- Learning Network
The world has vast amounts of deforested and degraded forest landscapes that deliver limited benefits to both humans and nature. These areas of historical and recent loss provide opportunities for future gain. The maps in this atlas represent a first-ever global approximation of the extent and location of the opportunities for forest landscape restoration – opportunities to reduce poverty, improve food security, mitigate climate change, and protect the environment.
The atlas includes maps on current forest coverage, potential forest coverage, forest condition, and human pressure on forest landscapes. The map of Bonn Challenge pledges describes the countries, regional organizations, and other entities that have made pledges toward the Bonn Challenge goal of restoring 150 million hectares of lost forests and degraded forest lands worldwide by 2020.
The map was updated recently and the new map indicates a restoration opportunity twice as large as the old one. This is mainly because a more precise mapping of potential forest extent has increased the estimate of degraded lands with opportunities for restoration, not because something has changed in the real world.
The Atlas is helping national and regional governments around the world implement commitments under the Bonn Challenge, the 20x20 initiative for restoration in Latin America, the New York Declaration on Forests, and other restoration pledges. Follow progress by checking in at the Global Restoration Initiative at wri.org.
Restored lands support livelihoods and biodiversity by supplying clean water, reducing erosion, providing wildlife habitat, biofuel, and other forest products. Forests and trees mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon. Trees in agricultural landscapes can enhance soil fertility, conserve soil moisture, and boost food production. By providing governments, donors, and practitioners a window into the scale and location of restoration opportunities, these maps help direct resources and activities to where they can do the most good. By partnering with the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative, the Global Restoration Initiative and the Atlas are helping restoration projects implement landscape approaches to restoration decision-making on the ground.
Robert Winterbottom, World Resources Institute
Development Practitioners, Local Authority, Subnational / National Government