El Mecanismo para la Restauración de Bosques y Paisajes

The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism at the 10th World Conference on Ecological Restoration

Year published: 15/12/2023

Focused on the stronger relationship between people and nature, the 10th World Conference on Ecological Restoration was held in Darwin, Australia, on 26-30 September 2023. The conference emphasized the role of restoration in reviving and improving that connection. Therefore, the value of traditional and local knowledge was particularly highlighted during the conference, which was organized by the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) and SER-Australasia, and other partners in Australia’s Northern Territory, an area traditionally owned by the Larrakia people. Prior to the start of the conference (24-26 September), the first in-person Advisory Board meeting of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (UN Decade) was held as an opportunity to, among others, discuss with Board Members on key achievements of the two UN Decade Taskforces on Monitoring and Best Practices, led by FAO. Several board members committed to promote the products developed by the FAO-led taskforces and to play a role of Ambassadors. A road map was approved for 2024/2025. 

During the conference, the FAO’s Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM) convened the following sessions in the context of the UN Decade and its Taskforce on Best Practices, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and The Restoration Initiative (TRI)

 Two sessions were organized by the UN Decade Task Force on Best Practices: the first session started with an overview of the progress made in the context of the UN Decade provided by Tiina Vähänen, Deputy Director of FAO’s Forestry Division. The highlight of the session was the launch of the early release version of the Standards of practice to guide ecosystem restoration, developed in partnership with SER and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Commission on Ecosystem Management, and in collaboration with 25 organizations. The standards provide over 300 recommended practices to assist restoration practitioners with developing projects that reflect the UN Decade principles. They were subject to a series of consultative processes, including a targeted consultation with Indigenous Peoples. As a result, the publication highlights the critical importance of the meaningful involvement of Indigenous Peoples, as well as best practices for engaging them, within breakout boxes and throughout the main text for each component of the restoration process. The official version will be available online in December 2023 and a tool to support adoption of the standards will be developed in 2024.  

A second session focused on the Capacity, knowledge and learning action plan for the UN Decade, developed to address capacity gaps identified through a global assessment. The action plan proposes eight capacity development initiatives tailored to all relevant stakeholder groups involved in restoration. The session addressed ongoing efforts and opportunities for collaboration in the implementation of the action plan, which will start in 2024.  

With the aim to share experiences and lessons learned both from enhancing the enabling environment for FLR and actual implementation on the ground, several restoration projects supported by the FLRM were showcased through two sessions: the first session brought together country representatives from the Pacific Island who have received support from the IKI to transform restoration ambition into results both at national and regional levels. These include the Philippines (Bohol Island and Bataan watershed), Fiji (Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands) and Vanuatu, a country were IKI supported the development of the National Strategy on Forest and Landscape Restoration. The second session provided the opportunity for representatives from Pakistan, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cameroun to present progress of the projects under the TRI.  

In both sessions, country representatives presented and discussed examples of the varied technical tools and approaches to plan (policies), implement (restoration interventions), and monitor restoration in conjunction with local knowledge that are enabling transformation from restoration ambition into concrete and effective results on the ground. 

Andrea Romero Montoya, Benjamin DeRidder, Christophe Besacier, FAO