Scotland signs up to forestry pledge


A global ambition to restore landscapes and forests has been supported by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The Bonn Challenge aims to regenerate 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.

Bianca Jagger, an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Ambassador for the Bonn Challenge, the organisation driving the initiative, was in Edinburgh to meet the First Minister and endorse Scotland’s pledge.

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.”


Ms Jagger was invited to Bute House after meeting the First Minister in Bonn last year.

The Scottish Government became a member of the IUCN in 2017.

The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to reforest millions of hectares of land across the world. It is developed upon the forest landscape restoration approach.

Detail on the Pledge

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

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of the Forestry Commission and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus bidh e a’ toirt seachad comhairle air poileasaidhean coilltearachd agus air riaghladh. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta as leth Ministearan na h-Alba.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.