The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism

The sixth advisory group knowledge-sharing event of the Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism

Year published: 15/12/2023

The advisory group of the Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) met on 9–13 October 2023 in Rome, Italy, to discuss progress and provide guidance for the FLRM’s future work. Colleagues from FAO’s Regional Offices and representatives of countries receiving support from the FLRM were convened to discuss current and future FLRM activities. This year, 14 country delegations attended the meeting in person to review implementation of forest and landscape restoration (FLR) projects at the regional, national and global scale: Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Guinea, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Philippines, Sao Tome and Principe and Vanuatu.  

Taking advantage of having the advisory group members present, the fourth meeting of the Joint Organizing Committee of the Eighth Mediterranean Forest Week and Twenty-Fifth Session of the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions - Silva Mediterranea, was held as a parallel side event afterwards. 

The FLRM’s sixth advisory group meeting was attended by both donors and project implementers, representing The Restoration Initiative (TRI), the International Climate Initiative (IKI), the French Facility for Global Environmental (FFEM), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Alliance for Restoration of Forest Ecosystems in Africa (AREECA) and the Korean Forest Service (KFS)

Session 1 focused on the overall outlook of FLRM projects and activities supported at the global, regional and national levels. With initial funding from the KFS, the FFEM and the GEF, the FLRM will continue to support ongoing FLR initiatives in over 20 countries through 2024. This discussion provided an opportunity for participants to learn about the FLRM’s support, and emphasized the importance of strengthening collaboration further, through initiatives such as TRI, The Economics of Ecosystem Restoration (TEER), The Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), the 20x20 Initiative, AFR100 and the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions - Silva Mediterranea.   

During session 2, several country representatives talked about ongoing projects, their impacts and the prospects for restoration practices. All participants came together to discuss their ongoing work, ask questions and share knowledge. The FLRM’s initiatives in Kenya highlighted the importance of increasing capacity building within FLR projects, while the mechanism’s initiatives in Malawi showed how the implementation of appropriate policies is a prerequisite for upscaling FLR projects in the long term. Representatives of the Great Green Wall project, a World Restoration Flagship under the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, presented plans to upscale restoration efforts in the Sahel region.  

Session 3 explored the importance of monitoring tools within restoration projects. One of the main outcomes of this monitoring session was the need, identified both by donors and country teams, to have more precise spatial information so that activities can be monitored more accurately and FLR projects can be displayed and monitored through the Framework for Ecosystem Restoration Monitoring (FERM). Finally, this session allowed representatives to provide insights on their prospects for FLR projects in the coming years.  

Session 4 enabled all representatives to participate in parallel discussions on interesting topics that may benefit restoration initiatives. The topics ranged from how to use a monitoring tool through the FERM platform; in-depth analysis of gender and youth participation in FLRM projects; Indigenous People’s biocentric restoration; and sustainable forest value chains, investments and innovation. Participants could also attend a participatory Questions and Answers session with the GEF and GCF teams at FAO headquarters to better understand the processes involved in potentially upscaling projects piloted with GEF funding, or for joint GCF-GEF resource mobilization.  

Overall, this meeting represented an excellent opportunity to enhance synergies with representatives of the FLRM Advisory Group and receive feedback on how the FLRM can improve collaboration quality with countries and partners. 

Alessandra Amati and Benjamin DeRidder, FAO