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Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

3.3.

3.3. Using Advocacy Levers Some advocacy, lobbying, and economic tools can be used to encourage change that supports forest restoration or that removes or reduces the pressure on forests. • Market pressure: The market may be used to promote the use of products from wellmanaged forests or forests that are being restored. For example, WWF has worked on the palm oil markets in Switzerland to promote better practices in Malaysia where the oil palm plantations have significantly damaged natural forest cover and where restoration of natural forest is now having to take place. This signifies engaging in research on market routes and raising awareness at the consumer end, as well as promoting solutions for better practices at the production end. • Pressure using multilateral donors: Multilateral donors may be used as a lever for change either through their own projects or through imposing conditionality on loans. For example, agencies such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have active projects related to forest policy, but they also finance plantation projects. In Vietnam, for instance, the ADB is one of the main donors to the government’s Five Million Hectares Reforestation Programme. Working together with such institutions may be a way of improving practices within their projects and also encouraging change in those projects that they finance. • Communications/media tools such as Gifts to the Earth: WWF developed the Gifts to the Earth tool, a public relations mechanism, to pay tribute to major acts that favour the environment. This is one of many creative tools that may be used as an incentive for a government or other decision maker to change current policies or adopt new ones that would be more beneficial to or supportive of restoration. • Campaigning: mobilising many stakeholders to put pressure on the relevant decision makers (governments, multilateral agencies, the private sector) is an effective means of 19. Practical Interventions that Will Support Restoration 139 ensuring change. It does need to be used carefully, however, and must be founded on good data. 3.4. Changing Companies’ Practices Traditionally, conservation organisations have not worked much with the private sector. Yet given that the largest companies are larger financial players than most governments and that they often determine future land-use options (e.g., mining companies, plantation companies, infrastructure companies), it is important to work with them in any largescale restoration effort in order to ensure that restoration is well integrated in their plans. This is, for instance, an effective way of encouraging companies to adopt best (or at least “better”) practices. Many companies are happy to work with civil society organisations especially if improvement in their standards means some form of certification, media opportunities, and even in some cases the additional bonus of more efficient (cheaper) production. The sorts of sectors that may be influential include the infrastructure sector, the mining sector, and the forestry sector.WWF is currently engaging with large plantation companies such as Stora Enso to not only promote better management of their estates but also assist them to restore areas of the land that they manage. 3.5. Valuing Forests Governments sometimes neglect or mismanage forests because the goods and services that they produce have not been properly valued. By obtaining recognition of the value of forests from either the government (if it is the major cause of concern) or local communities, restoration of those values can be promoted. This can be done a number of ways: • Through a traditional cost-benefit analysis that would provide a good argument for restoration for governments (see the Bulgaria example, above) • Through research and surveys with local communities, particularly elders, to identify what values have been lost and what values

140 S. Mansourian they would like to see restored. For example, in Vietnam WWF has engaged with communities and the provincial government in the central Annamites to identify the forest values that have been lost as a starting point for setting future restoration objectives. While recognising the value of forests is one important step, it is but the first step. Governments and other decision makers then need to take necessary measures to ensure that those values are protected and where relevant restored. 183 3.6. Specific Research Often a large-scale programme to restore a range of forest functions cannot start until a number of specifications of the landscape are better understood. Initial research can be carried out with limited funds as a way to start a larger-scale programme. This research may be related to any of the following, for example: • Restoration techniques: While a number of restoration techniques have been tried and tested, it is not always easy to know which one will work best under local conditions. A small-scale trial plot can help identify those (see example on Borneo, above). • Species’ mix: Often exotic species have been used because they are better understood than local ones. Research money may be well spent on identifying the growth rate of and necessary conditions for specific local species as well as on the optimal mix of species. • Removal of invasive species: Invasive species can often be the single most important impediment to natural regeneration or maintenance of forest quality within existing forests. Applied research can help test different techniques to remove the invasive species while promoting indigenous ones. • Communities and stakeholders: Socioeconomic research may be necessary to understand better the profiles of stakeholders in the landscape and their motivations, pressures, livelihood conditions, and aspirations. 183 Sheng, 1993. • Market research: Market research may be helpful when seeking to promote alternative income generating activities. • Upstream versus downstream: In a landscape context, it may be important to identify the types of activities upstream and their impact downstream. For example, deforestation upstream may be causing sedimentation problems downstream.To encourage restoration within the landscape context, such cause and effect will need to be clearly demonstrated to stakeholders and substantiated by suitable research. The above represent but a few of the numerous research topics. There are many others that are specific to different conditions. 3.7. Awareness Raising If there is no identified need from the local population for restoration, then attempts at restoration are likely to fail. It is important to ensure that relevant stakeholders understand the linkages between restoration and the things that matter to them (availability of useful plants, soil protection, provision of forest products, etc.), and this may necessitate an awareness-raising campaign. For example, in New Caledonia, WWF is one of nine partners engaging in the protection and restoration of the dry forest.The project has a number of components, including active engagement of stakeholders (particularly land owners), and it has spent considerable time and resources working with local landowners to mobilise their support for restoration and to help them understand the implications of restoring the dry forest (benefits and costs). There are a number of different forms of publicity (different media, workshops) and part of the skill in successful advocacy is in identifying the one that will reach the target audience (e.g., radio is often a good way of reaching rural populations in poorer countries). 3.8. Training and Capacity Building One tactical intervention may consist of offering training in relevant restoration techniques. For instance in Morocco, WWF has been

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