About 30 percent of potential global forest cover has been completely cleared and a further 20 percent has been degraded. But the spiral of increasing degradation and poverty can be broken.
A new global assessment used consistent data to map degraded forest lands and restoration opportunities at 1x1 km resolution. Historical and current forest extent was considered along with current land use and population density.
The result suggests that some 2 billion hectares provide opportunities for restoration, an area bigger than South America. Three quarters of the opportunity area is in mosaic landscapes where people, trees, and food production meet. The biggest opportunity is in Africa.
The result inspired the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration to issue the Bonn Challenge: to restore 150 million hectares by the year 2020.
The poster will show how the map was made and how individual countries can assess their own restoration opportunities.
Forest and landscape restoration captures synergies among climate change, biodiversity, and land degradation objectives. For some, forest and landscape restoration secures freshwater supplies, curbs erosion, and prevents landslides. For others, restoration captures carbon and protects local biodiversity. For yet others, restoration provides food security and local biomass supplies. For nearly all, restoration creates jobs and greens the economy. The beauty of restoration is that it can offer benefits for everyone.
A restored landscape can accommodate a mosaic of land uses such as agriculture, protected reserves, ecological corridors, regenerating forests, well-managed plantations, agroforestry systems, and riparian plantings to protect waterways.