The Bonn Challenge aims to regenerate 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. This global ambition to restore landscapes and forests has been supported by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

After first meeting in Bonn in 2017, Bianca Jagger visited the First Minister in Edinburgh to endorse Scotland’s pledge. Ms Jagger is an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Ambassador for the Bonn Challenge. The Scottish Government became a member of the IUCN in 2017.

The First Minister said:

"Developing forestry has many economic, social and environmental benefits, which is why we recognise the importance of the Bonn Challenge and I was pleased to welcome Bianca Jagger to Edinburgh to support this pledge.

"We are already working with partners on high profile restoration projects using forestry, woodlands and greenspace to improve people’s lives and wellbeing in our urban and rural communities. 

"By backing the Bonn Challenge, the Scottish Government has signalled we will play our part in global efforts to increase woodland cover and restore landscapes, benefiting people and the environment. I hope our support will galvanise other governments to join reforestation efforts."

Bianca Jagger, IUCN Ambassador for the Bonn Challenge said:

"I am delighted to welcome Scotland’s pledge. Scotland is the first European country to sign up to the Bonn Challenge.

"Scotland joins a cohort of visionary governments and other entities who have recognised that restoring degraded and deforested landscapes is critical to improve people’s lives by achieving poverty reduction and livelihoods generation while also generating benefits for biodiversity and combatting climate change."

The Scottish Government has committed to a range of future actions as part of the pledge to the Bonn Challenge, including:

  • By 2030, for the Bonn Challenge, 165,000 hectares of new woodland will be planted. This is part of Scotland’s wider ambitions to increase woodland cover from 18% to 21% by 2032
  • Delivering a greater level of carbon sequestration with around 10MtCO2e of emissions being soaked up each year up to 2032 – some 130 Million tonnes of C02e
  • Increasing the annual woodland creation target of 10,000 hectares a year to 15,000 hectares by 2024/25
  • A commitment to improve the condition and extent of native woodlands – delivering a target to ensure 3,000 to 5,000 hectares of new native woodland is established each year

Complementary actions include:

  • Increasing the use of Scottish wood products in construction from 2.2 million cubic metres to 3 million cubic metres by 2031/32
  • Publishing a new Forestry Strategy for Scotland that has Sustainable Forest Management at its core and will support its ambitions for forestry restoration through woodland expansion
  • Working with the forest industries to double the current economic contribution to Scotland from forestry to £2 billion each year by 2030

You can learn more at the Bonn Challenge website.