The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism

Promoting the role of natural regeneration in large-scale forest and landscape restoration: challenges and opportunities, and consultation to operationalize the Regional Strategy and Action Plan for forest and landscape restoration in Asia-Pacific

Year published: 31/05/2017

In 2011, the Bonn Challenge was announced along with a goal to restore 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands by 2020. This ambitious target was reinforced during the UN Climate Summit 2014 in New York where more than 130 signatories endorsed calls to restore more than 350 million hectares of forests and croplands by 2030. In the Asia-Pacific region, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has set a goal to increase forest cover in the region by at least 20 million hectares by 2020, and member countries of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) and other organizations are placing increasing emphasis on forest restoration since the last APFW held in the Philippines in 2016.

In light of these ambitious global targets and emerging national commitments, it is important to develop low-cost strategies and techniques for landscape restoration. The most widely used restoration approach, planting trees, is often costly and limited in terms of restoring vast expanses of degraded forestlands.

In order to better understand the challenges and opportunities for regenerating natural forests and for including regeneration as a major component of large-scale restoration initiatives, there will be a regional workshop in Nanning, Guangxi Province, China from 19 to 21 June 2017. The specific objectives of the workshop are as follows:

  • raise awareness among policymakers and practitioners of the potential for natural generation to contribute towards achieving forest restoration goals;
  • share experience in and scope for using natural regeneration as a tool for forest restoration;
  • discuss key issues related to restoring forestlands through natural regeneration including the ecology, regeneration techniques and monitoring, enabling policy, regulatory and institutional framework, and the economic and social dimensions of natural regeneration;
  • identify barriers, gaps and opportunities for mainstreaming the application of natural regeneration as a viable and effective strategy in forest restoration; and
  • develop recommendations on the way forward to promote the use of natural regeneration in regional and national restoration initiatives.

The results of the workshop will also feed into the consultation on the regional strategy and action plan for forest and landscape restoration, which will be incorporated into the final session of the workshop.

The workshop participants will include managers and practitioners of forest restoration, including forestry officials from selected Asia-Pacific countries as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations, academia and research institutions working on forest restoration programmes and projects in the region.

The workshop is expected to produce the following outputs:

  • workshop proceedings, including a summary of discussions and presented papers; and
  • policy briefs outlining key messages for policy-makers based on the workshop discussions.

Unna Chokkalingam