Introduction of forest and landscape restoration
Restoring forest landscapes is an integral part of the solution for almost all the social, economic, and ecological challenges described in The United Nations “Agenda 2030”, signed by 193 countries.
With the potential for forest landscape restoration (FLR) to support climate mitigation and protect biodiversity, whilst simultaneously improving livelihoods, it’s no wonder that the UN named the years 2020-2030 “The Decade of Ecosystem Restoration”.
More than 2 billion hectares have been identified worldwide, with potential for different kinds of FLR (figure above). The largest potential for FLR lays in “mosaic restoration” where rural populations are living of former forest land. Successful FLR therefore must relate to local populations and their requirements from the land.
FLR results for many international and national large-scale efforts are not impressive, but where local communities are engaged and experience positive development FLR activities are often more successful.
In the LoCoFoRest training programme we will emphasize a local Governance and Market Oriented Approach, and together try to find new and more successful ways forward.
Programme focus: Locally controlled forest restoration
Forest landscapes play an increasingly important role in the transition from a world reliant on fossil-fuel to a circular bioeconomy. Well-managed natural forests and landscapes, with a mix of agriculture, tree plantations, woodlots, and agroforestry, are key for climate change adaptation and mitigation, for water security and biodiversity, as well as for meeting the growing global demand for wood-based products.
The programme focuses on one critical question: How can we scale up restoration of forest landscapes while securing the prosperity of local communities, and maintaining and improving ecosystem services?
It differs from many other FLR approaches by assuming that the market is the main driver for change (positive as well as negative), and that good governance is critical for any successful FLR efforts.
In this “Governance and Market approach”, innovations and entrepreneurship are central, but equally important for sustainability and resilience are securing critical ecosystem services and the natural resources in multifunctional landscapes. Finally, the sustainability and scalability of any FLR efforts will always depend on the engagement and support of the people living in the landscape. Therefore, the programme emphasizes social aspects, including gender and human rights perspectives.
Figure above. Regional distribution of FLR opportunities. Source World Resources Institute