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Forest landscape restoration (FLR) and Bonn Challenge

Topics covered:

  1. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
  2. Conservation related issues.


Forest landscape restoration (FLR) and Bonn Challenge


What to study?

For prelims and mains: FLR and Bonn challenge- features and significance.


Context: The centre has launched a flagship project on enhancing capacity on forest landscape restoration (FLR) and Bonn Challenge in India, through a pilot phase of 3.5 years implemented in the States of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Karnataka.



At the UNFCC Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 in Paris, India also joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge pledge to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2020, and additional 8 million hectares by 2030. India’s pledge is one of the largest in Asia.


What is Bonn Challenge? What is FLR approach?

The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.

The 2020 target was launched at a high level event in Bonn in 2011 organised by the Government of Germany and IUCN, and was later endorsed and extended to 2030 by the New York Declaration on Forests of the 2014 UN Climate Summit.

The Bonn Challenge is an implementation vehicle for national priorities such as water and food security and rural development while simultaneously helping countries contribute to the achievement of international climate change, biodiversity and land degradation commitments.


Underlying the Bonn Challenge is the forest landscape restoration (FLR) approach, which aims to restore ecological integrity at the same time as improving human well-being through multifunctional landscapes.

It will create approximately USD 84 billion per year in net benefits that could bring direct additional income opportunities for rural communities.


What is FLR?

  • Forest landscape restoration (FLR) is the on-going process of regaining ecological functionality and enhancing human well-being across deforested or degraded forest landscapes.
  • FLR is more than just planting trees – it is restoring a whole landscape to meet present and future needs.
  • It is long-term because it requires a multi-year vision of the ecological functions.
  • The majority of restoration opportunities are found on or adjacent to agricultural or pastoral land. In these situations, restoration must complement and not displace existing land uses.
  • This result in a mosaic of different land uses including: agriculture, agroforestry systems and improved ecological corridors.
  • It integrates a number of guiding principles, including: Focus on landscapes, restore functionality, Involve stakeholders, Tailor to local conditions and Avoid further reduction of natural forest cover.