The Caucasus and Central Asia accounts for over 30 million hectares of forests and wooded lands, an area approximately the size of Italy Forest landscape restoration in this area is critical for supporting livelihoods and local economies, preventing soil erosion and desertification, enhancing biodiversity and contributing to global climate change mitigation and adaptation targets.
To advance the process initiated at the 2018 Ministerial Roundtable on Forest Landscape Restoration and the Bonn Challenge in the Caucasus and Central Asia, where the eight countries of the region pledged to restore over 2.5 million hectares of forest landscape by 2030, UNECE/FAO hosted a Regional Policy Dialogue on 9 February.
This forum contributed to intergovernmental dialogue on the common challenges and opportunities for forest landscape restoration across the region in line with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
During the regional dialogue, Member States and national experts from the Caucasus and Central Asia region discussed an initial set of guiding principles on effective forest restoration, which were developed on the basis on national pilot strategies in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The National Policy Guiding Principles provide an enabling framework for the development of national policy tools for implementation and monitoring of successful and sustainable forest landscape restoration activities in countries of the region.
The meeting also provided a platform to present the first version of the Knowledge Sharing Platform on Forest Landscape Restoration in the Caucasus and Central Asia. The Platform provides a forum for exchange, tailored policy tools to strengthen forest landscape restoration activities in the region as well as information about status and progress of national work in this area.
UNECE and FAO jointly support UNECE member States to scale up their efforts to restore degraded forests and landscapes. This includes strengthening capacities and providing policy advice for the development of national and regional strategies, technical monitoring and finance.
The first regional overview of Forest Landscape Restoration in the Caucasus and Central Asia was published by UNECE/FAO in 2019. Read more here.