Main Issue

Healthy landscapes support a huge variety of land uses — from agriculture and agroforestry to wildlife reserves and ecological corridors to forests and plantations. They provide clean water, food and materials to build shelter for wildlife and humans alike. And they provide livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people.

Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) brings barren and degraded areas back to life. Not only does this restore biodiversity and revitalize local communities, it also contributes to climate change mitigation. Landscape restoration projects that regenerate forests, for example, create another “carbon sink” that contribute to climate change mitigation. Read more+

What We Do

The GEF aligns its work with international efforts like the Bonn Challenge and the Global Partnership. Our first three initiatives, begun during GEF-5 (2010-2014), share a common approach. They are creating multiple benefits from restoration, engaging local communities who make a living from the land.

The Sahel and West Africa Program (SAWAP) supports the Great Green Wall Initiative. It aims to establish a green belt of productive lands and forests along the edge of the Sahara Desert to battle desertification and soil degradation, while tackling poverty. It focuses on a strip of land of 15 km wide and 7,100 km long from Dakar to Djibouti. The Great Green Wall has the potential of restoring landscapes in 11 participating countries. Read more+


More than 80 countries have used funding available for forestry projects in GEF-5. In many cases, these projects are helping to transform the countries’ forestry sectors. Through the current portfolio of sustainable forest management (SFM) projects and programs (GEF-6, 2014-2018), we expect to restore 770,000 ha of degraded forests through plantations and agroforestry systems. In addition, natural regeneration will improve 5.3 million ha of existing forest. With that, we are creating multiple environmental benefits at global level, which also contribute to improved livelihoods of forest-dependent people.

The GEF is also working with its partners to bring forest restoration to the attention of global policymakers. Indeed, the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris acknowledged the value of the GEF’s SFM program. In keeping with the Paris Agreement, the GEF and its partners are working toward including landscape restoration as a tactic to help keep the rise of the Earth’s temperature within 2°C.