Enhancing Resilience through Forest Landscape Restoration: Conceptual Framework

This document is the second in a series intended to (1) identify and highlight the contribution of forest landscape restoration towards enhancing landscape resilience, as well as the resilience of communities dependent on forests (and the ecosystems services they provide); (2) promote understanding within the resilience community of how forest landscape restoration can enhance resilience; and (3) help build a better case to communicate restoration benefits in climate policy processes and mechanisms (e.g. adaptation, disaster risk reduction, co-benefits, etc.)

This guidance aims to help both forest landscape restoration and resilience practitioners and other
stakeholders to mainstream considerations of resilience into forest landscape restoration planning,
implementation and assessments, such that forest landscape restoration approaches and practices
contribute to enhancing socio-ecological resilience of whole landscapes and the communities that
depend on them.

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Synergies between Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Forest Landscape Restoration

Forests have always been cleared to provide land uses necessary for human existence. This trend has naturally increased over time and now global estimates suggest, “that 30% of original forest cover has been converted for other uses and an additional 20% has been degraded.” Humans also benefit from resources from forests. The rural poor, in particular, benefit extensively from forest goods and services (such people are approximately 1.6 billion in number).ii IUCN has estimated the economic benefits of forests at USD 130 million per year.iii On the other side, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) calculate the costs in lost value from forest destruction to be between USD 2-5 trillion per year. Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) is a process that aims to regain ecological integrity and enhance human well-being in deforested or degraded forest landscapes. It involves people coming together to restore the function and productivity of degraded forest lands – through a variety of place-based interventions, including new tree plantings, managed natural regeneration, or improved land management. The purpose of this study is to understand the current discourse and practice on climate change mitigation and adaptation in FLR, as well as to analyze the implications for a better understanding the complementarities and synergies between mitigation and adaptation, specifically in the context of FLR. Both mitigation and adaptation are considered equally important to address with climate change. Developing countries, least developed countries (LDCs) and island states all now agree on instituting mitigation efforts as well as adaptation.

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Strengthening Voices for Better Choices. Global Synthesis Report on Forest Governance

In the past decade, the international development community has increasingly focused its attention on illegal logging and other forest crimes, and on the underlying weaknesses in law enforcement that allow them to flourish. At the same time, it has come to acknowledge that illegality often stems from broader failures of governance, and that strengthening law enforcement alone will not work unless the laws themselves, and the processes and institutions that influence forest use, are also improved (World Bank 2006).

Illegal logging is a serious obstacle to the efforts of timber producing and consuming countries to alleviate poverty, to develop their forests sustainably, and to protect forest ecosystem services. The international response to this problem began with the G8 Action Programme on Forests, agreed by G8 foreign ministers in 1998 and featuring illegal logging as one focus of action. This led to a series of regional ministerial conferences and processes on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG), coordinated by the World Bank. The European Union also made a strong commitment to combating illegal logging and the associated trade in timber through its Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, adopted in 2003.

One contribution to this process has been the IUCN project Strengthening Voices for Better Choices (SVBC). Formulated in response to a call from the European Commission for proposals to support implementation of the FLEGT Action Plan, SVBC sought to promote more effective forest governance in six key tropical forest countries: Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Viet Nam.

Three regional FLEG processes have been established to date: in Southeast Asia (ministerial conference held in Bali in 2001), in Africa (Cameroon, 2003), and in Europe and North Asia (Russian Federation, 2005). Another process is planned for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Action Plan focuses on seven broad areas: 1) support to timber-producing countries; 2) promoting trade in legal timber; 3) public procurement policies; 4) support for private sector initiatives; 5) safeguards for financing and investment; 6) the use of existing legislative instruments or adoption of new legislation; and 7) conflict timber. This synthesis, then, provides   background to the concept of governance and how it has evolved in the fields of development and conservation. Drawing on a review of different definitions of governance, it identifies several key elements of governance and uses these to organise the synthesis of the findings of the SVBC national assessments.


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