Honduras will host the Third Meeting of the Bonn Challenge Latin America

The Bonn Challenge considered to be the greatest global restoration initiative that has established a restoration goal of 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year of 2020.

The Bonn Challenge was launched in September 2011 during a ministerial event organized by the Federal Republic of Germany and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN), and supported by the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration (GPFLR).

This initiative was designed as a means of implementation for different existing international commitments, particularly, the REDD+ objectives under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (CMNUCC) and Aichi Target 15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), as well as others related to soil degradation.

In addition, the New York Declaration on Forests agreed during the UN Climate Summit in 2014, has promoted a global drive for restoration. More than a hundred governments, several civil society organizations, indigenous populations and private companies subscribed to this Declaration. Within this context, the Declaration included the Bonn Challenge goal among its ambitions and, in recognition to this urgent need, stretched this goal even more, by adding 200 million hectares for the year 2030.

Up to date, the Bonn Challenge has achieved 40 commitments from several countries, subnational governments and non-government organizations, to restore more than 148 million hectares of degraded land. In Latin America are 18 announced commitments for a total of 35,64 million hectares, among those countries are: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, among others.

In March of 2015, the second Bonn Challenge meeting took place. This meeting had the purpose of making a balance of the progress made since the launching of the Initiative in 2011, announce new commitments, policies and other pertinent measures with the purpose of deepening and strengthening the forest landscape restoration worldwide. Explore opportunities to create and implement new and creative associations for the execution of restoration actions.

In August of 2015, the First Regional Meeting in Latin America took place in El Salvador, which promoted restoration efforts in the countries of the region, in order to be added to the Initiative and establish local commitments. This, through an international dialogue platform that will approach topics like capacity building, cooperation systems and financing mechanisms, associated to landscape restoration.

This meeting reflected the need to foster capacity building by means of South-South cooperation, through specialized knowledge, advisory, development of learning networks, creation of instruments and technical tools; making use of experiences, not only among the countries of the region, but also with Africa and Asia.

The second edition of the Bonn Challenge in Latin America took place in August 2016, in the city of Panama; its goal was to make a balance of the progress made by the countries regarding its compliance with the restoration commitments. At the same time, it showed progress within the framework of public policies, plans and strategies contributing to the creation of links and synergies for the facilitation of landscape restoration actions.

The Bonn Challenge Latin America 2016, demonstrated the importance in the development of public policies and guidelines, which have to facilitate field actions, effectively incorporate the private sector in financing the restoration and harmonize inter-institutional agendas, so that all restoration actions performed contribute to a sustainable development of the communities that live in the forests.

This year dialogue platform focuses its discussion in two important landscape restoration subjects: first the forest governance, and second the generation of employment associated to the forests.

On one side, good governance frequently allows that forest resources to be utilize in an efficient, sustainable and equitable way. This also is a indicative that the countries are complying with their forest sector and land usage goals.

The discussion about forest governance for landscape restoration, allows making a general analysis that identifies weak points and visualizes proper solutions.  This enables a clear response through concrete actions to obtain short, medium and long term results, generating a learning, adaptation and continuous improvement process for the governing bodies in regard to forest matters.

Employment generation associated to the forests, allows the reestablishment of the natural asset.  Landscape restoration opens itself as an opportunity for employment generation due to its low demand of capital, a high multiplying effect, as well as a high flexibility and adaptability to diverse market situations.

It is in this way that this meeting expects to contribute to a political dialogue through the formulation of environmental investment conditions, and promote the interest of private supporters, allowing the employment generation and climate investment at a higher scale.

The goals of Bonn Challenge Latin America 2017 are:

  1. Propitiate the creation of technical and political capacities towards landscape restoration activities.
  2. Experience sharing with the Latin American region about good governance forestry and employment generation processes associated with landscape restoration
  3. Strengthen the ties of cooperation between the countries of the region.