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Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Section V

Section V Identifying and Addressing Challenges/Constraints

10 Assessing and Addressing Threats in Restoration Programmes Doreen Robinson Key Points to Retain Threats may be direct, indirect, or potential. Before undertaking a large-scale restoration effort, it is important to understand threats in all three categories. A variety of tools for undertaking threat assessment and integrating the results into forest restoration programmes have been tested around the world. In most cases, tools will need to be used in conjunction with others or may need to be modified to fit local circumstances. A key challenge for restoration programmes is to expand the breadth of expertise integrated into assessment and analysis through multidisciplinary teams. 1. Background and Explanation of the Issue The key to any successful restoration programme lies in good project design that is based on sound science, a thorough understanding of threats and opportunities, and a strategic and pragmatic suite of interventions chosen to mitigate identified threats while capitalising on key opportunities. A comprehensive threat assessment goes beyond merely identifying the factors, behaviours, and practices that pose a challenge to forest restoration, but includes an analysis of the underlying social, economic, and political incentives that drive such behaviours. 1.1. Information Needed for Threat Assessment For restoration programmes, a good threat assessment provides actionable information that can be used to define the scope of interventions. Information should be timely, verifiable, and collected in a cost- and time-effective manner. Restoration programmes are not immune to the all too common pitfall of investing considerable time and resources in collecting a tremendous amount of data that, while perhaps new and interesting, is not particularly relevant to making decisions about the best way to undertake restoration activities. To avoid this pitfall it is often useful to frame a threat assessment by exploring different types of threats—direct, indirect, and potential. 1.2. Types of Threats Direct threats are those with immediate and clear causal links to the negative impact of forest degradation or loss. Indirect threats, often referred to as root causes, 101 are the underlying drivers behind direct threats. Potential threats are those threats that, while currently not posing a significant challenge to forest restoration, have the potential to under- 101 Wood et al. 2000. 73

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