Bonn Challenge Celebrates First Achieved Pledge
UN Photo/Eva Fendiaspara
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The “Billion Tree Tsunami” project in Pakistan’s Hindu Kush mountain range became the first to fulfill a pledge towards the Bonn Challenge by restoring nearly 350,000 hectares of deforested and degraded land.

The achievement was announced during the Central African event preparatory event for the 3rd African High Level Roundtable on the Bonn Challenge and the 3rd International High Level Roundtable on the Bonn Challenge.

April 2018: The “Billion Tree Tsunami” project in Pakistan’s Hindu Kush mountain range became the first to fulfill a pledge towards the Bonn Challenge, by restoring nearly 350,000 hectares of deforested and degraded land.

The achievement was announced at the Central African event preparatory event for the 3rd African High Level Roundtable on the Bonn Challenge and the 3rd International High Level Roundtable on the Bonn Challenge, which took place on 21 and 22 March respectively.

At the Central African event, which was hosted by the Republic of Congo in collaboration with the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), government ministers and FLR experts from 10 countries addressed how to accelerate and finance the implementation of the Bonn Challenge.

The global meeting showcased experiences from Peru, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Malawi, Uruguay, Brazil, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic in FLR innovations, implementation, financing and monitoring in the context of the Bonn Challenge. Pakistan’s northern Khyber Pakhtunkwa Province marked “three firsts”: the first Bonn Challenge sub-national pledge; the first pledge to be fully implemented and even surpassed; and the first pledge to be increased, following an announcement that the province would almost double its total FLR commitment. It was reported that the project has achieved its restoration target through a combination of protected natural regeneration and planned afforestation, and has established 13,000 private tree nurseries helping to boost local incomes, generating thousands of green jobs, and empowering unemployed youth and women in the province.

Other examples of progress highlighted at the global event included: the distribution of US$ 34.8 million in Bangladesh which benefited 652,955 individuals; the success of farmer-managed natural regeneration programmes in Malawi and efforts being made to include the private sector through Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes; and the restoration of 547,000 hectares in Guatemala, who reported they intend to exceed their Bonn Challenge commitment. The IUCN Bonn Challenge Barometer of Progress was highlighted as a flexible yet credible tool to support countries in tracking progress on their commitments as well as helping countries identify bottlenecks and unlock financial and technical support to address them.

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. Upcoming dialogues include a Latin American dialogue in Guatemala in May, the first regional dialogue for Central Asia and the Caucusus in June, and an Asia roundtable scheduled for late 2018. [IUCN Press Release on Brazil and Congo Events] [IUCN Press Release on “Billion Tree Tsunami”] [The Bonn Challenge Website]

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