LONDON, Dec. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - The global movement to restore 150 million
hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020 - known as the "Bonn
Challenge" - gains momentum at the UN Climate Talks in Doha today, as
Costa Rica and El Salvador each commit up to 1 million hectares. The 50
million hectare mark - or one third of the target - is now within
(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121206/582242 )
Achieving the Bonn Challenge - launched in September 2011 in Bonn
Germany by the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration
(GPFLR) - would deliver a host of major benefits to humanity and the
planet, such as improving food security, protecting biodiversity and
benefiting people's livelihoods. Costa Rica and El Salvador are the
latest in joining USA, Rwanda and the Brazilian Mata Atlantica
Restoration Pact in making pledges.
"Governments and people are calling for achievable solutions to the
major threats we face today, including climate change. The Bonn Challenge is a nature-based solution-which is why it is capturing the
world's attention," explains Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN, which coordinates the GPFLR. "While the progress so far has been wonderful, it is only through
continued pledges like the ones by El Salvador and Costa Rica that we can reach our global target."
With formal pledges now over 20 million hectares, a pre-pledge
declaration of intent from India of 10 million, and another 20 million
in the pipeline from the Meso American Alliance of Peoples and Forests,
a staggering 50 million hectares of commitments is now within reach.
"Restoring 150 million hectares over the next 10 years could potentially
close the 'emissions gap' by 11-17% and inject more than US$ 80 billion per year into local and national economies," according to Stewart Maginnis, Global Director of Nature-Based
Earlier this year, during the UN Sustainable Development "Rio +20"
talks, more than one million people voted the Bonn Challenge as the
second most important issue upon which heads of state should act. To
harness this public appetite, Airbus and IUCN launched the Plant a
Pledge campaign, which through an online petition empowers all people
to call on governments, landowners and communities to contribute land
to the Bonn Challenge. This unique partnership has provided a platform
that has driven popular involvement in the recent successes of the Bonn
Challenge and shows leadership in working together to activate
"As Ambassador for the Plant a Pledge Campaign and Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation I am delighted with the pledges announced by El Salvador and Costa Rica
today, which take us to 20 million hectares, and bring 50 million
within reach. We look forward to other commitments in the pipeline from
India and the Meso-American Alliance of Peoples and Forests being formalised with the GPFLR soon," says Bianca Jagger, Ambassador of the Plant a Pledge Campaign, and Chair
of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation.
"Environmental destruction is a serious human rights issue and the Bonn
Challenge has never been more relevant. Restoration of degraded and
deforested lands is not simply about planting trees. People and
communities are at the heart of the restoration effort, which
transforms barren or degraded areas of land into healthy, fertile
"The public should continue to appeal to governments, businesses,
landowners and communities to contribute to the Bonn Challenge target. We have a unique opportunity to renew our degraded and
deforested landscapes now. Our fate and the fate of future generations
depend on it. I urge everyone to support our campaign and sign our petition at http://www.plantapledge.com," says Jagger.
For further information:
For more information or to set up interviews, please contact: Borjana Pervan, IUCN Media Relations, m +41-79-857-4072, e firstname.lastname@example.org