Policy Support and Governance

Global Guidelines for the Restoration of Degraded Forests and Landscapes in Drylands. Building Resilience and Benefitting Livelihoods. FAO Forestry Paper 175

Drylands cover nearly half of the earth’s land surface and are home to one-third of the global population. They face extraordinary challenges, including those posed by desertification, biodiversity loss, poverty, food insecurity and climate change. Up to 20 percent of the world’s drylands are degraded, and people living there are often locked into a vicious circle of poverty, unsustainable practices and environmental degradation. It is clear that serious efforts are needed to arrest dryland degradation and restore degraded lands, and the simple but urgent aim of these guidelines is to support such efforts.

It is the first time that global guidelines on dryland restoration are made available. These guidelines target two main groups – policymakers and other decision-makers, and practitioners – because both have the power to bring about positive change. While they should be tailored to suit regional and local contexts, they present the essential components for the design, implementation and sustainability of restoration initiatives that can help build ecological and social resilience and generate benefits for local livelihoods.

As illustrated by the rich case studies provided, the guidelines involve a vast range of actions, from on-the-ground activities such as habitat protection, assisted natural regeneration, sand-dune stabilization and planting, to policy improvements, provision of financial incentives, capacity development, and continuous monitoring and learning. Moreover, they show that restoration needs to be considered across the entire market value chain, from seed to end-product, as well as at the landscape level, including the mosaic of land uses, needs and expectations of interest groups.

Published: 2015
Publisher: FAO
Geography: Global, Africa, Europe & Central Asia, Near East & North Africa