5 years ago

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

86 G. Oviedo 1.4.

86 G. Oviedo 1.4. Ownership of Land but Also of Forest Goods and Services Forest ownership differs significantly from other types of land and resource tenure—agricultural land, for example. The differences rely basically on the wide array of goods and services of the forest, and more specifically on the fact that forest ownership consists of a complex mixture of three types of ownership rights: rights to the land, rights to the forest resources, and rights to the trees. Further, ownership rights in forestlands overlap frequently with, and are different from, user rights. As Neef and Schwarzmeier 116 illustrate for Southeast Asia, in some cases groups or individuals holding the property of the land recognise rights of other individuals or groups to use the trees existing on that land, as long as there are no competing uses over the trees. There could even be multiple layers of rights on a single plot of land; for example, when a group or individual has property on the land, another group has rights on nontimber forest products, and another group holds rights on timber exploitation. 1.5. Opportunity Cost and Intergenerational Equity Tree growth takes place over long or relatively long periods, when the forest ecosystem under restoration can offer only limited services; therefore, we are dealing with situations where there is a high, or relatively high, opportunity cost in the use of the land for forest-dependent people. In these conditions, only significant incentives and economic alternatives can cover the opportunity cost of forest restoration. The nature of benefits and incentives from forest restoration in terms of the time horizon (especially in cases of slow-maturing tree species) adds a time perspective to tenure security. For forest owners and users, it is not sufficient to know that their rights to forests and trees are secure now; it is more important to know that they will be secure and enforceable after one generation or more. In this sense, changing ownership and rights policies are even worse 116 Neef and Schwarzmeier, 2001. than the absence of them, since they cause a great lack of confidence in restoration as something socially beneficial. 1.6. Stability of Forest Ownership In the case of China, Liu Dachang 116a finds no conclusive evidence that user rights on trees are the best option (e.g., compared to state regulations), but does find evidence that changing rights policies were the basis of ups and downs in forest cover, and especially that lack of stability of forest ownership policies was the main reason for decline in forest cover and tree planting in certain periods; in fact, over approximately 25 years of China’s modern history (from 1956 to the early 1980s), there was a succession of at least five major forest ownership policy paradigms, thus an average of a major policy change every 5 years. In practice, a few years after villagers planted trees, a major policy change would affect dramatically their rights to those trees and forests. The results were simply lack of confidence in the system and lack of incentives for tree planting. Generally, the evidence is that where tenure security was greatest, tree planting was most successful. Tenure security means basically three levels: land tenure security, forest ownership security, and also user rights security. 1.7. Communal Systems Several researchers have pointed to the fact that communal forest tenure, especially in conditions of market economies, requires a “critical group size” to be effective, where enforcement of rights and regulations can be optimally implemented, and where economies of scale and diversification make opportunity costs affordable, particularly when the community has to invest in forest restoration or reforestation. In other words, in any particular situation of communal forest ownership, it seems that there is a certain size of the group where forest management works best; if it is too small or too big, management is inefficient. In many places, forest communities have tended to solve this issue by establishing a dual community/user group system, where forest 116a Dachang, 2001.

ownership remains at the community level, but user rights (especially for trees) are allocated to smaller groups that act as forest management units. For example, in Honduras groupbased management has proven better than community-based management, but the experience also shows that links between both are critical at decision-making levels on broader issues such as natural resources linked to forests: “What is required, therefore, is an institutional arrangement that retains forest management under group control, but which also provides a protocol for liaison between group and community and possibly some form of profit-sharing” 117 i.e., an arrangement where land and forest ownership remains in the community, where decision making for the entire area or landscape lies, while user rights for trees and other products are allocated to forestry groups who act on behalf of the community. The same logic applies to the duality community-households in many communal ownership regimes. An effective articulation of forest ownership and use rights between small units (even individuals) and larger units (community) seems therefore a critical element for successful forest management and restoration (although not the only element, as already indicated). It is also a fundamental tool to deal with the very important elements of equity and social stratification or differentiation. It has been documented that as much in agricultural lands as in forestlands, the egalitarianism that dominated ideological paradigms of agrarian reform and forest estate reform in the 20th century produced large fragmentation of lands and forests as a result of the distribution of family plots. The intention of the reformers, who were probably aware of the need to address problems of stratification within rural communities, was to overcome community differentiation by allocating equal plots to all families. 118 117 Markopoulos, 1999, p. 46. 118 As an example, in China, under the Land Reform Campaign initiated in 1950, “all rural households in a given geographical area were given equal forest resources” (Liu Dachang, 2001, p. 241). Exceptions to this policy were Tibet and the ethnic minority areas in the South of Yunnan, where community forests were established. 12. Land Ownership and Forest Restoration 87 In areas where this type of reform took place, fragmentation often made forest management extremely inefficient, and restoration virtually impossible, as a “critical size” is required in plots of forestland to make restoration or reforestation viable; tree planting in these conditions is often reduced to small numbers of trees around houses and within agricultural plots— normally fruit trees. 1.8. Equity Issues Stratification of local communities in relation to forest ownership is one of the equity issues that need to be addressed in community-owned forests. Experience shows that often the most forest-dependent groups have the least user rights, especially women, 119 a situation that creates obstacles to developing solid, longterm, rights-based incentives for forest restoration. As in the case of the relationship group/community, finding the appropriate articulation of forest ownership and use rights between specific groups of users, including individual users, and larger units (forests groups and communities), in a stable, long-term policy framework, is critical to forest rehabilitation success. 2. Examples 2.1. China: Restoration Benefits and Incentives Liu Dachang 120 has extensively researched the experience of China on forest policies, and concludes that generally user rights on trees are of greater importance than forest ownership per se for sustainable management and particularly for tree planting, reforestation, and restoration. For example, Liu Dachang shows that despite clear tenure policies on forestlands in China, in periods of stringent protective regulations on trees there was no incentive for reforestation; strict market regulations, aimed at protecting forests by discouraging commercialisation of 119 Neef and Schwarzmeier, 2001. 120 Dachang, 2001, 2003.

Forest Landscape Restoration - IUCN
[en]+[zh]Study on Forest Landscape Restoration - ITTO
Rehabilitation and Restoration Of Degraded Forests (PDF) - IUCN
People Restoring America's Forests: - Society of American Foresters
Landscape management /Restoration ecology
Restoration of Watershed Forests - PennFuture
Rehabilitation and Restoration Of Degraded Forests (PDF) - IUCN
Restoring Southwestern Forests – A 21st Century Challenge
RESTORE Act , Gulf Restoration and Landscape Conservation ...
Investing in Trees and Landscape Restoration: Overview - PROFOR
Forest Restoration and Biodiversity Conservation in a Changing ...
Building forest landscapes resilient to global changes in drylands ...
Using Native Plant Species in Forest Restoration ... - Rainforestation
Towards global guidelines for restoring the resilience of forest ...
Groundcover Restoration in Forests of the Southeastern United States
rainforest restoration - Ministry of Environment and Forests
Restoring the American Chestnut to Our Forests and Our Wildlife
Landscape Ecology in a Restoration Context - ctahr
Building forest landscapes resilient to global changes in drylands ...
Forest landscapes are extensive - ICP Forests
Managing forests and fire in landscapes historically associated with ...
Th R l f U b F t i The Role of Urban Forests in Biodiversity Restoration
(Pacific Forest Trust). - Forest Landscape Ecology Lab, University of ...
Building forest landscapes resilient to global changes in drylands ...
natural forest restoration : peninsular malaysia perspective