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The Peace Forest Initiative

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

The core agenda of the fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14) is Reversing land degradation and its outcomes while accelerating positive achievements for people and for ecosystems with a view to deliver on Sustainable Development Goals. Within the sidelines of the official sessions there are umpteen side events organized of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and its subsidiary bodies convened by the UNCCD to provide an informal opportunity for Parties and get accredited observer organizations to exchange information and experiences on diverse issues related to the objectives of the Convention. 

Agriculture World had the opportunity to attend the side event conducted by World Bank Group on Building Resilient Landscape and Livelihoods: Restoration through Forest and Rangeland Management. This event featured the transformative results of Korea and the launch of the World Bank/WOCAT report on Sustainable Rangeland Management in Sub Saharan Africa: Guidelines to Good Practice. It focussed on how World Bank Programs in India, Nigeria and Central Asia apply these successes and showcased Ecosystems fragility, impact of human pressure and non-adapted agropastoral production systems and integrated solutions such as: land rehabilitation/restoration, livelihood diversification and rangeland management.

AW was extremely humbled to hear about the good initiatives happening across the countries mentioned above and the one which attracted the most was the Peace Forest Initiative done by Korea.

After the Korean War the whole of mountain areas surrounding the city were deforested and degraded. More than 10 billion trees were planted in Korea since 1973, by the efforts of the numerous ordinary citizens. It was possible through strong leadership, people’s willingness and participation that Korea Forest Service was established in 1973 and due to the economic growth. Korea has signed MOU with 33 countries for developing joint projects for restoration, research and knowledge sharing.

The Peace Forest Initiative (PFI) is a global initiative serving as a partnership framework with a focus on land degradation neutrality (LDN) in fragile and conflict affected regions. The overall objective is to promote peace and build trust between neighbouring countries through transboundary co-operation in sustainable land management, including forest.

PFI Contributions to the SDGs

There are 8 Main Global Goals Relevant to the Peace Forest Initiative.

  • Zero Hunger :Agroforestry
  • Well being: Forest Recreation etc

  • Clean water :Watershed management

  • Clean Energy: Woody Biomass

  • Climate Action: Carbon sink, REDDD and Biodiversity.

  • Life of Land: Land Degradation ,Neutrality and more

  • Peace :Goal of PFI

  • Partnership: Neighbouring countries

How to Contribute to Africa by the PFI

“The Peace Forest Initiative” can become a practical mechanism to support the “Great Green Wall Initiative” because GGWI was basically designed for the collaboration of the adjacent countries.

The concept of the Peace Forest Initiative has a lot of similarity and possibility of the synergy in its implementation with the 3S initiative.

Next Step

PFI to be launched at the UNCCD COP14 in New Delhi and high level Luncheon on 9th September 2019.

AW feels that the Peace Forest Initiative is a stupendous effort by the Korean Forest Service and the initiatives need to be carefully read and understood by the other participating countries and join together in the journey of bringing in restoration of land degradation and deforestation and thereby restoring the peace within the planet.

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