Seventeenth RRI Dialogue on Forests, Governance, and Climate Change



Forest Tenure, Restoration and Green Growth

Co-Organized by RRI and IUCN, in partnership with the Embassy of France in Washington, DC

Recent years have seen increased global attention and commitment to forest landscape restoration (FLR) as a strategy to mitigate climate change, enhance ecological services, and create new economic opportunities in rural areas. Initiatives such as the Bonn Challenge, calling for the restoration of 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded lands by 2020, and forest restoration commitments within the New York Declaration on Forests demonstrate the significant global momentum behind forest restoration as a “nature-based” solution. Some countries have made FLR a major component of their green growth strategies, indicating the potential of these efforts to garner significant economic benefits beyond climate mitigation.

Increasingly, experience and evidence show that forest governance and tenure reforms supporting the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples are key factors in the success of forest restoration initiatives. Recognizing rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to forests creates incentives for long-term investments in forest restoration and management, enables communities to share in benefits generated from restoration activities, and provides the basis for forest-based enterprises and rural economic growth. Secure tenure is also necessary to unlock locally-driven solutions and ensure that forest restoration initiatives do not contribute to “land grabbing” and increased conflict over land use in forest areas.

As forest restoration initiatives scale up around the world – an area the size of France has been restored in the last three years – it is especially important to highlight the challenges and opportunities of advancing forest restoration in a socially inclusive manner, respecting and promoting tenure rights and ensuring that local communities join in the design and benefits of restoration initiatives.

Gathering prominent national and international decision makers, experts and key representatives of indigenous peoples, local communities, governments, and civil society organizations, this Dialogue built a common understanding of the links among forest tenure, restoration and green growth, and share lessons from local experience on ways to strengthen these links. It also identified policy opportunities and distilled key messages to inform relevant policy discussions including the UNFCCC Conference of Parties meeting in Paris later in the year, the various REDD+ initiatives, as well as the Green Climate Fund.

Event Resources:

Dialogue Summary by IISD

17th Dialogue Agenda

17th Dialogue Speaker Biographies


Forest Landscape Restoration – The Current State of Play (Miguel Antonio de Goes Calmon, Senior Manager of Forest and Landscape Restoration, IUCN)

Forest Tenure and Restoration Links (Peter Veit, Director, Land and Resource Rights Initiative, World Resources Institute)

Community Forest Tenure and Restoration in Nepal (Ghan Shyam Pandey, Coordinator, Global Alliance of Community Forestry)

Forest Tenure and Restoration in the Sahel and West Africa – The case of Mali (Célestin Dembélé, Deputy Program Director, Mali, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation)

Landscape restoration in the Autonomous Region of the North Caribbean Coast (RACCN Nicaragua) (Melibea Gallo, Senior Land Use Specialist, Forest Governance and Economy Unit, IUCN – Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean)

Restoration and the Green Economy (Michael Verdone, Independent Environmental and Natural Resource Economist)

Contributions of Commnuity Forests to Forest Restoration and Green Growth in Mexico (Iván Zuñiga, Coordinator of Public Policy, Mexican Civil Council for Sustainable Forestry)

Green Growth and Structural Transformation – Opportunities for China’s Forest Sector (Xu Jintao, Professor of Economics, Peking University)

Biomass energy, green growth and FLR – learning from the past for the future (Klas Sander, Senior Environmental Economist, World Bank)


Welcoming Remarks

Keynote Address

Session 1: Forest Tenure, Restoration and Green Growth: Linkages and Opportunities

Session 2: Forest Tenure and Restoration

Session 3: Forest Restoration and Green Growth

Session 4: Policy Opportunities and Closing Messages

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