Launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: Central Africa commits to the restoration of...

Central African countries' commitments to landscape restoration have the potential to deliver about three times more the climate benefits of all GCF allocations to date… These Central African commitments represent 24% of global commitments and 28% of African countries' commitments under the Bonn challenges...

The Central Theme of the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration is formulated as follows: “Preventing, halting and reversing the degradation of ecosystems worldwide.”

 

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a global rallying cry to heal our planet. What will you restore?

 

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration will launch with World Environment Day 2021 (5 June) - but action around the world is already taking off. Tag your social media posts with #GenerationRestoration and follow the movement here.

 

Central Africa Landscape restoration pledged has the potential to deliver more climate benefits than all GCF allocations to date

Under the Bonn Challenge (the Bonn Challenge is a global goal to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030) and the AFR 100 (the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative, a country-led effort to restore 100 million hectares of land in Africa by 2030), Central African countries have committed to restoring 35 million hectares of forest in the Congo Basin. This commitment, spread over 7 Central African countries, represents 24% of the global commitments and 28% of the commitments of African countries under the Bonn Challenges. Under the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), the commitments of Central African countries represent 35% of Africa's commitments. The implementation of this commitment corresponds to potential benefits.

 

Investments in Forest restoration in Central Africa (Congo Basin), if are made, they could result in Billions in net benefits - A significant return on investment which could ringfence $ 11 Billion in Economic benefits and 3,37GtCO2 sequestered equivalent avoided in Climate Benefits. Research shows that for every dollar invested in restoring degraded forests, a return of $7 to $30 in economic benefits can be expected.

 

Investments in nature-based solutions can help. They typically create low-skill and fast-implementing jobs — on average, between 7 and 40 jobs per $1 million invested.

 

Comparing this Central African commitment with the results of the Green Climate Fund, it is clear that investing in the Bonn challenge in Central Africa would bring major comparative benefits for climate regulation almost double the investment of the Green Climate Fund.

 

To date, the Green Climate Fund has committed US$8.4 billion in funding for a Climate benefits: 1.8 billion anticipated tons of CO2 equivalent avoided:

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Central Africa is called upon to strengthen its participation in the next Global Landscape Forum which will focus mainly on Africa. Find out more...

 

In a recently published interview, the Director General of CIFOR argues that forest restoration could ring fence $6.3 trillion in ecosystem services (8.3 percent of global GDP in 2016)

 

Read more: Forest restoration could ring fence $6.3 trillion in ecosystem services

 

The price of deforestation and degradation is enormous, said Robert Nasi, director general of CIFOR and managing director of CIFOR-ICRAF, speaking at the Global Forest Summit.

 

Each year, deforestation or agriculture-related land degradation activities release about a quarter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Their vast carbon storage capacity means that conserving and restoring them is considered a key nature-based solution for keeping global warming in check – and one which has the potential to offer substantial returns.

 

Under the Bonn Challenge, countries have committed voluntarily to restore 350 million hectares by 2030, but massive investments are needed. Nasi argues that a business model should be developed to meet restoration targets.

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Five Action Areas for Restoring Ecosystems and Economies

Almost a quarter of the world’s land area has been degraded over the past 50 years, costing the world an estimated $6.3 trillion a year (8.3 percent of global GDP in 2016) in ecosystem service value. Restoration activities, from “rewilding” ecosystems to regenerating farmland, offer a diverse array of economic prospects. For example, they generate an estimated $7 to $30 in benefits for every dollar invested. Below are five key action areas for COVID-19 stimulus efforts where restoration activities can deliver economic and many other benefits.

 

Restore forests. Restoring degraded forests has significant economic potential in many countries. In the United States, the “restoration economy” already generates an estimated $9.5 billion in annual economic output and directly supports more than 125,000 jobs. An annual federal investment of $4 billion to $4.5 billion could more than double that — creating more than 150,000 jobs per year, three times as many jobs as logging currently supports and many more jobs per dollar invested than other industries. These jobs include foresters, botanists, technicians, and laborers. Maintaining this investment over 20 years could restore up to 60 billion trees by restocking degraded forests as well as establishing agroforestry and silvo-pasture systems, expanding urban forests, and reforesting non-agricultural lands. These opportunities, which are found mostly on private lands, could support underserved rural and urban communities by bringing $6 billion to $12 billion per year in economic growth.

 

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