Special Issue "Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 January 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Liz Ota
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Sunshine Coast, 90 Sippy Downs Dr, Sippy Downs, QLD 4556, Australia
Interests: forest and landscape restoration; tropical forestry; community-based forest management; sustainable livelihoods
Dr. Sharif Ahmed Mukul
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Tropical Forest and People Research Centre, University of Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD 4558, Australia
Interests: biodiversity conservation; ecosystem functioning and processes; land-use/cover dynamics; forests; rural livelihoods; socio-economic aspects of forestry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Nestor Gregorio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Tropical Forest and People Research Centre, University of Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD 4558, Australia
Interests: community-based forest restoration; forest nursery and seedling quality; forest and landscape restoration
Dr. Sarah Jane Wilson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Connecticut • PARTNERS restoration network
Interests: tropical forest restoration; forest ecology; livelihoods; restoration ecology; community forestry; human geography
Prof. Dr. Robin Chazdon
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Tropical Forest and People Research Centre, University of Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD, Australia
2. Professor Emerita, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA
Interests: tropical forest dynamics; forest and landscape restoration; natural regeneration
Prof. Dr. John Herbohn
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Tropical Forest and People Research Centre, University of Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD, Australia
Interests: restoration of tropical forests; forest dynamics of tropical forests; forestry economics; tropical mixed species plantations; socioeconomic aspects of tropical reforestation; hydrological and nutrient impacts of reforestation; small-scale and community forestry; carbon dynamics in tropical forests; climate change policy and forests; multidimensional reporting systems; management of tropical forests

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Globally, Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) is receiving increasing attention from governments and agencies for its potential to provide key ecosystem services and to improve human wellbeing. The Bonn Challenge, launched in Germany in 2011 and currently involving 56 nations, pledged to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested areas by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. So far, this is one of the largest initiatives based on FLR approaches. Other key global initiatives include the New York Declaration on Forests signed in 2014 and the Trillion Trees Partnership. Despite the prospect and emergence of FLR in recent years, many aspects of FLR, including governance, guidance for implementation and monitoring, success criteria and indicators, have only just begun to be understood. This Special Issue comprises articles that contribute to our understanding of FLR and of how to improve its planning, implementation, assessment, and monitoring.  The papers in this Special Issue were presented at the International Conference on Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen, held in Manila, Philippines, on 25–27 February 2019. 

Dr. Liz Ota
Prof. Dr. Sharif A. Mukul
Dr. Nestor Gregorio
Dr. Sarah Jane Wilson
Prof. Dr. Robin Chazdon
Prof. Dr. John Herbohn
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Forest Restoration
  • Livelihoods
  • Tropical Forests
  • Biodiversity
  • Community Forestry
  • Small-scale Forestry

