Global event captures the achievements of the Bonn Challenge

A young black boy holds a pine tree seedling

This month Greenhouse launched a 24 hour digital event on forest landscape restoration (FLR) for the world’s largest restoration initiative, the Bonn Challenge. The momentous event celebrated the first milestone year of the initiative and reached almost 10 million people or organisations on social media and 9 million readers through media coverage. 

The #RestoreOurFuture campaign showcased the accomplishments of countries through short films, a 40-page report, 24-hours of social media content, digital assets and six live YouTube panels. Major government spokespeople, youth leaders and restoration NGOs from across the world joined the online event and reported FLR an essential nature-based solution to tackling the health, biodiversity and climate crises we’re facing.

The Bonn Challenge

The Bonn Challenge was launched by IUCN and the Government of Germany in 2011 to respond to the urgent issue of land degradation and deforestation. On 2 September 2020, the Bonn Challenge announced that 72 pledgors have committed to restore 210 million hectares of degraded and deforested land (almost 6x size of Germany). 

The restoration of degraded and deforested land is not simply about planting trees. People and communities are at the heart of the restoration effort, which transforms barren or degraded areas of land into healthy, fertile working landscapes” – Bianca Jagger, IUCN Bonn Challenge Ambassador and Founder of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation.

Powerful storytelling to celebrate the restoration champions

With only six weeks to deliver a truly global event, Greenhouse PR immediately interviewed spokespeople from countries involved in the Bonn Challenge to bring to life the benefits of FLR through powerful storytelling. 

Six countries were identified as case studies that could demonstrate the impacts of FLR, including Malawi, Bangladesh and the USA. Multimedia materials including short films, a 40-page designed report and social media assets were developed and packaged together into dynamic and engaging campaign toolkit.

To coordinate with the 74 pledgors and over 300 NGOs and government bodies ahead of the event, Greenhouse designed a communications toolkit. The document contained a useful guide on how people could take part with links to the multimedia assets they could share. This was downloaded over 450 times.

Greenhouse developed the key messaging and narrative that would communicate the huge potential for forest landscape restoration to help countries to meet climate, biodiversity and climate targets. A 40-page report was designed to communicate this narrative and showcase the incredible country case studies with supporting commentary from Ms Bianca Jagger, the IUCN Bonn Challenge Ambassador and Founder of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, and Bonn Challenge spokespeople.

Impact of the Bonn Challenge

Through Greenhouse’s international media contracts 60 media articles were secured with a combined reach of 9 million. Highlight coverage included Reuters, Financial Times, Daily Mail, and Tagblatt. Bianca Jagger was interviewed by Sky News, EuroNews and BBC World Radio. 

Global social media event calling for increased restoration action

Over the 24-hours period, on the hour every hour a different country was brought into the limelight on IUCN’s social media platforms, with social media assets and short films produced by Greenhouse. Government leaders and restoration spokespeople were quoted to profile the people behind the pledges.

Several countries also launched their own content, including a webinar in India and a 60 minute feature film by South Korea. More than 1,600 Twitter accounts shared content using the #RestoreOurFuture hashtag.

Greenhouse worked with IUCN to craft six live panel sessions on various topics, including youth restoration action, gender equality and how restoration is key to a COVID-19 recovery. Over 4,200 people tuned in to watch over 460 hours of content. 

A total of 26 speakers took part, including the co-founders of the Bonn Challenge, Dr Bruno Oberle and Mr Jochen Flasbarth, notable journalists such as Lucy Siegle and Susannah Streeter, and prominent youth activists such as Lola Fayokun, Uwase Hirwa Honorine and Felix Finkbeiner. 

The event also had support from influencers including Dia Mirza, Indian actress and climate advocate, as well as several youth climate activists including Patricia Kombo, Founder of the PaTree Initiative, Lamech Lamarch and Leah Namugerwa.

If you would like to find out more about the Bonn Challenge, visit the Bonn Challenge website or read the Restore Our Future report here.

Read more about the Bonn Challenge virtual anniversary event on our blog.

Greenhouse PR  works with organisations and leaders who are pioneering climate action. Whether it’s food, fashion, finance or farming, if you’ve got a great story and need our help to tell it, get in touch with the Greenhouse team on 0117 214 1250 or email