International Conference on Forest Landscape Restoration under Global Change


“Synthesising and Sharing Globally Available Forest-related Scientific Knowledge”

San Juan, Puerto Rico, 6-9 June 2017


The conference was organised by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) in partnership with the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the United States Forest Service.

The Conference

The one-week conference (by invitation only) was implemented in two different, but interconnected, events as follows:

  • Knowledge-sharing Workshop “Translating global FLR policy into local action” taking place 6-8 June 2017
    Participation of 60 experts on forest landscape restoration from around the world

  • Ministerial-level Policy Dialogue: “Shaping policy for FLR implementation” taking place on 9 June 2017
    Ministers and government officials from 7 countries discuss policy needed for effective restoration on the ground.

Expected Results
The international conference resulted in the following outputs related to three major target audiences:

•    Practitioners: identification of workable  approaches and activities for FLR at national and local scales;

•    Policy makers: recommendations on enabling governance and policy frameworks for forest landscape restoration at national levels; recommendations on international cooperation for further enhancing large-scale FLR implementation.

•    Scientists: identification of existing knowledge gaps, additional research needs and new insights into FLR implementation; and the way forward for closer cooperation between scientists and practitioners in support of FLR implementation;

The results will contribute to major forthcoming international events in 2017, including:

•    The IUFRO 125th Anniversary Conference in Freiburg, Germany in September 2017;

•    The Conference of the Parties 2017 of the UNFCCC COP;

•    CBD SBSTTA in 2017; and

•    Global Landscape Forum, Bonn, Germany, in December 2017.

                                                                    CONFERENCE PROGRAMME



With an estimated 25% of the global land surface being degraded in one way or another, and about 15 % considered appropriate for forest landscape restoration (Global Map of Opportunities on FLR – GPFLR) , there is significant potential for restoring landscapes at a large scale by using trees and other woody vegetation. Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) aims to improve the landscape for people and for biodiversity, through several approaches – agroforestry, tree planting, natural regeneration, connecting forest fragments, etc. and has the potential to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation by increasing the productivity of landscapes, enhancing the resilience of forest ecosystems, and reducing the vulnerability of forest-dependent human communities.

With the establishment of the Bonn Challenge global policy initiative, calling for the restoration of 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands by 2020, political support for restoring degraded lands has significantly increased in recent years. This challenge seeks to actively engage states helping them achieve progress on their existing international commitments under the CBD Aichi Target 15, UNFCCC REDD+ goal and the Rio+20 land degradation target, all intended to lead to carbon richer landscapes that are biodiverse, economically productive, and resilient to climatic vulnerabilities. Restoring degraded forests and forest landscapes has also become an important component within the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda through various SDGs. To-date a total of 150 million hectares has been committed under the Bonn Challenge for restoration.

Over the past 10 years, considerable efforts have been underway by the science and technology community in promoting forest landscape restoration in all regions of the world. IUFRO has been an active member of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) since its inception. Given the scale and complexity of forest landscape restoration challenges worldwide, there is a clear need to further enhance the collection and syntheses of scientific knowledge from different regions and to promote interactions between science, policy and practice.