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Achieving Quality Forest and Landscape Restoration in the Tropics
Forests 2020, 11(8), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11080820 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1729
Abstract
Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) is being carried out across the world to meet ambitious global goals. However, the scale of these efforts combined with the timeframe in which they are supposed to take place may compromise the quality of restoration, and thus [...] Read more.
Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) is being carried out across the world to meet ambitious global goals. However, the scale of these efforts combined with the timeframe in which they are supposed to take place may compromise the quality of restoration, and thus limit the persistence of restoration on the landscape. This paper presents a synthesis of ten case studies identified as FLR to critically analyse implemented initiatives, their outcomes, and main challenges, with an eye to improving future efforts. The identified FLR projects are diverse in terms of their spatial coverage, objectives; types of interventions; and initial socioeconomic, institutional, and environmental conditions. The six principles of FLR—which have been widely adopted in theory by large global organisations—are inadequately addressed across the initiatives presented here. The identified FLR project or interventions, although expected to offer diverse benefits, face many challenges including the lack of long-term sustainability of project interventions, limited uptake by regional and national agencies, limited monitoring, reporting and learning, poor governance structures, and technical barriers, which are mainly owing to institutional weaknesses. On the basis of these cases, we propose that the best pathway to achieving FLR is via an incremental process in which a smaller number of more achievable objectives are set and implemented over time, rather than setting highly ambitious targets that implementers struggle to achieve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen)
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Article
A Local Initiative to Achieve Global Forest and Landscape Restoration Challenge—Lessons Learned from a Community-Based Forest Restoration Project in Biliran Province, Philippines
Forests 2020, 11(4), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040475 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1651
Abstract
Forest and landscape restoration in the tropics is often undertaken by groups of smallholders and communities whose livelihoods are primarily agricultural and forest-based. In the Philippines, the implementation of forest restoration programs involving people’s organizations showed mixed results. We present a case study [...] Read more.
Forest and landscape restoration in the tropics is often undertaken by groups of smallholders and communities whose livelihoods are primarily agricultural and forest-based. In the Philippines, the implementation of forest restoration programs involving people’s organizations showed mixed results. We present a case study of a pilot community-based forest restoration project that was undertaken in Biliran Province to understand the impediments, and pilot test interventions to improve restoration outcomes. The project was designed using systems thinking, employing smallholder-based best-practice, and applying the principles of a participatory approach. The results revealed that the initial participation of smallholders is mostly driven by short-term financial incentives. However, long-term commitment to managing the trees is attributed mainly to sustainable livelihood, land and tree rights, equitable sharing of benefits, strong leadership, effective governance and improved human and social capitals. The support of extension officers, use of high-quality seedlings, and participation of women are essential for community-based forest restoration success. Key lessons from our research could contribute to fulfilling the forest and landscape restoration commitments of developing countries in the tropics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen)
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Article
Seed Networks for Upscaling Forest Landscape Restoration: Is It Possible to Expand Native Plant Sources in Brazil?
Forests 2020, 11(3), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030259 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4132
Abstract
In this paper, we explore how diverse community networks in Brazil have locally advanced seed production and institutional systems to enhance a restoration economy. By focusing on the experiences of the six major native seed suppliers in Amazonia, the Cerrado, and the Atlantic [...] Read more.
In this paper, we explore how diverse community networks in Brazil have locally advanced seed production and institutional systems to enhance a restoration economy. By focusing on the experiences of the six major native seed suppliers in Amazonia, the Cerrado, and the Atlantic Forest, we estimate the capacity to scale-up community-based systems to meet a large-scale restoration target as a rural development strategy. Over one decade, 1016 collectors traded 416.91 tonnes of native seeds representing, on average, 31.41 kilos yearly and USD 256.5 as household income. Based on this well documented empirical evidence, we estimate that Brazil’s restoration goal would require from 3.6 to 15.6 thousand tonnes of native seeds depending on the share of each restoration method adopted with potential work opportunities for 13.2 to 57.1 thousand collectors yearly and total income from USD 34 to 146 million. We argue that community networks represent feasible arrangements for increasing the availability of plant material sources which provide high socio-economic benefits. For scaling up native seed sources, we suggest the following key strategies: (i) government incentives and subsidies; (ii) enforcement of ecosystem restoration; (iii) community participation; (iv) adaptation of the seed regulations; (v) technological development; and (vi) seed market diversification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen)
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Article
Lessons Learned from the Water Producer Project in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil
Forests 2019, 10(11), 1031; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10111031 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1232
Abstract
Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) is a powerful strategy for large-scale tropical forest recovery, and payment for ecosystem services (PES) is used to support FLR programs and projects on privately-owned land. In this article, we discuss the lessons learned from the Water Producer [...] Read more.
Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) is a powerful strategy for large-scale tropical forest recovery, and payment for ecosystem services (PES) is used to support FLR programs and projects on privately-owned land. In this article, we discuss the lessons learned from the Water Producer Project, a pioneer, multiple-stakeholder, and PES-supported FLR project in the Atlantic Forest, south-eastern Brazil. The project was implemented in four landscapes located in two municipalities. Altogether, 41 PES contracts with landowners were signed, resulting in various FLR practices being implemented in a total of 342.4 ha (64.2 ha for riparian forest restoration, 90.8 ha for soil conservation, and 187.4 for forest conservation) of land, which represents 39% of the project goal. As of the end of the project, only 50% (USD 49,250) of the available PES funds had been spent. However, funds spent on project planning, implementation, communication, and monitoring were 12 times greater than those spent on PES. Several challenges restricted the progress and monitoring of the project. The main issue was landowner participation and/or engagement. In terms of lessons learned, we highlight that PES schemes are more complex than initially thought, and that sufficient funding does not guarantee the success of FLR projects. It is essential to promote landowner participation and engagement by considering them key players in FLR projects. Finally, acceptance from landowners was higher and implementation was easier for forest conservation practices that required no land-use changes. Thus, we suggest that similar future projects should focus on targeting private properties in marginal agricultural lands with a high probability of natural regeneration. Alternatively, future projects could focus on lands with remnant forest cover of high conservation value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen)
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Communication
Restoring Degraded Forest Land with Native Tree Species: The Experience of “Bosques Amazónicos” in Ucayali, Peru
Forests 2019, 10(10), 851; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10100851 - 29 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2579
Abstract
The case is a private initiative in Peruvian Amazon reforesting with native tree species on degraded lands for timber and carbon purposes. By 2018 around 870 hectares have been reforested and additionally 124 hectares are being restored through protection measures and assisted natural [...] Read more.
The case is a private initiative in Peruvian Amazon reforesting with native tree species on degraded lands for timber and carbon purposes. By 2018 around 870 hectares have been reforested and additionally 124 hectares are being restored through protection measures and assisted natural regeneration. The paper describes the local context and project design, the technical and social aspects of project implementation, the outcomes and challenges after 12 years, including some reflections on success factors, lessons learned and implications for other forest landscape restoration (FLR) projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen)
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Communication
Collaboration and Conflict—Developing Forest Restoration Techniques for Northern Thailand’s Upper Watersheds Whilst Meeting the Needs of Science and Communities
Forests 2019, 10(9), 732; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090732 - 26 Aug 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1573
Abstract
This paper describes an early example of Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR), which resulted from collaboration between a university, local community, and national park authority in the upper Mae Sa Valley, near Chiang Mai City, northern Thailand. Working together, the Hmong community of Ban [...] Read more.
This paper describes an early example of Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR), which resulted from collaboration between a university, local community, and national park authority in the upper Mae Sa Valley, near Chiang Mai City, northern Thailand. Working together, the Hmong community of Ban Mae Sa Mai, Doi Suthep National Park Authority and Chiang Mai University’s Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU-CMU) established a chronosequence of trial restoration plots from 1996 to 2013, to test the framework-species method of forest restoration. The project developed successful restoration techniques and gained insights into the factors that influence villagers’ participation in forest restoration. Recovery of forest biomass, carbon storage, structure, biodiversity and ecological functioning exceeded expectations. Villagers appreciated the improved water security resulting from the project, as well as a better relationship with the park authority and increased land security. Recently, however, tree chopping and a breakdown in fire-prevention measures (perhaps symptoms of “project fatigue”) have threatened the sustainability of the plot system. The project demonstrates the importance of a sound scientific basis for forest restoration projects, long-term institutional support, and appropriate funding mechanisms, to achieve sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen)
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Review

