5 years ago

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

48 J. Morrison et al

48 J. Morrison et al restoration activities will be necessary to allow the continued persistence of the mangroves, and with them the important ecological (and social) functions they perform. 69 2.5. Deciding Where to Do Restoration When There Are Choices In the preceding discussion, the need for restoration fell into two broad categories: increasing the area of a particular forest type for representation or for particular species/ processes, and restoring particular landscape features, especially corridors, which allow specific ecological processes to operate. Sometimes there are choices of where restoration is most appropriate. All other things being equal, it is generally easier to restore the less degraded example of a forest type, since less effort or time will be required.All other things are rarely equal, however. How does one decide which semi-irreplaceable example of a forest type to restore if there are several choices? Obviously, many factors must often be weighed. The first step is to be clear about the end objective(s). For example, is primary forest the only possible objective, or would secondary forest do just as well (or even better) for the focal species being considered? Factors to consider when determining which area to restore are the following: 69 Noss, 2001. Figure 6.3. Mangrove belts along coastal areas are expected to shift inland with rising sea levels. (Photo © John Morrison.) • The current condition of the forest area in question—how much effort/time is required to restore? • Proximity to other viable habitats, to allow species to disperse or facilitate later reconnection • Proximity to the existing or anticipated urban frontier This last bullet point highlights an entire class of information that can help to assure that restoration activities (and in fact any conservation activities) have the greatest chance of success. The mapping of human population density, distance from access corridors, government capacity, ethnic stability and homogeneity, and similar factors can help a project see where the threats and opportunities lie across the ecoregion or landscape. Additionally, the incorporation of socioeconomic information and consultation will help to assure that restoration activities undertaken for ecological reasons will also benefit local people either through ecological services or even through employment in restoration activities. 3. Outline of Tools As already noted, ecoregion conservation in the WWF network is more of a philosophy than a particular methodology, and a number of methodologies have been used to achieve the four goals of conservation. This is altogether appropriate, since there is a great variety of

data availability, social structures, infrastructure, and professional capacity in the ecoregions across the planet. There is no tool especially tailored to help set restoration priorities. These priorities should emerge from a generic comprehensive planning process. A full discussion of the tools available for ecoregional conservation planning is beyond the scope of this paper. Some of the primary tools include: • WWF’s approaches to ecoregion conservation, 70 including specific advice about actions in priority conservation landscapes71 and case studies72 and a detailed guide to implementation within ecoregions73 • The Nature Conservancy’s approach to ecoregion conservation74 • Systematic conservation planning approaches as developed in New South Wales, Australia75 The use of a geographic information system (GIS) is practically mandatory when considering spatial planning for conservation. The GIS allows spatial maps to display conservation options, and more powerfully, allows the user to combine biological and socioeconomic information to analyse ways of meeting conservation goals at the least socioeconomic “cost.” Additional tools that work alongside and with a GIS are decision support software tools, which allow numerous competing variables to be combined. Depending on the particular tool used, a single best conservation configuration may be generated or a range of choices can be portrayed. In some of these tools, once a decision is made regarding a particular portion of the landscape, the entire study area can be recalculated to portray the next best options. 4. Future Needs Further development is needed for tools to prioritise restoration needs. Current decision support tools are able to identify remaining 70 Dinerstein et al, 2000. 71 Loucks et al, 2004. 72 Palminteri, 2003. 73 WWF, 2003. 74 Groves et al, 2000. 75 Margules and Pressey, 2000. 6. Restoration as a Strategy to Contribute to Ecoregion Visions 49 habitat for inclusion in protected area networks, and these tools can be used to work with maps of previously existing potential vegetation. However, further refinement of these tools and associated techniques to identify areas that could be restored to meet representation goals is needed. References Dinerstein, E., Powell, G., Olson, D., et al. 2000. A workbook for conducting biological assessments and developing biodiversity visions for ecoregionbased conservation. World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC. http://www.worldwildlife. org/science/pubs2.cfml. Groves, C.R., Valutis, L.L., Vosick, D., et al. 2000. Designing a geography of hope: a practitioner’s handbook to ecoregional conservation planning. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA. www. Loucks, C., Springer, J., Palminteri, S., Morrison, J., and Strand, H. 2004. From the Vision to the Ground: A Guide to Implementing Ecoregion Conservation in Priority Areas. World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC. Margules, C.R., and Pressey, R.L. 2000. Systematic conservation planning. Nature 405:243–253. Noss, R.F. 1992. The wildlands project: land conservation strategy. Wild Earth (Special issue) 10–25. Noss, R.F. 2001. Beyond Kyoto: forest management in a time of rapid climate change. Conservation Biology 15(3):578–590. Olson, D.M., and Dinerstein, E. 1998. The global 200: a representation approach to conserving the earth’s most biological valuable ecoregions. Conservation Biology 12:502–515. Olson, D.M., Dinerstein, E., Wikramanayake, E.D., et al. 2001. A new map of life on earth. BioScience 15:933–938. Palminteri, S. 2003. Ecoregion conservation: securing living landscapes through science-based planning and action. A users guide for ecoregion conservation through examples from the field (draft). CD-Rom. World Wildlife Fund US, Washington, DC. Scott, J.M., Norse, E.A., Arita, H., et al. 1999. The issue of scale in selecting and designing biological reserves. In: Soule, M.E., Terborgh, J. Continental Conservation; Scientific Foundations of Regional Reserve Networks. Island Press, Washington, DC. WWF. 2003. Ecoregion Action Programmes A Guide for Practitioners. WWF International, Gland, Switzerland.

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