Chilaw, Sri Lanka, 15-17 August, 2018

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The Context

With an estimated 25% of the global land surface in one way or another being degraded, and about 15 % considered appropriate for forest landscape restoration (FLR), there is significant potential for large-scale restoration. It is estimated that in the Asia Pacific region around 500 million hectare of forests are in need of rehabilitation. In addition, there is potential for integration of trees and other perennial vegetation on agricultural land and in urban and sub-urban land-uses.
Political support for restoring degraded lands has significantly increased in recent years. This is exemplified by the establishment of the Bonn Challenge global policy initiative, calling for the restoration of 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. This challenge seeks to actively engage states, helping them achieve progress on their existing international commitments under the CBD Aichi Target 15, UNFCCC REDD+ goals, the Rio+20 land degradation target and the Sustainable Development Goals 15.2 and 15.3 on land restoration and reforestation - all intended to lead to carbon richer landscapes that are bio-diverse, economically more productive, and resilient against climatic vulnerabilities.

Regional Initiatives

Regional policy processes addressing forest landscape restoration such as Initiative 20x20 in Latin America and the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) are gaining momentum and provide guidance for countries to shape national and sub-national policies and restoration strategies.
Similar to developments in other regions, countries in South Asia have set significant restoration targets under the UNFCCC Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), REDD+, and the Bonn Challenge initiatives. Facilitated by FAO, a regional strategy and action plan for forest and landscape restoration has been developed by member countries of the Asia Pacific Forestry Commission. Among its six strategic priorities, the action plan calls for the promotion of regional dialogue, learning, collaboration and coordinated action.
To this end, a first South Asia Regional Consultation on Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) “Forests and Beyond” was convened in New Delhi in 2017. The consultation was hosted by IUCN in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India (GoI), and the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE).

The Workshop

As follow-up to the 2017 consultations in India, the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment and Forest Department, Sri Lanka, in cooperation with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and others, members of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) held a knowledge-sharing workshop on best practices in implementing forest landscape restoration in South Asian countries. Partners contributing to this workshop included relevant governmental and non-governmental institutions in Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well as international expert organisations of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) such as CIFOR, FAO, ICRAF and IUCN.

The workshop aimed at:

  • Sharing and discussing lessons from current state-of-the-art scientific and technical knowledge on FLR both at global and regional scales;
  • Connecting FLR experts in South Asia and further stimulating exchanges of information, thus providing feedback into national and global FLR policy initiatives such as the Bonn Challenge process;
  • Identifying challenges of current land management and impediments to sustainable land management and ecosystem functionality across the region; and
  • Contributing to the development of a regional FLR implementation strategy in support of continuous sub-regional learning, sharing of experiences and FLR practice improvements.

The results of the workshop including a set of recommendations on how best to address implementation aspects of FLR in the South Asian context will be available for informing high-level decision makers at the ministerial-level Regional Bonn Challenge Roundtable Meeting to take place in Sri Lanka later in 2018.

Participation by Invitation only

The knowledge-sharing workshop brought together about 60 experts including scientists and practitioners from FLR implementing organizations from South Asian countries and international experts and scientists, to share and compile existing knowledge about best practices and tools for forest landscape restoration implementation on the ground. National scientists and experts dealing with forest landscape restoration implementation in South Asian countries were eligible for support to attend the workshop. In principle, participation was on invitation only, whereby both the organising institutions and partners recommended participation from their communities and networks.

Workshop Activities

The three-day workshop programme included presentation sessions with audience Q&A and discussions on diverse FLR-related issues ranging from landscape governance and enabling policy environment to planning and implementation approaches, technical methods of restoration operations to financing, monitoring and evaluation of FLR on the ground. In addition, the workshop also consisted of an information market displaying methods and tools for FLR implementation, poster sessions for presenting and discussing case studies on FLR in different socio-economic and ecological settings, as well as a one-day field trip to FLR sites in the Puttlam District of Sri Lanka.


D. Miah: Forest Landscape Restoration needs in Bangladesh

R.K. Tiwari: Forest Landscape Restoration needs in India

M. Ghimire: Forest Landscape Restoration in Nepal

F. Bari: State of Land Degradation and FLR needs in Pakistan

N. Edirisinghe: Forest Restoration in Sri Lanka

C. Kumar: Bonn Challenge - Current status and way forward in South Asia

S. Mansourian: Governance challenges and Forest Landscape Restoration - Questions to consider

T.I. Ao: Restoration of Forest and Landscapes Initiatives in Nagaland, India-An experience

P. Kant: Adaptation centric Second Generation JFM for achieving India’s NDC targets

R. Kotru: Emerging Concept of Interfacing Forest with Other Ecosystem Services at TransboundaryScale (Hindu Kush Himalayan Context)

A. Bhattacharee: Stakeholder engagement in FLR –from local to regional –experiences from India

M. Mohiuddin: Community innovative practices for Forest Landscape Restoration in Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

T. Joshi: Role of Women in building Ecological Resilience by the means of Community Based Forestry in Nepal

Bas Louman & Rohini Chaturvedi: Finance for Landscape Restoration - An overview of status and main issues

L.D. Bhatta: Incentivizing communities for Ecosystem services in the Himalayas

M. Kleine: Systematic approach to FLR project implementation

C. Kumar: ROAM: a collaborative methodology to help scale land-use planning and decision-making

N. Gunasena: Participatory land use planning (PLUP) for watersheds restoration in central highlands of Sri Lanka

D. Miah:Impacts of rohingya influx into the forest landscape in bangladesh: a plan for restoration

J. Stanturf: Getting Started With FLR

M.A. Hossain: Assisted Natural Regeneration for forest landscape restoration: A case study from MedhakochchopiaNational Park, Bangladesh

L. Nepal: Devisthan Community Forest Development, Khotang District, Nepal

F. Bari: Forest Landscape Restoration in Pakistan: The Billion Trees Afforestation Project Experience

R. Haider: Traditional and innovative practices of hill forests restoration and biodiversity conservation in north-eastern part of Bangladesh

S. Vidanage: Ecological Restoration of Small Tank Cascade Systems: approach for meeting Bonn Challenge Targets for Sri Lanka using FLR principles

R.M. Dobriyal: Telangana, India

M. Guariguata: Participatory Monitoring and Forest Landscape Restoration

R.S. Rawat: ICFRE: Research Support for Restoration of Degraded Forest Landscapes in Indian Context

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