The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism


Land degradation affects both the environment and people’s livelihoods. Restoration activities will revert the negative effects of degradation, providing environmental and economic benefits. Identifying degraded areas and assessing their level of degradation is crucial to determine which areas should be restored and to establish priorities amongst those areas. The identification of relevant restoration options by local stakeholders is also an important step to ensure long-term sustainability and efficacy. This module has been developed in the context of the GEF6 funded program The Restoration Initiative (TRI).

The Restoration Initiative

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  • FAO
  • IUCN
  • UNEP
  • GEF
The activities proposed in 2011 under the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) framework brought new requirements for monitoring deforestation and forest degradation at national levels (UNFCCC 2011). In this Infobrief, the rules and choices to be addressed by participatory countries in REDD+ activities are outlined, and it is shown some technical problems they can face, and some options they can adopt.
Keywords: Carbon, Climate change, Degradation, Forest resources, Mapping
Category: Assessing degradation & Restoration opportunities, Monitoring & Evaluation
Type: Repository of data
Scale: Regional, National
Dimension: Ecological
Organization: CIFOR
Year of publication: 2015
The Amazonian pioneer front region is a mosaic of different forests types and agricultural landscapes resulting from the colonization of the region through forest conversion into pasture and agricultural lands. Fearnside and Guimaraes (1996) showed that 47% of the deforested area is rapidly abandoned. It also appears that logged forests surface is equivalent to deforested areas (Asner et al., 2005). Consequently a degradation gradient exists from low impacted logged forests (depending of the logging intensity) to young secondary (regrowth) forests. To obtain more accurate estimation of carbon stocks, it is important today to take into account the degraded forest gradient including all degraded forest stages between mature intact forests and non-forest areas. The first main challenge is to identify and to characterize the various stages. The identification of forest degradation is still a complex and expansive problem even if it has been focused until now only on logged tropical rainforest (Asner, 2009; Gond and Guitet, 2009; Desclées et al., 2006; Asner et al., 2005; Souza et al., 2003). In parallel estimation of biomass loss in the degraded forest is little-studied. Within temperate and boreal forests some estimation are made by Solberg et al., (2013). The combination of optical remotely sensed data (Landsat-8), radar (Terra-Sar-X) and Lidar (IceSat) have to be studied to analyze the potential of the multisensors techniques to characterize the tropical rainforest degradation (Betbeder et al., 2014). The study presents the first results obtained during the field work at Paragominas (Pará, Brazil) on different forest degradation intensities (Bérenguer et al., 2014). This field database is then compared with multi-sensors remote sensing to better understand multiple interactions and to establish a forest degradation typology.
Keywords: Degradation, Ecosystem valuation, Forest resources, Land use change
Category: Assessing degradation & Restoration opportunities
Type: Case studies
Scale: Regional, National
Dimension: Management
Organization: CIRAD
Year of publication: 2015
· Land degradation neutrality (LDN) is a new initiative intended to halt the ongoing loss of healthy land through degradation. LDN creates a target for managing land degradation, through a dual-pronged approach of measures to avoid or reduce degradation of land, combined with measures to reverse past degradation. · The UNCCD defines LDN as “a state whereby the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security remain stable or increase within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems” (decision 3/COP.12). Within the UNCCD this definition is intended to apply to affected areas as defined in the text of the Convention. · The scientific conceptual framework for LDN was developed to guide countries in operationalising this definition through the implementation of strategies to address land degradation and achieve LDN.
Keywords: Carbon, Climate change, Degradation, Desertification, Ecosystem approach, Ecosystem valuation, Land use change, Livelihoods
Category: Assessing degradation & Restoration opportunities, Capacity development
Type: Guidance and methods, Learning and capacity development
Scale: Global, Regional
Dimension: Biophysical, Governance & Participation
Organization: The Global Mechanism
Year of publication:
This book presents the results of an international research project, which was designed explicitly to examine application of the FLR approach to dryland forest ecosystems in Latin America. In order for FLR to be transferred into mainstream practice that is adopted and promoted by governments and the private sector, as well as by local communities, information is needed on how the principles of FLR can be implemented in practice, in a cost-effective manner. It is this information need that the project was designed to address.
Keywords: Biodiversity, Community, Degradation, Drylands, Forest resources, Fragmentation, Livelihoods, Sustainable land management
Category: Assessing degradation & Restoration opportunities, Capacity development, Implementation of restoration
Type: Case studies, Learning and capacity development
Scale: Global, Regional
Dimension: Ecological, Management, Socioeconomic
Organization: IUCN
Year of publication: 2011
From November 19 to 21, 2014, some of the world’s most noted specialists on forest landscape restoration gathered in Rio de Janeiro to assess Natural Regeneration as a cost-effective strategy to achieve large-scale restoration throughout the world. Following are some of the key insights and messages from the meeting. Biodiversity loss, increasing soil degradation (as much as 1/3 of the world’s land highly or moderately degraded), and a changing climate create an urgent need for large-scale landscape restoration initiatives. This need has been quantified in a series of global meetings, the latest of which (in 2014) resulted in the New York Declaration, calling for 350 Million hectares, or 2.5% of the world’s land area, to be under restoration by 2030. The enormous size of the restoration challenge could require a cost of 1.75 trillion dollars over 15 years (close to 120 billion dollars annually) if only Restoration Planting is used as a restoration approach. Thus, it is crucial to employ lowcost approaches. Also, developing business models that are profitable for farmers and other landholders and at the same time restore the functionality and productivity of degraded lands is crucial to the success of restoration efforts, as those will inevitably fail without the support of key stakeholders. Natural regeneration is one such approach: In its most basic form, it consists of letting remaining portions of the original ecosystem re-colonize a degraded area. A 5-fold cost reduction can be achieved when compared to Restoration Planting; additionally, species colonize from the surrounding area and are adapted to local conditions and to other species (local genotypes). Different degrees of human intervention may also be employed, either to enable regeneration in landscapes whose resilience is too low to recover on their own (assisted Natural Regeneration), or in order to reap the benefits of Natural Regeneration for local farmers (farmer-managed Natural Regeneration).
Keywords: Agriculture, Assisted regeneration, Biodiversity, Degradation, Ecosystem valuation, Land use change, Modelling, Natural regeneration, Sustainable land management
Category: Assessing degradation & Restoration opportunities, Capacity development
Type: Learning and capacity development
Scale: Global
Dimension: Ecological, Management, Socioeconomic
Organization: International Institute for Sustainability
Year of publication: 2014
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