Enhancing benefits from linking Land Degradation Neutrality and Forest & Land Restoration
On 30-31 July, AFoCO and the UNCCD organized the Joint Workshop on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and Forest and Landscape Restoration (F&LR) at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok. The two-day workshop focused on bringing together the agencies responsible for land degradation neutrality and forest rehabilitation.
57 participants from 20 countries and 7 strategic partner organizations came together to identify the potential opportunities and challenges in linking different initiatives on the national level. The objectives of the workshop were to share implementation experiences and strengthen collaborative action on land degradation neutrality and forest landscape restoration, also identify potential forest-based project opportunities under AFoCO and Land Degradation Neutrality Transformative Projects and Programmes (LDN TPP).
The strategic partners, including UN agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Green Climate Fund (GCF), Asia Pacific Network (APFNet), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) shared views on the co-relevance and consistency of forest-related commitments to land, climate, and biodiversity.
The workshop shared about how countries are integrating global goals, particularly those related to land degradation neutrality and forest rehabilitation, with national-level policies and actions. Despite the ongoing implementation of various policies and practices, there are often gaps in the implementation of comprehensive activities under land degradation neutrality and forest rehabilitation. Participants of the workshop reiterated that collaborative actions and synergies will bring about more effective and efficient implementations on the ground.
What is next?
Many of the participating countries have national committees or steering bodies put in place to address these issues. The workshop provided an opportunity to reflect on the effectiveness of ongoing mechanisms. And further served as a reminder that local communities, as a stakeholder, should be engaged in planning and implementation processes. The goals can be only achieved when there is good coordination among stakeholders.
By bringing together officials from the land management sector as well as the forest sector, the workshop was a leap forward towards strengthening existing cooperation among cross-sectoral stakeholders.