The Bonn Challenge is a comprehensive initiative on forest restoration. Forest restoration is key to solving two of the most urgent problems of our times: climate change and the loss of habitats and species.
Around four billion hectares of the Earth's surface, meaning 31 percent, are covered by forests. The annual loss of natural forests, however, is at least 8.8 million hectares according to the German government's forest report.
150 million hectares of new forest
Deforestation mainly takes place in the tropics and subtropics, but there is also significant loss of forests in the cold-temperate zone of the Northern hemisphere. The Bonn Challenge established an internationally recognised platform with the aim of restoring destroyed forests.
The goal is to restore a total of 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded land worldwide by 2020, and at least 350 million hectares by 2030.
In 2011, Germany and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) hosted a meeting of ministers at the World Resources Institute (WRI) to launch this initiative.
A large number of governments, private enterprises and groups of civil society supported the initiative by making concrete voluntary commitments. With this support, the target for 2020 was reached as early as May 2017. By now, pledges for forest restoration add up to more than 170 million hectors (July 2019).
The Federal Environment Ministry intensively promotes regional processes of the Bonn Challenge at political level, for example in South and Central America, Africa, and the Caucasus in Central Asia. The International Climate Initiative (IKI) supports targeted measures for implementing forest restoration.
Support is given, for instance, for the establishment of a tree seed centre in Rwanda. Other projects include the development of suitable policy and planing instruments and new, creative business models.