Field Trip
Photo Credit: GIZ/ Jan Philipp Laurinat

The African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) is a country-led effort to bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030. With these ambitious goals it is therefore one of the most important initiatives to contribute to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030)! So, how can we ensure that the many dedicated AFR100 implementers who are already restoring Africa’s diverse ecosystems can benefit from the UN Decade’s global partner network and strengthen their voices for #GenerationRestoration?

To answer these questions the Restoration Academy partnered with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), which acts as the AFR100’s Secretary, and the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Environment. In the run-up to the AFR100 7th Annual Partnership Meeting (APM7) which took place in Lagos, Nigeria from 27.06.-30.06.2023 the Restoration Academy opened its gates for participants from Nigeria, Somalia, Malawi and Cameroon to learn about the UN Decade, exchange restoration experiences and discuss possible synergies between the AFR100 and the UN Decade.

Icebreake People Bingo
Restoration Academy participants get to know each other through interactive formats like people bingo.
Photo Credit: GIZ/ Linus Buck

The 2-day in-person workshop started on the 25th of June with opening remarks from AUDA-NEPAD and the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Environment followed by an introductory session on the UN Decade’s strategy, its global partner network and its 10 Principles for Ecosystem Restoration. During a deep dive session on Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR), participants discussed the respective IUCN Guiding Principles of FLR and shared their implementation experiences. An Open Space at the end of the day allowed participants to set their own agenda, address topics which are important in their daily work and exchange with peers about challenges and lessons learned.

meet the expert
Restoration Academy participants engage in in-depth discussions during “Meet the expert” sessions.
Photo Credit: GIZ/ Linus Buck

The second workshop day (26th of June) started off by asking: How can we communicate our ecosystem restoration efforts to raise awareness and create visibility and impact? While the UN Decade’s core team presented the communication and outreach strategy for the UN Decade, the UN Decade partner organization Justdiggit provided insight into their communication and awareness-raising work on the ground. Based on a sound understanding of the target audience, Justdiggit chooses modern communication channels, like movie roadshows, and engages local leaders and celebrities as ambassadors to spread the word about restoration approaches like Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR).

peer to peer learning
Restoration Academy participants learn from each other in sharing circles.
Photo Credit: GIZ/ Linus Buck

However, to communicate positive results, the impact of ecosystem restoration for climate, biodiversity, and human well-being needs to be measured adequately. For this reason, participants turned their focus towards intricate questions of ecosystem restoration monitoring. Based on inputs from the UN Decade core team, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and AUDA-NEPAD, participants familiarized themselves with different monitoring frameworks and tools available, including the UN Decade’s Framework on Ecosystem Restoration Monitoring, WRI’s AURORA tool and its restoration monitoring tools guide, as well as the AFR100 Monitoring approach.

In the afternoon of the second day, a Gallery Fair with poster presentations allowed participants to present their own work and implementation experiences in more detail, discuss best practices and build knowledge networks. The second day ended with “Meet the expert” sessions in which participants could dive deeper into the individual topics based on their needs and interests.

Restoration Academy participants learn about each other’s work in a gallery fair.
Photo Credit: GIZ/ Jan Philipp Laurinat

A field trip to the Lekki Conservation Center run by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation on 27th of June marked the end of the Restoration Academy and the beginning of the APM7. While climbing the longest Canopy Walk in Africa, participants learned about the conservation and restoration efforts of the 78-hectare urban wetland park.

Field Trip
Field Trip to Lekki Conservation Center in Lagos.
Photo Credit: GIZ/ Jan Philipp Laurinat

The Restoration Academy was rounded off by an additional virtual session on 26th of July to sketch out and discuss opportunities for future collaboration in the framework of the UN Decade and the Restoration Academy alumni network.

Group picture of the Restoration Academy at the AFR100 APM 7 in Lagos.
Photo Credit: AUDA-NEPAD

The Restoration Academy is a workshop series designed to support local and national organizations to join forces for #GenerationRestoration, become part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and benefit from the UN Decade’s global partner network. Earlier editions took place in Central America and East Africa.

The Restoration Academy at the AFR100 APM7/ Lagos is a joint initiative of the projects “Support for the Design and Implementation of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (DEER)” and “Large-scale Forest Landscape Restoration in Africa (AREECA)”, both funded through the German International Climate Initiative (IKI) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and the “Global project on forest landscape restoration and good governance in the forest sector (Forests4Future)” which is implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Restoration Academy Africa was co-hosted by the African Union Development Agency - NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) through the AFR100 Initiative and the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Environment.

For more information on the Restoration Academy feel free to contact the organizing team.


About the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, led by the United Nations Environment Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and its partners, covers terrestrial as well as coastal and marine ecosystems. As a global call to action, it will draw together political support, scientific research and financial muscle to massively scale up restoration. Find out how you can contribute to the UN Decade. Follow #GenerationRestoration.