Goal: Bring 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030
Origin story: At a ministerial conference in Bonn, Germany in 2011, the German government and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) created the Bonn Challenge with its 2020 target as a way to help achieve other commitments, such as the Millennium Development Goals, which later grew into the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2014, the New York Declaration on Forests endorsed the Challenge, adding a decade and 200 hectares to its ambition. The Challenge comprises restoration initiatives led by countries and other institutions.
Current status: Fifty-six governments and private organizations have pledged more than 168 hectares to the Challenge.
Among the other commitments: The Challenge bills itself as a direct contributor to the Convention on Biological Diversity Target 15, which states that 15 percent of degraded ecosystems will be restored by 2020, with their resilience and biodiversity aiding climate stocks; the UN Convention to Combat Desertification goal to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality; and the goal of the UN Environment’s REDD+ program to combat deforestation and degradation.
Regional commitments, namely AFR100 and Initiative 20×20, directly reference the Bonn Challenge as a broader commitment into which they feed.
Progress reports: The Bonn Challenge Barometer is currently in a beta-phase, with six countries piloting its use to track their restoration progress as well as discuss the implementation process with one another. It is expected to be officially launched by 2020.
Separately, in August 2018, India was the first country to release an official report on its progress toward meeting its commitments to the challenge (13 million hectares under restoration by 2020 and 21 million by 2030): 9.8 million hectares of land have come under restoration since 2011.
Finance: IUCN estimates that the Challenge’s 2020 target would result in USD 84 billion per year in income and benefits for rural communities. The 2030 target could bring 170 billion in net benefits and reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by up to 1.7 gigatons.