2011 Bonn Challenge chart

Today at COP 22, I attended the Global Launch of the Bonn Challenge Barometer. The Bonn Challenge, launched in 2011 at a high-level environmental policy conference in Bonn, Germany, is a global initiative to reforest 150 million hectares of land by 2020 

Assessing the Progress of the Bonn Challenge

November 17, 2016

2011 Bonn Challenge chart

Today at COP 22, I attended the Global Launch of the Bonn Challenge Barometer. The Bonn Challenge, launched in 2011 at a high-level environmental policy conference in Bonn, Germany, is a global initiative to reforest 150 million hectares of land by 2020 and 350 million hectares of land by 2030. The Bonn Challenge is not the first proposal to reforest land globally, but rather exists as an additional tool to help implement preexisting commitments to reforestation, such as REDD+ (UNFCCC’s goal to mitigate carbon emissions through increased forest management in developing countries) and CBD Aichi Target 15 (Center on Biological Diversity’s target to restore 15 percent of degraded ecosystems and increase biodiversity). 

Nathaniel FisherNathaniel Fisher '19, is a member of Cornell's COP22 delegation

The Bonn Challenge employs the forest landscape restoration (FLR) approach, as opposed to traditional reforestation. FLR considers entire watersheds, jurisdictions, and even countries when designing reforestation efforts. While traditional reforestation may be as simple as planting as many trees as possible, FLR functions to restore entire ecosystems by increasing the biological diversity and ecological integrity of landscapes on a large scale, while also ensuring biological productivity of landscapes for the people who inhabit them.

The recently launched Bonn Challenge Barometer is a method of assessing the progress of the Bonn Challenge. The barometer, housed at InfoFLR.org, shows current amounts of restored land and goals for land restoration both for the entire world and by individual country. The barometer also lists relevant demographic and ecological facts for each country.  The website is currently establishing a framework and methodology for accurately assessing the quality of FLR reforestation efforts across the globe, but will soon also include these quality assessments. The Bonn Challenge Barometer highlights a few of many complex questions and solutions regarding climate change mitigation, given its global diversity and enormous scale.

Visit InfoFLR to learn more.

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