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Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

54 N. Dudley et al

54 N. Dudley et al result of increased grazing pressure from savannah herbivores. New areas were chosen on the basis of past use and where fertility was likely to have recovered, thus focussing on different parts of the landscape at different times to ensure long-term continuity. Villagers established forest patches on the edge of the grassland to provide needed nontimber forest products and protected these from fire and grazing. 80 2.3. United Kingdom: Plantations Replacing Natural Forests and Dominating the Landscape Following the First World War, concern about lack of timber led to the establishment of the Forestry Commission, which was provided with considerable funds and political power to undertake compulsory purchase, to establish fast-growing plantations of trees. The emphasis was on conifers, particularly Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) from Alaska. Many of these plantations were established on upland grazing areas (which were originally forested but had lost their tree cover, in some cases centuries before). Some plantations were also established on the site of native woodland, which was occasionally cleared with herbicides, and in northeast Scotland on moor that had never contained trees. Whilst the planting was successful in creating a strategic reserve, it led to resentment about loss of access, native woodlands, and other natural habitats, and a limited range of forest functions. Dense forest created access problems and the abrupt boundaries between this and other habitat limited usefulness for biodiversity. Planning was usually at site rather than landscape scale. From the 1980s onward, the commission started revising its aims, increasing native planting and playing a more general stewardship role in land management; experiments are also taking place in returning woodland areas to local community control. 81 80 Fairhead and Leach, 1996. 81 Garforth and Dudley, 2003. 2.4. Costa Rica: Shade-Grown Coffee as a Linking Habitat in Fragmented Landscape with a High Population Density Although Costa Rica still contains large areas of native forests, some forest ecosystems have declined to a fraction of their former size and are no longer ecologically viable, particularly in Talamanca and Guanacaste. In the former area, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been working with local communities to link remaining forest fragments to allow access for birds. Because pressure on land was too intense to allow space for native woodland as such, shade grown cacao and coffee production was encouraged and supported, planned at a landscape scale to link remaining forest fragments. While far from a natural woodland, the trees shading coffee provide habitats to allow passage for rare birds, thus allowing them to form viable populations. 82 The above cases illustrate only a fraction of the possible examples. They show that in most places where restoration is encouraged, its purpose is generally fairly narrow (also see “Goals and Targets of Forest Landscape Restoration”): erosion control, strategic reserves, etc. If other benefits accrue, it has sometimes been fortuitous. One of the key aspects of forest landscape restoration is to reduce the elements of chance and increase the sophistication of restoration planning. 3. Outline of Tools 3.1. Ecoregional Planning Tools A wide range of possible tools exist to plan regional scale forest cover and management (see also previous chapter). Among the most popular are the following: • Ecoregional workshops: used to help establish a vision for an ecoregion, prioritise actions and conservation landscapes, and develop strategies 82 Parrish et al, 1999.

Identification of conservation and other values Understanding development trajectories Integration of protection, management and restoration Negotiation with stakeholders Conflict resolution Implementation Adaptation • Computer-aided design packages: including those involved in the development of systematic conservation planning • Conservation by design: developed by TNC, using a five-step process (identifying targets, gathering information, setting goals, assessing viability, assembling portfolios) and the 5- S framework (systems, stresses, sources, strategies, success) There are many other examples; a selection are available on the Web-based Earth Conservation Toolbox. 83 3.2. Protect, Manage, Restore WWF 84 and IUCN have developed a number of landscape approaches to help address this kind of broadscale decision making, and these or similar exercises could provide help in determining where restoration could be used most effectively.An outline of one approach is shown 7. Why Do We Need to Consider Restoration in a Landscape Context? 55 Defining our own conservation targets Learning about the needs and expectations of others Defining the landscape(s) Assessing current/potential benefits from the landscape Developing possible land-use scenarios Reconciling land-use options Implementation (strategic interventions) Monitoring and learning The order given is one possibility but in practice many stages may take place simultaneously, or at different times in different parts of the landscape—e.g., stakeholder negotiation is likely to occur throughout this process in some form or other, and early development of a monitoring and evaluation system has proved very valuable. 83 www.earthtoolbox.net. 84 Aldrich et al, 2004. Decisions Figure 7.1. Protect–manage–restore approach. diagrammatically in Figure 7.1 (also see Box 7.1 for the detailed steps): 3.3. Implementing Conservation in Priority Areas WWF also has a science-based methodology for continuing ecoregion planning inside priority conservation landscapes, containing a set of guidelines to develop and implement a conservation landscape, which could be used to include restoration issues. 85 3.4. Reference Forests Adaptation as a result of lessons learned Restoration for conservation usually involves trying to regain something as similar to a native forest as possible (for more, see “Identifying and Using Reference Landscapes for Restoration”). 85 Loucks et al, 2004.

Forest Landscape Restoration - IUCN