FLR has gained recognition as a nature-based solution that can help countries achieve climate commitments while furthering economic growth through sustainable and stable production systems and livelihoods generation. Colombia’s NDC includes the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use sector in its economy-wide reduction target of 20% against business-as-usual by 2030, and further reductions up to 30% subject to international support. It also considers public-private partnerships, collaboration with the financial sector, and foreign direct investment as critical to the achievement of its targets.  The country has pledged to bring 1 million hectares into restoration using an FLR approach under the Bonn Challenge, in alignment with and within its broader National Restoration Plan with total national restoration targets estimated at 2,017,984 hectares.

These are the key takeaways from the brief: 

Colombia has a significant potential to combat climate change by establishing forestry and agroforestry systems on degraded land. Additional opportunities for restoration are found in improvements in pasture and cattle management as well as the conversion of degraded pastures to sustainable cocoa, timber or palm oil plantation. 

  • Public-private alliances and agreements in key agricultural sectors, driven by Colombia joining international initiates to end deforestation and transition to sustainable land-use, have significantly advanced in the past years. Additionally, Colombia is advancing a range of initiatives compatible with the FLR approach, including public- private agreements in the cocoa, beef, dairy, and palm sectors, and in sustainable landscape programs. 
  • Improving the sustainability of existing cocoa production areas and establishing new cocoa plantations on degraded lands as part of a larger FLR approach for productive and integrated landscapes, represents an attractive business opportunity for farmers and a growing number of investors. Cocoa production can provide alternative economic opportunities in regions with high deforestation pressure, such as the Amazon, supporting reduced deforestation and further negative emissions.
  • The establishment of cocoa agroforestry systems on non-forest or degraded landscapes can sequester significant volumes of additional carbon in biomass and reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations. These types of systems can enhance climate resilience, sequester significant amounts of carbon in biomass, and deliver biodiversity benefits that would be compatible with an overall FLR approach across Colombia.

In conclusion, FLR can play a key role in achieving national restoration goals, deforestation-free commodity supply chains, and global climate objectives under the Paris Agreement. Colombia’s NDC revision and implementation could be further enhanced by including and aligning ongoing and future initiatives on restoration and zero-deforestation. Learn more here.