How feasible are global forest restoration commitments?

How feasible are global forest restoration commitments?


Many countries pledged large pieces of land for Forest Landscape Restoration to the Bonn challenge and the UNFCCC Paris Accords. The highest pledges came from the global South. Two countries have met their Bonn challenge so far. Some countries are facing challenges including deficit of the land committed, and there are competing land uses between FLR agricultural land.


This research has used data from public reports, press releases, forest, agriculture, and tree plantation cover; agricultural production and trade; and socioeconomic and governance indicators to understand each country’s committed amount of land compared to its capacity for restoration success. This data has also been used to quantify country-level commitments, to understand the relationship between restoration success and development as well as to see which countries will likely face most of the difficulty to maintain restored land.


According to the authors, many countries took on ambitious restoration commitments. These commitments will be challenging to meet without the wholesale transformation of food pro- duction, especially given policies that currently prioritize intensive agriculture. There is also a need for integration of science and policy to meet the restoration commitments. Some countries may need assistance requiring international engagement to meet these goals.


Fagan ME, J. Reid L, Holland MB, Drew JG, Zahawi RA. How feasible are global forest restoration commitments?. Conservation Letters. 2020;13(3). doi:10.1111/conl.12700.


  • Department of Geography and Environmental Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland
  • School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
  • Lyon Arboretum, University of Hawai’i at Ma ̄noa, Honolulu, Hawaii