The need to assess and (re)design restoration plans, link them to finance, and upscale implementation was the focus of a side event held during the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) in Montreal, Canada. The event described how the Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (FERI), established in 2015 and funded by the Korea Forest Service (KFS), provides capacity building to support these efforts. 

Speakers at the 14 December event, organized by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), highlighted:

  • that twelve countries are piloting FERI through small-scale innovative restoration projects and that strengthening FERI for the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) is expected;
  • the Seoul Forest Declaration, adopted at the 15th World Forestry Congress, which calls for increased investment in forest restoration to address climate change and biodiversity loss;
  • the WePlan – Forests – a decision support platform for forest ecosystem restoration;
  • experiences in the Rainforests of the Atsinanana in Madagascar, including interventions in three national parks to ensure the survival of ecological processes and threatened species in endangered sites;
  • The Economics of Ecosystem Restoration (TEER) initiative, which collects data and is developing standardized cost-benefit language;
  • a free, massive, open, online course (MOOC) e-learning module called, ‘Learning for Nature,’ offered by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and CBD;
  • the development of standards of practice (SOPs) for ecosystem restoration and a Restoration Continuum on improving biodiversity, ecological integrity, and ecosystem services; and
  • the release of the Executive Summary and Beta version of the SOPs for Ecosystem Restoration, to be finalized in 2023 following additional consultations.

 Other 14 December events:

  • provided an example of resource mobilization at the national level, focusing on Botswana’s National Environmental Fund, which provides long-term financing for sustainable environmental and natural resource management, and aims to ensure access to financial resources to maintain and enhance the country’s national environmental management agenda;
  • celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP), which provides financial and technical support to civil society and community-based organizations on innovative, community-driven initiatives that address global environmental issues;
  • introduced the Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative (PBDI), through which CBD parties can share knowledge and best practices in transboundary cooperation and strengthen existing or develop new cooperation mechanisms, with presentations highlighting how transboundary conservation areas can contribute to implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and contribute to peace; and
  • saw representatives of the Governments of Peru and Brazil exchange experiences on the execution of access and benefit-sharing (ABS) legislation and introduced a publication updating Brazilian legislation on access to genetic heritage, including laws and standards, resolutions, and technical guidelines, including in relation to the Nagoya Protocol on ABS.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) covered selected side events at the UN Biodiversity Conference, which convened from 7-19 December 2022.