A two-day workshop on restoration initiative was held at the Laico Grand Regency on 23rd and 24th November 2016. The objective was to come up with mechanisms to restore and maintain degraded lands in Arid and Semi- Arid areas.
The forest and land degradation increases competition for scarce resources leading to potential conflicts between users, it also limits the ability of both women and men, and farmer and local communities, to adapt to the impacts of climate change as well as threatens the security of food, water and energy; leading to the loss of biodiversity and critical ecosystem services, land degradation as it impacts to the livelihoods, health, well-being and resilience capacity of millions of people (FAO, 2015). It is against this backdrop that the initiative was born.
The Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) has identified more than 2 billion hectares of deforested land and degraded landscapes worldwide where opportunities of landscape restorations are envisaged to be found. The Restoration Initiative support will be provided under the program’s four components: Policy development and integration; Implementation of restoration programs and complementary land management initiatives; Institutional development, financing, and up scaling and exchange of experiences, new tools and partnerships.
The organizations in attendance included; Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), IUCN and Ministry Of Environment and Natural Resources, (MENR). Dr. Gabriel Muturi, KEFRI Research Scientist representing the Institute, gave a Kenyan perspective on the initiative where he reported twenty-four thousand hectares of land was to be restored by Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, County Governments and Non-Governmental Organizations as the
Speaking during the restoration workshop initiative, the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, state Department Dr, Margaret Mwakima reported landscape and forest degradation as being a big problem globally, if not checked can have devastating effects to both current and future generations. She reported twelve – thousand hectares of land in Kenya as being degraded since 1990 as compared to a ¼ of land which has been degraded globally. Bonn Challenge is a global effort charged with restoration of 150 million hectares of land worldwide by 2020, it will do so by helping countries overcome existing barriers to restoration and generate global environmental benefits while furthering national sustainable development goals. She concluded.
The ten TRI partnering countries involved in the initiative are as follows; Cameroon, Central Africa Republican, Democratic Republic Of Congo, Guinea Bissau, Kenya,Myamar, Pakistan, Sao Tome Principe, and Tanzania. However interested countries will be welcome to request joining the program in future, this include countries not yet well represented in the TRI program,such countries as Latin America, Mediterranean East and Pacific.
Although much awareness has been created and concerted efforts towards restoring degraded landscapes, TRI countries are faced with challenges ranging from; insufficient political prioritization of restoration, insufficient awareness of restoration opportunities and approaches, absence of an enabling environment for investment in FLR, governance and land tenure issues, limited capacity to manage and plan for FLR, failure to adequately incorporate gender considerations, and inadequate mobilization of resources.