The United Nations has declared 2021 – 2030 the Decade of Restoration, a ‘call to arms’ for the protection and revival of natural areas all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature. As the global community prepares to scale up efforts towards meeting ambitious commitments, it is increasingly important that decision-makers are supported with practical approaches to achieve objectives in cost-effective and sustainable ways. Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) is critical for reducing the negative impacts caused by humans to the environment as it can generate several benefits such as mitigating climate change, conserving biodiversity, providing ecosystem services and improving human well-being.

Globally, the practice of restoration has generally not been systematic and restoration areas have often been located in places that do not contribute to effectively meeting restoration goals. That is where systematic planning comes in hand. Systematic planning is a tool that supports decision making by stating how to maximize clear objectives with specific constraints and it can be adopted to minimise land use conflicts because it accounts for restoration costs and conflict with agricultural production.

With the global need FLR in mind, the Institute for Capacity Exchange in Environmental Decisions (formerly International Institute for Sustainability Australia), in partnership with the Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat, developed a user friendly platform, WePlan – Forests, that aims to maximise climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation benefits arising from forest restoration for tropical and subtropical forest ecosystems.

WePlan – Forest is a platform that can guide national scale plans and may aid to inform stakeholders in their restoration planning activities. Using globally available datasets, WePlan offers results for various countries such as India and Gabon. However, in-depth analyses can further support FLR by engaging national stakeholders, as it has been developed along with Uganda and Colombia representatives:

 

1. Uganda  is one of the ten countries with most diverse wildlife (also referred as biodiversity) in the world, hosting 53.9% of Earth’s mountain gorillas, 11% of its bird species, 7.8% of its mammal diversity, 19% of Africa’s amphibian species richness, and 14% of Africa’s reptile species richness [1,2]. It has also been subject to significant forest loss and degradation since 1990, with deforestation rates of about 204,679 hectares annually from 2005 to 2010² (equivalent to approx. 287 thousand football stadiums), which makes Uganda a priority country for FLR (to know more please access the specific pages below).

 

2. Colombian natural areas range from tropical deserts and savannas, to wet tropical forests and tropical mountains covered with snow, with different intermediate states [3]. The high diversity of natural areas and its heterogeneous landscapes supports numerous unique wildlife and high levels of species richness. The country is home to approximately 58.300 species, making Colombia a megadiverse country [4]. As over half of the country’s territory was originally forested, Colombia has a great potential for carbon sequestration to help meet global climate migration objectives. Currently, approximately 58.7% of the territory has been converted into anthropogenic land uses [5] but it has a potential of approximately 258,231.44 km2 for natural regeneration according to our analyses with Colombian partners. By customizing WePlan, we have explored politically relevant restoration targets that show cost-effective solutions for biodiversity protection and climate mitigation (to know more please access the specific pages below).

1. UNEP-WCMC (2016). Feasibility Stuy for Biodiversity Accounting in Uganda. Cambridge, UK.
2. UNEP-WCMC (2020). Mapping Nature for People and Planet in Uganda Workshop Report.
3. Etter, Andrés, Andrade, A., Saavendra, K., Amaya, P., Arevalo, P., Andrade, Á., … Arévalo, P. (2017). Risk assessment of Colombian ecosystems: An application of the Red List of Ecosystems methodology (Vers. 2.0). Final Report. Pontificia Universidad Javeriana y Conservación Internacional-Colombia. Bogotá.
4. SIB. (2020). Biodiversidad en Cifras 2020. Red Nacional de Datos Abiertos Sobre Biodiversidad. Retrieved from https://sibcolombia.net/biodiversidad-en-cifras-2020/
5. IDEAM. (2018). Mapa de Coberturas de la Tierra Metodología Corine Land Cover Escala 1:100.000 Periodo. Retrieved from http://www.siac.gov.co/catalogo-de-mapas

 

 

Related collaborators (8)