5 years ago

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

6 N. Dudley et al human

6 N. Dudley et al human life comfortable, such as money, peace, health, stability, and equable governance. 1.2. What Is Special About Forest Restoration in a Landscape? Restoring the complexity of a small patch of forests is in itself an achievement. However, a greater challenge lies in restoring a matrix of forests within larger areas—landscapes—to meet different needs. At this greater spatial scale, different influences, pressures, stakeholders, and habitats coexist, which in some ways increases the challenges of restoration. However, the landscape scale also provides enough space to plan and implement restoration to meet multiple needs. Conservation priorities therefore must be balanced with other aspects of sustainable development. Specific uses and priorities may have to be focussed on part of the forest landscape, and the resulting trade-offs negotiated and agreed to by a wide range of stakeholders. The resulting task is generally too complex to be solved solely by site-based approaches focussing on a narrow range of benefits from individual forests.Achieving a balance between the various goods and services required from restored forest ecosystems requires conceptualisation, planning, and implementation on a broader scale. It also requires deciding where forest is and is not needed. Aiming at restoring forest functions does not necessarily mean restoring forest across the whole landscape; this is often impossible in a crowded world with many competing claims on land. Rather, it entails identifying those areas where forests are most useful, from a variety of social and ecological perspectives, and further identifying what type of forest is likely to be most useful in a particular location. Whilst from a conservation perspective a high degree of naturalness is often important, this may not be the case for social or economic uses. Even in the parts of the landscape that are “specialised” in conservation, sometimes cultural landscapes are desired either because they have been in place for so long that remaining biodiversity has adapted to these conditions or because there is not sufficient space for a fully functioning natural system (for instance, with respect to the way that the forest changes and regenerates over time). Forests managed for social needs may have different priorities. Sometimes these overlap with conservation requirements—for instance some forests managed for nontimber forest products can be extremely rich in biodiversity—in other cases they do not. Seeking a balance at a landscape scale is more important than trying to make sure that every scrap of forest fulfils every possible role. Broad-scale restoration in most cases, therefore, has to address multiple, sometimes competing, needs that will themselves entail different types of forests (perhaps ranging from natural forests to plantations) and sometimes also including quite specific requirements such as particular nontimber forest products required by local communities or maintenance of water quality in a certain watershed. Such multifunctional landscapes by their nature need to be planned and implemented on a far broader scale than an individual forest patch. 2. Conclusion For foresters, restoration traditionally meant establishing trees for a number of functions (wood or pulp production, soil protection). For many conservationists restoration is either about restoring original forest cover in degraded areas or about planting corridors of forest to link protected areas. For many interested in social development, the emphasis will instead be on establishing trees that are useful for fuelwood, or fruits, or as windbreaks and livestock enclosures. The sad fact is that all too many restoration projects do not bother to find out what local people really want at all; if they do, then a collection of different and often opposing or mutually exclusive wants and desires emerge. There is still a lot to be learned and disseminated about reconciling nature and human needs, and about planning restoration areas within larger scales in order to return as wide a range of forest functions as possible.This requires the ability to work across disciplines, including agriculture, forest-compatible income-generation activities, forestry, and addressing water issues as well as specific social

issues. It also, perhaps even more importantly, requires finding out how to bring the people most affected into the debate, not as a matter of duty or because funding agencies expect it but because this is vital and necessary for both nature and human well-being. Through ecoregion conservation, WWF has learned that working on a large scale is complex, costly, and time-intensive; however, it is also a more sustainable way of addressing conservation than through small, often unrelated projects. This approach is also a challenge for restoration. References Carrere, R., and Lohmann, L. 1996. Pulping the South: Industrial Plantations and the World Paper Economy. Zed Books and the World Rainforest Movement, London and Montevideo. 1. Forest Landscape Restoration in Context 7 Eckholm, E. 1979. Planting for the Future: Forestry for Human Needs. Worldwatch Paper number 26. Worldwatch Institute, Washington, DC. FAO. 2001. Global Forest Resource Assessment 2000: Main Report. FAO Forestry Paper 140. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome. Perlin, J. 1991. A Forest Journey: The Role of Wood in the Development of Civilisation. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, and London. Perrow, M.R., and Davy, A.J. 2002. Handbook or Ecological Restoration, vol. 1 and 2. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Society for Ecological Restoration International. Science and Policy Working Group. 2002.The SER Primer on Ecological Restoration, Tompkins, S. 1989. Forestry in Crisis: The Battle for the Hills. Christopher Helm, London. Whisenant, S.G. 1999. Repairing Damaged Wildlands—a Process-Oriented, Landscape-Scale Approach. Cambridge University Press. WWF and IUCN. 2000. Minutes, Restoration workshop, Segovia, Spain (unpublished).

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