State Secretary at the Federal Environment Ministry Jochen Flasbarth successfully advancing the Bonn Challenge
State Secretary at the Federal Environment Ministry Jochen Flasbarth and Jorge Galdames, Environment Minister of Honduras, opened the 3rd Bonn Challenge Latin America meeting in Roatá, Honduras today. Following El Salvador in 2015 and Panama in 2016, forest-rich Honduras is now the third Central American country to pursue an ambitious reforestation programme through the Bonn Challenge. With the support of the Federal Environment Ministry, the country is kicking off with a "one million hectare programme". In the run-up to today's launch, State Secretary Flasbarth took part in the International Conference on Forest Landscape Restoration in Puerto Rico. The conference, which brought together scientists from across the globe, was organised by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the US Forest Service and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).
Flasbarth commented: "We cannot achieve the climate targets set out under the Paris Agreement without global reforestation. The Bonn Challenge platform established by the German government is still proving effective. It is remarkable that a small country like Honduras wants to restore one million hectares of forest landscape. Our cooperation with these ambitious countries has been highly successful. We even have smooth-running cooperation at working level with the United States, despite the new and not particularly climate-aware US administration."
In 2011, the German government was one of the founders of the Bonn Challenge for the restoration of forest landscapes. The aim of the Bonn Challenge is to restore a total of 150 million hectares of forest landscape around the world by 2020. At the beginning of May 2017, this target was in fact surpassed slightly, thanks to pledges by Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mongolia and Sri Lanka. By 2030, the Bonn Challenge aims to restore a total of 350 million hectares of forest landscape worldwide.
The BMUB supports reforestation in Central America through its International Climate Initiative (IKI). Since 2011 the Federal Environment Ministry has supported implementation of the Bonn Challenge in the countries of the South with a total of 100 million euros.
At the 3rd Regional Meeting Guatemala will extend an invitation to the next Latin America meeting in early May 2018. Germany and Brazil have jointly announced that the 3rd international High-level Roundtable will take place in March 2018 in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
At the IUFRO conference in Puerto Rico, all knowledge gained through research and practice on the restoration of tree and forest landscapes was brought together and summarised for the first time. Scientific discussions were followed by a political dialogue between government decision-makers and international organisations, which took place at the US Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry in Rio Piedras. The conference is considered an important building block for both the climate summit under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Global Landscape Forum at the end of 2017 in Bonn.