restoration and sustainable management of forests and landscapes in restoration work and projects throughout the world in the face of global environmental challenges.  

Sangick Lee, FAO