South Sumatra was entrusted to host the meeting as the province is prioritizing the implementation of forest preservation efforts, the province`s Governor Alex Noerdin informed the press on the sidelines of the meeting held here on May 9-10.
The environmental affairs ministers are committed to preserving 150 million hectares of forests, including those in South Sumatra, he stated.
He noted that South Sumatra has involved various stakeholders in protecting forests and preventing forest fires.
Delegates from nearly a dozen Asian countries attended the meeting to identify ways to collaborate to undertake forest landscape restoration (FLR) efforts to support the Bonn Challenge.
Led by Indonesia`s Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the government of South Sumatra, in cooperation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the meeting is instrumental in intensifying regional momentum on the Bonn Challenge.
The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of the world`s deforested and degraded lands by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.
It is underpinned by the principles of FLR, which is a process for designing and implementing landscape-level interventions to restore ecological functionality and to enhance human well-being across degraded and deforested land.
FLR manifests through different restoration strategies, such as planting new trees, managing natural regeneration, intensifying agroforestry, or improving land management to accommodate a mosaic of land uses, including agriculture, protected wildlife reserves, managed plantations, and planting activities along the riverside, among others.
Critically, it is a multi-stakeholder process that brings together government agencies, scientific and academic institutions, civil society, and local communities in a participatory process.
Pledgers to the Bonn Challenge benefit from its design as an implementation mechanism for multiple international commitments, including the Sustainable Development Goals, Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and Land Degradation Neutrality Goal. Minister for Climate Change and Minister for Law and Justice of the Government of Pakistan Zahid Hamid underscored the relevance of restoration to achieve national goals.
Until now, 40 governments, alliances, and private sector organizations have committed over 148 million hectares to the Bonn Challenge. Pledges from Asia include 21 million hectares from India, one million hectares from Asia Pulp and Paper, and 384 thousand hectares from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan.