Forest and Landscape Restoration regional initiatives: toward the regionalisation of the Bonn Challenge

The Committee on Forestry (COFO) is the highest FAO Forestry statutory body. The biennial sessions of COFO (held at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy) bring together heads of forest services and other senior government officials to identify emerging policy and technical issues, to seek solutions and to advise FAO and others on appropriate action. Other international organizations and, increasingly, non-governmental groups participate in COFO.  Participation in COFO is open to all FAO member countries.

This year, the 23rd Session of COFO will be held 18-22 July 2016, FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy with a main theme of “Shaping a new agenda for forests”.

The key themes of the Session seek to respond directly to the milestone agreements of 2015 and investigate how forests and sustainable forest management can contribute to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals.  Together with the World Forest Week, COFO will consider how the full potential of forests, including forests’ contributions to livelihoods, food security, jobs, gender equality and many other global development goals including the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreements, can best be unlocked.

The whole program, documents and other related information could be reached at this link :

There will be several sessions both for COFO and WFW. Beside these official sessions some side events will also be held.

The side event named “Forest and Landscape Restoration regional initiatives: toward the regionalization of the Bonn Challenge” is one of them. to be held at  Ethiopia Room – FAO hq, Wednesday, 20 July 2016 – from 08:30 to 10:00 hours.


I was invited as the “key note speaker” to this important event by Mr René Castro Salazar, ADG, FAO Forestry Department.

Please see the invitation letter here:

COFO23_Invitation letter side event regional initiatives_Belen


Chair of the side event: Mr Peter Besseau (Canadian Forest Service – and Co-Chair of the GPFLR–

Keynote speakers for the presentation of existing regional initiatives/dynamics on FLR:

  1.  Mr Charles Barber (WRI) for AFR 100 and for the Initiative 20 x 20 in Latin America
  2.  Mr Patrick Durst (Secretariat of APFC) or Mr Mars Amaro (Chair of APFC) for the Asia – Pacific
  3.  Mr Ismail Belen (Current Chair of the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions-Silva Mediterranea) as coordinator of the regional working group on ‘’Desertification and restoration of Mediterranean drylands’’ led by Turkey

Targeted panelists for providing the country perspectives on those dynamics on FLR

  1. Mr Emilio Mugo (Director, Kenya Forest Service) as current chair of the AFWC and key member with a pledge in the context of AFR 100/Bonn Challenge (5.1 million hectares)
  2. Ms Fabiola Muñoz (SERFOR) as Executive Director of Peru’s National Forest and Wildlife Service and chair of the LACFC and key member with a pledge in the context of the Initiative 20 x 20 (3.2 million hectares)-
  3. Mr Ricardo L. Calderon (Director of DENR-FMB in Philippines) as Director of the Forest Management Bureau (Philippines is currently chairing the APFC) and hosting country of the High Level Session held during the last APFW for the first discussion on a regional action plan on Forest and Landscape Restoration in the Asia-Pacific region
  4.  Mr Chadi Mohanna (MoA – RDNR) as Director of Rural Development and Natural Resources of the Ministry of Agriculture in charge of the NARP in Lebanon (Lebanon is currently chairing the NEFRC) and key partner of the FLRM and main regional initiatives in the context of the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions- Silva Mediterranea

Detailed Agenda of the side event


  • 08:00-08:30 Welcome coffee/pastries for all participants
  • 08:30-08:40 Welcome address by the Chair

Four regional initiatives on Forest and Landscape Restoration

  • 08:40-08:55 AFR 100 and Initiative 20 x 20 by Charles Barber (WRI)
  • 08:55-09:05 Asia Pacific dynamic on Forest and Landscape Restoration by Pat Durst (FAO)
  • 09:05-09:15 Mediterranean dynamic on Forest and Landscape Restoration by Ismail Belen (SilvaMed)
  • 09:15-09:25 Four open questions of clarification from participants to the keynotes speakers on the different regional dynamics (short discussion moderated by the Chair)

 Country perspectives on the four regional initiatives on FLR

The Chair will give the floor to the four country representatives involved in those regional initiatives (based on three guiding questions) in order to hear country perspectives and main added value of the regional initiatives

