Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
215R: Forest restoration in complex landscapes
Thursday, 25/Apr/2019:
3:15pm - 4:45pm

Session Chair: Jeanine Rhemtulla
Session Chair: Dayana Gabriela Barragan
Location: MB-201
Main Building, room 201, second floor, east wing, 154 (+22) seats
Session Topics:
What do people want from land?

Session Abstract

Interest in ecological restoration has been accelerating globally as a means to increase ecological integrity, mitigate and adapt to climate change, and enhance a range of ecosystem services. But the achievement of these restoration goals, especially in complex human-dominated landscapes and regions with high levels of poverty, will require an integrated restoration agenda that supports both ecological integrity and socio-economic development, whilst grappling with continued land-use pressures and climate change. Restoring ecosystems in a way that meets multiple and potentially conflicting goals, however, is challenging. It requires a fundamental understanding of ecosystem dynamics and how biodiversity and ecosystem function recover in response to restoration. It also requires a better understanding of trade-offs between conflicting goals, between ecosystem services, between stakeholder preferences, and analysis of how and where multiple goals can best be combined. It requires better multi-criteria planning approaches that work at multiple scales and involve a range of stakeholders. In this session, we address restoration in complex landscapes, including trade-offs and synergies between competing goals, conceptual frameworks and planning tools for implementing landscape-scale restoration, and integrated approaches to restoration for long-term success.

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Full talk
ID: 703 / 215R: 1
215R Forest restoration in complex landscapes
Keywords: Active forest restoration, climate change, mitigation, species viability, scenario building

Planted to die? Viability of tree species in active restoration plots under climate change

D. Gabriela Barragan, Jeanine Rhemtulla

University of British Columbia, Canada

Active forest restoration relies on tree planting as a strategy to mitigate climate change through increased CO2 sequestration. Paradoxically, climate change threatens the viability of these restoration initiatives because of potential spatial misfits of future climatic envelopes of planted trees in static restoration plots. This problem remains unaddressed and could seriously jeopardize the long-term success of active restoration initiatives. Using 1240 restoration plots in North West Ecuador, we investigated the future viability of planted tree species in their restoration plots under modeled climate scenarios for 2030, 2050, and 2070. To do this, we estimated the future probability of persistence of tree species contained in restoration plots based on species niche models using future climatic conditions under two emission scenarios (i.e. RCP 4.5 and 8.5) and a consensus of 18 General Circulation Models. We found 75% percent of tree species (N=8) would be absent from an average of 27% (RCP 4.5) to 71% (RCP 8.5) of their initial restoration plots. When selecting species and sites for restoration plots, managers should consider single species’ biological traits and potential climate change effects in the long-term. Incorporating climate change assessment into the forest restoration planning agenda would take restoration initiatives one step further towards building climate change resiliency.

Full talk
ID: 719 / 215R: 2
215R Forest restoration in complex landscapes
Keywords: forest restoration, socio-ecological systems, miombo woodland

Restoring forests for whom? Aligning local livelihood needs with ecological criteria for successful forest landscape restoration in Malawi

Jeanine Rhemtulla, Joleen Timko, Lauren Nerfa, Jenny Liu

University of British Columbia, Canada

Recently there has been a spate of new global commitments advocating widespread reforestation. The 2011 Bonn Challenge, for example, aspires to reforest 150 million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2020. But what kind of forest will be restored—and for whom—is not clear. Ecological restoration has traditionally focused on re-establishing self-sustaining ecosystems with historical fidelity. Under this definition, new tree plantations and agroforestry projects that focus on meeting local demand for ecosystem services (e.g., fuelwood) are not considered to be real ‘restoration’ projects at all. Here we examine the challenge of whether restoration can meet the needs of local peoples while restoring true ecosystem function. We provide evidence from Malawi—a sub-Saharan nation with high poverty, forest dependence, and deforestation, and which has introduced policies promoting widespread reforestation—to ask: 1) What forest types and resources do people depend on for their livelihoods? (2) How well do current reforestation projects balance livelihood and ecological goals? We conducted household surveys in seven villages (n=120) to assess and map local preference and use of forest resources, and interviewed managers of current restoration projects to assess the number and type of trees planted, restoration goals, and ecological and social success. We also sampled vegetation plots (n=40) in village forest areas, district forest reserves, restoration projects, and intact miombo woodland to compare species composition and regeneration potential. Our results show that current restoration projects focus primarily on meeting livelihoods goals through the planting of fast-growing multiple-purpose exotic species. But households surveys suggest that slower-growing native species are actually preferred by locals but are harder to access. The results thus suggest that there is greater scope for aligning ecological and social criteria in current restoration projects, to ensure that not only are trees planted, but that fully functioning ecosystems are restored.

