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African countries pledge to restore 100 million of degraded land

A new initiative for restoring degraded land – the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) – was launched during COP21 in Paris. The goal of AFR100 is that 100 million hectares of land will be restored or in the process of being restored by 2030.

Many African countries are suffering from degraded forests and lands. It has been estimated that about 700 million hectares of land – an area the size of Australia – on the African continent is degraded. Restoration could have multiple benefits for the environment, the climate and the people living on those lands. Restoration projects themselves as well as the possibilities that come from using that land after restoration will create jobs and secure livelihoods for thousands of people.

AFR100 supports the Bonn Challenge and the New York Declaration of Forests that together aim to restore 350 million hectares of land, as well as the African Resilient Landscapes (ARLI). Planting forests or doing mosaic restoration like establishing agroforestry or silvopasture systems (integrating trees in agricultural and livestock production systems) are improving soil fertility, food and water security, combat desertification, reduce disaster risk and can be also work as good strategies for adapting to and mitigating climate change.

AFR100 is supported and financed by a wide variety of actors from the private sector to development banks as well as bilateral and multilateral funders. World Resource Initiative (WRI) and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) provide initial funding to AFR100. The initiative will mobilize efforts, finance and technology to create nation-led initiatives to restore degraded land.

Read more about AFR100 here.

If you want to know more about trees in the landscape and their role for food security check out some of our briefs.

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