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Review
Co-Creating Conceptual and Working Frameworks for Implementing Forest and Landscape Restoration Based on Core Principles
Forests 2020, 11(6), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060706 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3701
Abstract
Existing guidelines and best-practices documents do not satisfy, at present, the need for guiding implementation of Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) based on core principles. Given the wide range of FLR practices and the varied spectrum of actors involved, a single working framework [...] Read more.
Existing guidelines and best-practices documents do not satisfy, at present, the need for guiding implementation of Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) based on core principles. Given the wide range of FLR practices and the varied spectrum of actors involved, a single working framework is unlikely to be effective, but tailored working frameworks can be co-created based on a common conceptual framework (i.e., a common core set of principles and a generalized set of criteria and indicators). We present background regarding FLR concepts, definitions, and principles, and discuss the challenges that confront effective and long-term implementation of FLR. We enumerate the many benefits that a transformative criteria and indicators framework can bring to actors and different sectors involved in restoration when such framework is anchored in the FLR principles. We justify the need to co-develop and apply specifically tailored working frameworks to help ensure that FLR interventions bring social, economic, and environmental benefits to multiple stakeholders within landscapes and adjust to changing conditions over time. Several examples of working FLR frameworks are presented to illustrate the goals and needs of communities, donors and investors, and government agencies. Transparency, feedback, communication, assessment, and adaptive management are important components of all working frameworks. Finally, we describe existing FLR guidelines and what we can learn from them. Working frameworks can be developed and used by different actors who seek to initiate an FLR process and to align restoration actions at different scales and levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen)
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Other

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Conference Report
Manila Declaration on Forest and Landscape Restoration: Making It Happen
Forests 2020, 11(6), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11060685 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2419
Abstract
Globally, Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) is gaining widespread recognition from governments and policymakers for its potential to restore key ecosystem services and to improve human wellbeing. We organized an international conference on FLR, titled—Forest and Landscape Restoration: Making it Happen, between 25–27 [...] Read more.
Globally, Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) is gaining widespread recognition from governments and policymakers for its potential to restore key ecosystem services and to improve human wellbeing. We organized an international conference on FLR, titled—Forest and Landscape Restoration: Making it Happen, between 25–27 February 2019 in Manila, the Philippines with 139 participants from 22 countries. The Forest and Landscape Restoration Standards (FLoRES) task force also met prior to the conference, which included a field visit to a pilot community-based forest reforestation site in Biliran Island, the Philippines. Based on the three-day conference, case study presentations, and FLoRES task force meeting, we prepared the Manila Declaration on Forest and Landscape Restoration to highlight the need to support quality of FLR efforts and outcomes in the tropics. Here we provide a synthesis of the main messages of the conference, with key outcomes including the Manila Declaration on Forest and Landscape Restoration, and ways forward to make quality FLR happen on the ground. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Landscape Restoration—Making it Happen)
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