Full talk
ID: 843 / 215R: 3
215R Forest restoration in complex landscapes
Keywords: land restauration, forest matrix, ecosystemic services, Amazon region, jurisdictional approach

Landscape restauration in the Amazon: land suitability and jurisdictional governance to achieve ecologic and economics goals

Rene Poccard-Chapuis1,2, Sophie Plassin1, Jaqueline Peçanha2, François Laurent3, Marie-Gabrielle Piketty1, Gustavo Pimentel4, Clément Bourgoin1, Daniel Pinillos5, Reinis Osis3, Lilian Blanc1, Mario Gomes6, Valery Gond1, Julie Betbeder1, Helène Dessard1, Pablo Pacheco7,8

1CIRAD, France; 2Paragominas Municipal Government, Brazil; 3University of Maine, France; 4Federal University of Para, Brazil; 5Wagueningen University and Research, Holland; 6Embrapa, Brazil; 7World Wildlife Fund, USA; 8CIFOR, Indonesia

In the Amazonian “arc of deforestation”, landscapes are a result of 50 years of systematic deforestations, driven by a "race to the land", where land appropriation was the main objective of the migrants. In this context, land accumulation was a priority over land production, and even more over sustainable management of natural resources. In consequence, current landscapes include huge areas of systematic deforestation, and disconnected forest remaining patches. Both are degraded. Agronomic productivities are decreasing, due to extractive management systems. Ecosystemic services also are low, due to forest fragmentation, soil degradation and deforestation of vulnerable areas. Since 2005 - 2008, federal policies against deforestation and forest act have fixed the usable agricultural areas, and economic growth must now take place in a limited land extension. Natural resources management becomes essential, which induces changes in farming practices.

In this transition, land suitability becomes a key to organize a new farming design, zoning areas dedicated to economic production, and areas for ecosystemic services. In the first ones, improved and intensified agricultural practices are developed, valorizing best soils and or topographic units. The other areas, less productive but with a high connectivity and potentiality for water cycle and soil protection, are abounded and could go back to forest regeneration. A new forest matrix is being built, as well as a new map of agricultural production. Landscape efficiency is also defined by the optimized combination of these two maps. Land suitability defines the tradeoff between economic production and ecosystemic services.

This presentation explains the Paragominas experience, in Brazilian eastern amazon, to develop a landscape restoration plan, in a jurisdictional approach. In a first step, land suitability is mapped at municipal level, using topographic data, and derived information’s about soils, declivity and hydrographic network. All categories are related to farmer’s practices, and discussed with them. In a second step, land uses are also mapped, especially forest cover and forest degradation, using middle resolution remote sensing data. In the third step, land uses and suitability’s are spatially crossed in a GIS, in order to define strategic areas for ecosystemic services by reforestation or forest restauration, and other strategic areas for economic production, by improved practices (especially tree-crop-livestock integration). In a fourth step, this cartography become a municipal law for land use, discussed and voted in the municipal congress. In a fifth step, every farmer can develop a new farming design, according to this mapping, and possibly accessing a specific credit line and facilities. By this way, forest restoration is growing, especially in the strategic areas, and with a higher connectivity index. It is possible to improve ecosystemic services, above the Brazilian NDC in COP 21 for example, not only for carbon sequestration but also for water cycle, soil protection and biodiversity.

This win-win strategy, based on land suitability, is attractive for farmers and all private sector, and also can achieve higher results than only command and control policies. In the other hand, it needs a strong monitoring capacity in the jurisdiction, and good governance mechanisms.

Full talk
ID: 593 / 215R: 4
215R Forest restoration in complex landscapes
Keywords: forest restoration, priority, multi-scale, fractal approach

Prioritizing the environmental recovery of the Rio Doce watershed: a fractal approach

Raoni Rajão1, José Ambrósio Ferreira Neto2, Felipe Nunes1, Demetrius David da Silva2, Sonia Carvalho-Ribeiro1, Elpídio Inácio Fernandes Silva2, Britaldo Soares-Filho1, Letícia Santos de Lima1, William Leles1

1Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil; 2Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), Brazil

The Fundão tailings dam collapse in 2015 combined with a historical deforestation process has led to a critical state of environmental and social vulnerability of the Rio Doce basin in Brazil. The compensatory measures agreed between the companies responsible for the disaster and the public sector includes 40,000 hectares of forest restoration to be implemented by Renova Foundation (a newly created institution created for this purpose) as a way to improve the quality of water supply for the affected population. However, the total area to be restored corresponds to less than 1% of the degraded area of a basin with 8 Mha. In this context, it is paramount the adoption of a landscape restoration planning based on a sound scientific approach to reverse the environmental degradation trajectory in key areas. Here one of the main challenges is the integration of environmental and socioeconomic factors in a transparent and consensual way to guide a prioritization process at different scales (i.e. from the watershed level to the individual rural property). In this study we propose an approach inspired by the fractal geometry concept, a mathematics branch that analysis objects that can be subdivided into parts while maintaining similarities to the original object. In this perspective, we developed three indices that seek to represent environmental vulnerability (IVA), social vulnerability (IVS) and land vocation to environmental recovery (IVR) encompassing the entire watershed. This last index is subdivided into three components, according to the desired forest recovery goal: assisted natural regeneration, restoration plantations (native species) and total planting with economic purposes (agroforestry). VAT, IVS and IVR were calculated with a 30x30 meters resolution (approximately 1 ha), within the census district area (from 0.1 to 34k ha) and the municipality level (from 800 a 318k ha), respectively, seeking the highest-level detail from the input data. Together with a participatory process aiming to define the relative importance of each index for the final prioritization, we generated a spatially-explicit priority index. Our results show a multi scale approach for prioritizing environmental recovery of Rio Doce watershed. In short, the index at the hectare level provides the basis for the development of environmental recovery planning tools at different scales. Starting from the landscape, the index was aggregated at the alternative area of influence to water supply to help targeting 40,000 hectares of forest restoration. The index was also aggregated at the municipality level aiming to facilitate the methodology discussion with the local stakeholders and legitimate the prioritization process. Finally, the index provides a science-based framework to point out priority areas at the micro-watershed and / or census district level to assist local restoration actions. Since restoration planning at different levels started from the same prioritization index, it is possible to guarantee fractal similarity at these different decision-making levels.

