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Review of forest and landscape restoration in Africa 2021

The purpose of this report is to assess the current implementation of forest and landscape restoration (FLR) in Africa. It presents the context for FLR on the African continent, highlights major FLR initiatives, and provides an overview of FLR in Africa at the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030). It identifies key challenges, opportunities, actors and processes, illustrated with some case studies. Data collection was both primary (interviews) and secondary (extensive desk research).

The report contributes to tracking progress on the implementation of AFR100 and other FLR initiatives in Africa on the ground. It provides a baseline for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and is expected to be updated at regular intervals. The report is prepared under the jointly implemented regional technical cooperation programme by FAO Regional Office for Africa (RAF) and the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) “Support to the implementation and monitoring of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100)” and in close collaboration with AFR100 Management Team members and partners. It is also responding to the recommendation of the 22nd Session of FAO African Forestry and Wildlife Commission1, held in March 2020 in South Africa.

The report is structured as follows: Chapter 1 introduces the importance of Africa’s forests and tree-based landscapes and to the challenges they and their people face, as well as the relevance of restoration and the global policy context. The next chapter presents an overview of FLR and restoration more generally. The third chapter provides a more detailed overview for Africa’s subregions of the current status of forests with examples of FLR initiatives (or other relevant ones that may not have the FLR label but are in fact aligned with FLR). Chapter 4 then reviews some key success factors for FLR in Africa. Chapter 5 presents opportunities going forward and remaining challenges.

The last chapter is more forward-looking and speculative, highlighting potential priorities for FLR in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.