A number dedicated to the Royal Society Philosophical Transactions Explores the latest scientific advances in forest restoration.
“This paves the way for evidence-based action plans on the ground for the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration,” said Professor Andy Marshall of Australia’s University of the Sunshine Coast, a key contributor to the thematic edition.
He said it was exciting to see the strong focus on forests at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) taking place this week in Egypt, as Australia joins world leaders in committing to halting forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
He said the recommendations in the new issue of the journal brought together research findings, knowledge and experience from many countries.
“Our goals are ambitious and intend to achieve long-term success by learning from the past – from choosing the right site and method of restoration to mitigating social and economic stresses, extreme weather and interactions between people and wildlife,” he said.
“Nearly 200 authors from 27 countries and the UN staff are working to ensure these findings make a real difference to forest restoration and inspire action around the world, particularly in the developing tropics where much of this research has taken place.”
Professor Marshall’s flagship paper lists 15 key advances in science to help restore the world’s forested landscapes.
“Forests are essential to the health and economies of our planet, but they must be better planned, managed and monitored to ensure sustainable benefits to people as well as nature,” he said.
He said careful planning for future forestry projects can enhance species biodiversity, carbon sinks, economic development and people’s livelihoods.
“The evidence provides scientific support for campaigns by environmental groups using the banner, Farms are not forests – acknowledging that tree planting is not always the right approach to restoration, and that restoration needs to consider the underlying environment, local people and end causes of tree planting.”
The publication includes articles on the following topics:
• Fifteen key scientific advances for the effective restoration of the world’s forest landscapes, by Professor Andrew Marshall and colleagues.
• Monitoring the recovery of tree diversity during tropical forest restoration in Costa Rica – Lessons from long-term pathways to natural regeneration, by Professor Robin Chazdon and colleagues.
• Application of the Community Capacity Curve Framework for Reforestation to Support Success in the Philippines, by Prof. John Herbon and colleagues.
• A practice-led assessment of the potential for landscape restoration in a biodiversity hotspot in Tanzania, by Professor Marshall with Abigail Wells of the University of York and colleagues.
• How Certified Community Forestry in Tanzania Affects Forest Restoration and Human Wellbeing, by Dr Robin Loveridge of the University of York with project leader Professor Marshall and colleagues.
• Effects of tropical cyclones on damage and potential for deforested forests to be recovered and restored in Vietnam.
• How animal seed dispersal recovers within 40 years after passive restoration in forest landscapes;
• How the success of restoration in former Amazonian mines is driven by soil modification and forest proximity;
• Evaluate tree restoration interventions for welfare and environmental outcomes in rural, tropical landscapes, with the goal of preventing conflicts such as roaming of large animals into crops and plantations.
• Effects of wildfires on restoration, particularly in tall, moist eucalypt forests.
Professor Marshall is also the Principal Investigator of FoRCE (Forest Restoration and Climate Experiment) and Founding Director of Reforest Africa.
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