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Forest Restoration in Landscapes

Forest Restoration in Landscapes

76 D.

76 D. Robinson ling exercise, facilitating broader community involvement in decision making and buy-in for the planning process. While the threedimensional (3D) mapping of threats provided a good way to engage communities in restoration planning, solid facilitation and conflict resolution skills were critical in ensuring success. This relatively cost-effective activity is now being replicated in other areas in the region in order to develop an integrated land and resource management plan at a larger landscape scale. 3. Outline of Tools A variety of tools for undertaking threat assessment and integrating such analysis into forest restoration programmes have been tested around the world. While no one tool is ideal for all situations, certain aspects are useful for programme implementers to consider when selecting and modifying existing tools to meet specific forest restoration goals, including stakeholder participation, flexibility/adaptability of analysis, costs (e.g., time, human resources, financial resources, etc.), iterative nature of information gathering and analyses, processes to include new and updated information, communicability of outputs to appropriate audiences, and ability to incorporate different types of data (i.e., qualitative vs. quantitative). Research studies, literature reviews, ecological and socioeconomic surveys, focus groups, and key informant interviews are all techniques that are used to gather relevant information needed to undertake threat analyses.A number of tools can be used, singularly or in combination, to carry out the actual analysis. Conceptual modelling 103 is commonly used to show linkages and complex relationships between threats and their impacts while providing a strategic framework for thinking about appropriate project interventions. Conceptual models explicitly identify the restoration factors that programmes are intended to influence while characterising both direct and indirect forces affecting these factors. Conceptual models are particularly good for teasing out root causes, integrating interdisciplinary perspectives and are generally supported by a mix of quantitative and qualitative background data. They can be quite participatory if multiple stakeholders are brought in as part of facilitated discussions. However, conceptual models can get very complex and make it challenging to identify and prioritise interventions. Threat matrices are a useful way to link threat assessment to project goals and specific activities. Matrices can vary from relatively simple to complex logframes where forest restoration targets are explicitly stated, with relevant threats, activities, and potential indicators for monitoring change over time explicitly tied to these targets. Matrices are good for tying threat analysis to specific activities and strategic interventions and are easily updated as adaptive management is practised. The underlying assumptions linking threats to targets and activities can be obscure and should be explicitly stated and supported by both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Threat mapping 104 can be used to assess threats for a forest restoration area—in the form of either a pictorial map or 3D models made out of clay, wood, or other materials (see above example in Vietnam).These maps are the basis for discussion of changes in forest habitat quantity or quality, often with community groups. The process involves facilitated discussion to ensure that different members of the community with differential knowledge of threats offer their insights. For example, elders may have knowledge of the historical extent of the forest, women and men may have very different perceptions of threats related to the different forest resources they use and manage, and so on. When used appropriately this is a highly participatory tool that effectively incorporates qualitative data and generates a product that multiple stakeholders can use. Threat mapping is often most effective when used in combination with some of the other more quantitatively oriented tools. GIS-based tools offer more advanced threat mapping by reflecting quantitative data in 103 Robinson, 2000; WCS, 2004. 104 Biodiversity Support Programme, 1995.

sophisticated spatial maps. Direct threats, such as habitat fragmentation, can be represented in maps by showing changes in data over time. GIS-based threat assessment tools can range from simple maps that reflect data collected on the ground to complex decision-support systems incorporating threat data into programmes that model alternative scenarios and outcomes using criteria established by users. Visual products reflect alternative scenarios, and an appropriate and transparent criteria and value-setting process can help generate significant buy-in from stakeholders engaged in the process.These tools are heavily reliant on quantifiable data, and depending on the specific technology, their utility may suffer from limited or unreliable data. GIS-based threat assessment requires technical skills and equipment. These tools are particularly useful for generating baseline data sets and for monitoring change over time from restoration interventions. 4. Future Needs A key challenge to forest restoration programmes is more effective integration of relevant threat analysis that is critical for making pragmatic and real decisions. Threat analysis has been seen as a discrete background research activity that, once completed, often gets put on a shelf, never to be revisited as part of strategic programme development and adaptive management. The gap between threat assessment, often seen as primarily scientific and academic investigations, and actual project implementation needs to be more effectively breached. To improve the rigour and utility of threat assessments for forest restoration, approaches for undertaking integrated and multidisciplinary analyses also need to be refined. Biologists, social scientists, conservation practitioners, policy makers, economists, community leaders, and investors all bring a different lens to threat analysis. Through a combined view of 10. Assessing and Addressing Threats in Restoration Programmes 77 the factors affecting restoration, more informed and pragmatic decisions can be made regarding trade-offs that inevitably must be made in the real world. References Biodiversity Support Programme. 1995. Indigenous peoples, mapping and biodiversity conservation: An analysis of current activities and opportunities for applying geomatics technologies. Washington, DC, 83 pp. Hardcastle, J., Rambaldi, G., Long, B., Le Van Lanh, and Do Quoc Son. 2004. The use of participatory three-dimensional modelling in community-based planning in Quang Nam province, Vietnam. PLA Notes 49:70–76. Robinson, D. 2000. Assessing Root Causes—A User’s Guide. WWF Macroeconomics Programme Office, Washington, DC, 40 pp. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). 2004. Creating conceptual models—a tool for thinking strategically. Living Landscapes Technical Manual 2, 8 pp. Wood, A., Stedman-Edwards, P., and Mang, J. 2000. The Root Causes of Biodiversity Loss. WWF/ Earthscan, 398 pp. Additional Reading Salafsky, N., and Margoluis, R. 1999.Threat reduction assessment to: a practical and cost-effective approach to evaluating Conservation and Development Projects. Conservation Biology 13(14): 830–841. Verolme, H.J.H., and Moussa, J. 1999.Addressing the Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation—Case Studies, Analysis and Policy Recommendations. Biodiversity Action Network, Washington, DC, 141 pp. Wildlife Conservation Society. 2004. Participatory spatial assessment of human activities—a tool for conservation planning. Living Landscapes Technical Manual 1, 12 pp. WWF. 2000. A guide to socio-economic assessments for ecoregion conservation. Ecoregional Conservation Strategies Unit, 18 pp.

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