  • 09:25-09:30 Perspective from Kenya on its national pledges in the context of the AFR 100
  • 09:30-09:35 Perspective from Peru on its national pledges in the context of Initiative 20*20
  • 09:35-09:40 Perspective from Philippines on the recent regional dynamic in the Asia Pacific
  • 09:40-09:45 Perspective from Lebanon on the regional dynamic on FLR in the Mediterranean
  • 09:45-09:50 Synthesis of the discussion by FAO (FO – ADG or his representative)

Signing Ceremony for the Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and the International Model Forest Network

09:50 to 10:00

Chair, Keynote speakers and Panelists

  1.  Mr Peter Besseau (Chair),Director of International Affairs,Canadian Forest Service, Email:
  2.  Mr Charles Barber (Keynote),Director, Forest Legality Alliance and Government Relations, Forests Program,World Resources Institute (WRI),Email:
  3. Mr Pat Durst (Keynote),Senior Forestry Officer, FAO Regional Office for Asia-Pacific,Email:
  4. Mr Ismail Belen (Keynote), Chair of the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions – Silva Mediterranea,Ankara – Turkey,Email:
  5. Mr Emilio MUGO (Panelist), Director, Kenya Forest Service,Ministry of Environment Water and Natural Resources,Email:
  6. Ms Fabiola Muñoz (Panelist), Directora Ejecutiva-Servicio Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre (SERFOR), Peru,Email:
  7. Mr Ricardo L. Calderon (Panelist), Director of DENR-Forest Management Bureau, Philippines,Email:
  8. Mr Chadi Mohanna (Panelist), Director, Rural Development and Natural Resources, Directorate of Rural Development and Natural Resources (RDNR), Ministry of Agriculture, Lebanon, Email:

As my capacity of the Chair of Mediterranean Forestry Questions I am planning to present;

  • The current Mediterranean dynamics on forest and landscape restoration in the context of implementation of the Tlemcen Declaration and the Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forest.
  • I also give a short presentation of the upcoming Fifth Mediterranean Forestry Week to be held in Morocco in March 2017 with main theme of restoration of Mediterranean forest. I am sure this would be an excellent opportunity to highlight the commitment of Mediterranean partners on forests and landscape restoration issues.

Forest and landscape restoration issues, or with a broad concept dryland forestry is very important for  FAO as it has been indicated at this link

For COFO2016 Agenda Item 7.3 Establishment of a Working Group on Dryland Forests and Agrosilvopastoral Systems.

See  also COFO/2016/7.6 on Progress report of the statutory bodies in Forestry.  As it was indicated in this documnt; The V MFW will be convened from 20 to 24 March 2017 in Morocco. It is being co-organized by the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification of Morocco and Silva Mediterranea. The topic of the V MFW will be “Desertification and restoration of degraded Mediterranean forests and landscapes.” As part of the working plan of the working group on “Desertification and Restoration of Mediterranean Drylands” and in connection with the V MFW, a Mediterranean regional initiative on forest and landscape restoration in the context of the Bonn Challenge has been put forward.

With this agenda item the Committee kindly invited  to encourage member countries of Silva Mediterranea to:

  • contribute to the activities of the Silva Mediterranea working groups and to the preparation of the second edition of the State of Mediterranean Forests  commit to a Mediterranean initiative on forest and landscape restoration.
  • contribute to the preparation and commit to high level participation in the V Mediterranean Forest Week to be held in March 2017 in Morocco.

Agenda Item 7.3 Establishment of a Working Group on Dryland Forests and Agrosilvopastoral Systems Item 7.5 Progress in implementation of the recommendations of the 22nd Session Item 7.6 Statutory bodies will be negotiated at 20 July, Wednesday at COFO sessions.

Besides COFO sessions there are some side events related to Mediterranean partners engagmnet to forest and landscape issues as follows:

  • 2nd meeting of the Organizing Committee of the V Mediterranean Forest Week,FAO, HCEFLCD,21 July 2016, Italy, Rome, FAO HQ, Espace Gabon (A025)
  • Extraordinary Session of the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions-Silva Mediterranea,FAO,22 July 2016 09:00,Italy, Rome, FAO HQ, Mexico Room (D213bis), Languages: English, French

For more information :

For Turkish version (Türkçe versiyonu için):



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