El Mecanismo para la Restauración de Bosques y Paisajes

Implementing forest and landscape restoration in Sao Tome and Principe

Year published: 19/03/2021

One of the countries of implementation of The Restoration Initiative (TRI) is Sao Tome and Principe, a small island nation in the Gulf of Guinea. As many island states, the country is home to a host of endemic species with unique value for conservation. Its economy is reliant on the export of cocoa and coffee produced by cooperatives of small landowners. The country’s stunning landscape of forest-clad jagged peaks, coastal mangroves and savannahs is under pressure from overexploitation of forest resources and poor ecosystem management, and rural poverty remains widespread. The TRI project aims to reverse these trends through a mixture of policy development and direct implementation of restoration programmes on the ground.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, through the Directorate of Forests and Biodiversity (DFB) is in the process of finalizing an assessment of opportunities for forest and landscape restoration (FLR) at the national scale, together with detailed implementation plans for the restoration of four target landscapes under the project. With the support of the Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM) team, a list of options for restoration has been drawn up by the DFB, which includes natural regeneration through enrichment planting, plantation of woodlots to ease pressure on native forests and fire-control measures in savannah areas, among other interventions. This list has been validated by the National Platform on Forest and Landscape Restoration, set up in the context of the project to gather all relevant stakeholders around a new approach for the management of natural resources. All existing relevant geographical data was then collected and used to develop maps of opportunities for each restoration option and assess their respective costs and benefits.
At the landscape scale, detailed socio-economic information on smallholders belonging to the country’s cocoa and coffee cooperatives is also being gathered to inform the prioritization of restoration interventions. Field visits from DFB technicians will start soon to consult small farmers and other stakeholders on these proposals and to discuss further the details of implementation, such as the choice of native species to be planted.

For more information contact us at: [email protected].

Blaise Bodin (FAO)