5 years ago

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Case Study: Madagascar:

Case Study: Madagascar: Developing a Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative in a Landscape in the Moist Forest Stephanie Mansourian and Gérard Rambeloarisoa Starting in March 2003, WWF, the global conservation organisation, and its partners began developing a Forest Landscape Restoration programme in the moist forest ecoregion of Madagascar.This case study highlights the different steps in the process. Only about 10 percent of Madagascar’s forests are left, and much of this is in poor condition. For this reason forest landscape restoration was identified as a useful approach to tackle conservation and development concerns in the country. In March 2003, when WWF began its restoration programme, a moist forest ecoregion process was already underway to develop a comprehensive conservation programme for the whole area (i.e., data were being gathered, maps developed highlighting key habitats, the range of different species were being surveyed, etc.) which helped to feed crucial data into the development of the restoration initiative. The key steps in the development of the restoration programme are as follows: 1. Short-listing priority landscapes (March 2003): In a national workshop with participants representing civil society, researchers, government, and the private sector, a number of potential landscapes were selected for restoration based on coarse criteria developed together in the workshop. 2. Reconnaissance to focus on one landscape (June–August 2003): The criteria were then further refined by a national working group set up at the workshop. Using the selected criteria (which included both ecological and social issues, for instance, distance from large forest patch, literacy rate, presence or absence of land tenure conflict), the members of the national working group visited the five short-listed landscapes and rated each according to the criteria in order to select one priority one. 3. Proposal development and funds raised (August 2003–June 2004): A proposal was developed, submitted, and approved for the priority landscape. 4. Beginning the process for selecting biological and ecological targets (June 2004): To begin identifying the biological and ecological priorities for the landscape, data from the ecoregion process was used to define what might be priority areas for restoration within the landscape and with which biological/ ecological objective (e.g., restoring the habitat for a specific lemur, buffering a protected area, etc.). 5. Socioeconomic analysis (September– December 2004): Before taking the biological data further, it was felt that a better understanding of the social and economic situation inside the landscape was needed, leading to the commissioning of a socioeconomic analysis. 107

108 S. Mansourian and G. Rambeloarisoa Next Steps Some of the key next steps that have been already identified include the following: • Setting common targets in landscape: Using a merge of the ecological and the socioeconomic data, it will be possible to identify “compromise targets” for the landscape in consultation with stakeholders. • Partnerships: Key partnerships with stakeholders will be important to the process, from a point of view of both political support and technical complementarity. • Setting up a monitoring system at the landscape level: To measure progress against those targets, a monitoring system will need to be set up. • Beginning small-scale activities: Small-scale activities need to start rapidly to identify the most suitable techniques, species, species’ mix, training needs, and alternative economic activities that the population can engage in. • Extracting lessons learned from the process and revisiting the work plan: On an annual basis, it is necessary to revise work plans and review data to determine whether the process is progressing according to plan or if adjustments are necessary.

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