Title: Global project on forest landscape restoration and good governance in the forest sector Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Country: Germany, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Togo, Côte d'Ivoire, Laos Overall term: 2020 to 2023
About one third of the earth's surface is covered by forests. Their value is immeasurable: around 80 per cent of known animal and plant species outside the oceans are found in forests. At the same time, the forest provides a livelihood for one in five people.
Every year, however, more than 7.6 million hectares of forest are lost – a large part of it in the tropics and subtropics – for the expansion of agricultural land. The loss of forest areas also leads to the loss of a major carbon sink, while deforestation releases additional greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.
Forest conservation is an important measure in the fight against climate change: natural regeneration, reforestation and agroforestry measures that combine crops with trees can bind carbon in the long term. Erosion control and improved water availability also make a significant contribution to climate change adaptation.
At international level, there are a large number of agreements on the protection, sustainable use and restoration of forests. These include the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDC) adopted in 2014, which aims to put a complete halt to deforestation. It also aims to restore 350 million hectares of degraded landscapes and forest lands by 2030. This is a continuation of the goals of the Bonn Challenge – another global goal for forest landscape restoration (FLR).
The ambitious goals for forest protection have yet to be adequately implemented. Partner countries have the political will, but weak governance in the forestry sector and a lack of coordination of individual measures are slowing down progress towards achieving the goals.
Forest reconstruction and the restoration of tree-rich, productive landscapes are increasingly being implemented in Ethiopia, Madagascar and Togo. Forest governance has improved. The EU Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) has made significant progress in cooperation with Côte d'Ivoire and Laos.
On behalf of and in close coordination with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Forests4Future project is pursuing various fields of action.
It advises the Federal Ministry on FLR and FLEGT. It also provides conceptual support for the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) and is involved in steering the Initiative. Forests4Future deals with issues related to the Bonn Challenge and other international FLR-related initiatives. In addition, European and international processes to improve governance in the forest sector are supported, especially FLEGT. Important contributions to achieving the national FLR goals in selected partner countries are implemented.
Reforestation measures are to be implemented on an area of 2,000 hectares in Ethiopia, Madagascar and Togo. This will improve biomass quality and reduce erosion, which has a positive impact on biodiversity and water availability.
Furthermore, income from the use of forests and tree-rich, productive landscapes will increase by an average of 10 per cent for 1,700 households in the regions. The project will support women and young people in particular.