What is Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR)?

Forest landscape restoration (FLR) is the ongoing process of regaining ecological functionality and enhancing human well-being across deforested or degraded forest landscapes. FLR is more than just planting trees – it is restoring a whole landscape to meet present and future needs and to offer multiple benefits and land uses over time. It is about:

  • Forests because it involves increasing the number and/or health of trees in an area;
  • Landscapes because it involves entire watersheds, jurisdictions, or even countries in which many land uses interact; and
  • Restoration because it involves bringing back the biological productivity of an area in order to achieve any number of benefits for people and the planet.

Successful FLR is forward-looking and dynamic, focussing on strengthening the resilience of landscapes and creating future options to adjust and further optimise ecosystem goods and services as societal needs change or new challenges arise.

More information is available at the InfoFLR website, here.

What is the relationship between AFR100 and related restoration initiatives?

AFR100 responds to the African Union mandate to bring 100 million hectares of degraded land into restoration by 2030. AFR100 contributes to the achievement of domestic restoration and sustainable development commitments, the Bonn Challenge, and New York Declaration on Forests among many other targets. Under the broader umbrella of the African Resilient Landscapes Initiative (ARLI), it complements the African Landscapes Action Plan (ALAP), Climate Change, Biodiversity and Land Degradation (LDBA) program of the African Union, and Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI). And aligns with the Land Degradation Neutrality target-setting process. The initiative directly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris climate agreement. It builds on the experience and progress achieved through the TerrAfrica Partnership and related landscape restoration efforts. AFR100 also leverages strong partnerships with regional economic communities, the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC), and the Global Partnership for Forest Landscape Restoration (GPFLR).

What types of restoration activities are part of the commitment?

The African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) supports two types of restoration activities:

  • Restore to mosaic landscape: Establish and manage trees on agricultural land, either through planting or natural regeneration. This practice is known as “agroforestry” when trees are interspersed with crops, and “silvopasture” when trees are interspersed with livestock.
  • Restore to forests: Planting or natural regeneration of trees on degraded or deforested land. Degraded land can be restored to natural forests for ecosystem services and a carbon sink. In some cases, degraded land can also be restored into productive forests for timber, fuelwood and other forest products.
  • Restore to mangroves and wetlands: Grow mangroves and native grasses to restore aquatic ecosystems.
  • Restore to grasslands: Restore savannas with native grasses (no tree-planting).

How is the initiative being implemented?

AFR100 encourages national governments, regional institutions, local communities, public and private sector partners and international development programs to join the initiative to help restore productivity to deforested and degraded landscapes across Africa. Tools such as the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) by WRI and IUCN, the Restoration Diagnostic, the Road to Restoration, and Mapping Social Landscapes help provide a framework for inclusive and effective restoration.

What type of monitoring will be in place to ensure the commitments are fulfilled?

Under the initiative a major monitoring effort in envisioned, capable of documenting the restoration process in some detail. Key elements in this effort include, remote sensing, on the ground sampling and modeling. For a summary of the latest work, see here.

What will actually be accomplished by 2030? Do you mean that 100 million hectares will be restored by 2030?

Commitments to AFR100 are commitments to begin restoration activities on deforested and degraded lands by the year 2030. The process of restoration can take generations, and it is unlikely that the lands will be fully restored by 2030.

Video sidebar: About Us & sub-pages