Flash talk
ID: 776 / 215R: 5
215R Forest restoration in complex landscapes
Keywords: Nature Based Solution, Restoration, Remote Sensing, GIS, Climate Change

Nature Based Solution (NBS) with geospatial science to draw sustainable forest restoration

Mohammad Emran Hasan

Institute of Remote Sensing and Dogital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China, People's Republic of

Climate change is no longer a fiction and a theoretical phenomenon as the world is already facing many of its consequences especially the countries like Bangladesh. Bangladesh is considered as one of the most climate change vulnerable countries which is likely to be more vulnerable in future (MoEF, 2009). Bangladesh has a 711 km long coastline (Minar et al, 2013) which is exposed to the sea and tend to be more vulnerable due to climate change induced sea level rise and natural disasters e.g. cyclones, coastal surge and erosion (IPCC, 2014). In addition to the coastal vulnerability, Bangladesh is also facing tremendous pressure of maintaining the proportion of the forest land as there’s a huge resource dependency by the adjacent forest and national communities. Bangladesh has a total forest land of 2.6 million ha (NCS) and from 1990 to 2015 it is declining at the rate of 2600 ha each year (FAO, 2015). The rapid loss of forests fosters various environmental challenges through deteriorating the forest ecosystems and biodiversity which in global scale accelerate the climate change process and affects the local environment and population. The local affects of climate change triggers climate change refugees that reside beside the forest land which eventually forms a chain reaction to the process of resource dependency-forest degradation-climate change-climate change induced disasters-climate change refugees which leads a very complex situation. The Nature Based Solution (NBS) in this regard could be a great solution through designing sustainable forest restoration using advanced technology like Remote Sensing and GIS. With the aid of Remote Sensing the existing degraded land can be mapped and with the GIS platform the potential restoration interventions can be modeled and prioritized. The NBS approach aligned with the co-management initiative can facilitate the ecosystem or forest restoration system through engaging climate change refugees which finally minimizes the dependency to the forest. The government of Bangladesh operates plantation programme each year and it has a mega plan to plant 300000 hectares of plantation in upcoming years under the climate change reliance scheme. The paper focuses on how the government was benefitted through using geospatial techniques to its Nature Based Solution (Restoration) project and also, how in future the NBS approach can help benefit the landscape.

Flash talk
ID: 741 / 215R: 6
214R Governance structures and competing narratives: how do multiple actors influence public policies on land?
Keywords: forest restoration, discourses, governance, scaling-up

Perceived barriers for scaling-up and monitoring forest restoration: Brazil as case study

Daniella Schweizer1,2, Jaboury Ghazoul1, Marijke Van Kuijk2

1ETH, Switzerland; 2University of Utrecht, Netherlands

Recent worldwide commitments, such as the Bonn Challenge and the New York Declaration on Forests, have placed Forest Restoration on the agenda of countries worldwide as a mean to attain sustainable development goals and mitigate climate change. Successful implementation will likely require multi-stakeholder governance arrangements and the deployment of a family of forest restorative actions, with the likely emergence of a variety of challenges for implementation at large scales. It is still too soon to evaluate observed challenges in forest landscape restoration. However, actors involved, at a variety of scales already perceive what these challenges are. The Brazilian international commitment to the Bonn Challenge, the presence of various large non-governmental organizations and research groups, and the umbrella legislation that mandates forest restoration makes Brazil an excellent case study to analyze different perceptions across groups and scales on barriers and opportunities for implementing large scale forest restoration efforts. We conducted semi-structured interviews to actors from government, NGOs, research, and local landholders in the states of Sao Paulo and Espirito Santo. Findings showed that all actors, regardless of scale, see barriers and opportunities related to financial aspects of restoration. However there are key differences in the perceptions across actors, rural landholders find their land too small to set aside areas for forest restoration, a fact that shows that the discourse on creating a value chain for restoration, held by NGOs and Government actors, has not reached them, and they foremost see restoration as legally mandate and contrary to production.

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