Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration, World Resources Institute,
Supporters say the target — dubbed the
"Restoring 150 million hectares of degraded lands represents an exciting and largely untapped opportunity to create more jobs and economic growth, while also protecting our climate," said Göran Persson, a former Prime Minister of Sweden who will lead the New Global Restoration Council.
The target represents just over 7 percent of the 2 billion hectares of land worldwide that are suitable for restoration, according to a recent estimate by a team of experts. The area, which is larger than
Some 30 percent of global forest cover has been cleared in recent centuries, while another 20 percent has been degraded. Roughly one billion hectares of former forest lands are presently occupied by croplands and densely populated rural areas.
The new initiative won't seek to take current agriculture lands out of production, but WRI says some of these lands "would benefit from having trees planted in strategic places to protect and enhance agricultural productivity and other ecosystem functions."
The initiative's supporters hope it will be adopted as an official target by the U.N., governments, and other institutions.