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LDN and forest and landscape restoration

The Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) response hierarchy of avoiding degradation, reducing degradation and restoring degraded land are also included in the forest landscape restoration (FLR) approach. It is defined as a long-term process of regaining ecological functionality and enhancing human well-being across deforested and degraded landscapes by comprising overlapping ecological, social and economic activities and values.

At the international level, targets for forest and landscape restoration (FLR) are ambitious: restoring 150 million hectares of degraded lands by 2020 under the Bonn Challenge, an additional 200 million hectares by 2030 under the New York Declaration on Forests and achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030 as SDG Target 15.3. To reach these objectives, the broad participation of investors and FLR stakeholders will be necessary together with mobilizing the financing ranging from USD 35 billion(to meet the Bonn Challenge target to more than USD 300 billion for land degradation neutrality per year. Policy makers have a critical role in the mobilization and allocation of financial resources for FLR interventions due to their ability to build and foster an enabling environment for FLR investments.

Representing around 30 per cent of the land surface, forests provide a source of different goods and services such as timber, food, fuel, fodder, non-wood products and shelter. They help generate income for 1.6 billion people, particularly in developing countries where the majority of the population depends on non-wood forest products to meet economic, health and nutritional needs. Environmentally-sound use of non-wood forest products can help reconcile biodiversity conservation and sustainable sources of livelihood while avoiding deforestation and other land-degrading practices such as large-scale cattle ranching. In addition to providing a vital habitat for 80 per cent of all terrestrial species, forests help mitigate many natural disasters such as floods, landslides, avalanches, droughts, and sand and dust storms. However, despite their importance, forest ecosystems have experienced  decline over the last few decades  in productivity and land cover, mainly due to climate change and unsustainable management. To address this issue, it is vital to sustainably manage land and forest resources together – for example, by applying an integrated land-use approach that included planting trees for multiple benefits at the landscape level. Many synergies and correlations exist between forest and land management, and integrated approaches can help maximize efficiency. In addition, Global Forest Goal 1 of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2030  to reverse "the loss of forest cover worldwide through SFM, including protection, restoration, afforestation and reforestation, and increase efforts to prevent forest degradation and contribute to the global effort of addressing climate change” supports and contributes to the achievement of SDG target 15.3.

Most of the countries in the LDN Target Setting Programme have set forest-related LDN targets, such as increasing the area of forests or boosting the productivity of forested areas.

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