Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles are Needed to Avoid Negative Consequences and Reach the Scale and Potential of Forest and Landscape Restoration

Forest and landscape restoration (FLR) is a long-term, multidimensional process that incorporates biophysical, socioeconomic and governance dimensions. Guidelines for planning and implementing restoration and monitoring outcomes should integrate the ecological and the social, dimensions and clearly reflect the underlying principles that define the FLR approach. But to date, developing guiding principles is impeded by a lack of clarity in the terms used and the widely recognized gap between research, policy, and practice.

Frameworks based on guiding principles, criteria, and indicators are urgently needed to help decision makers and practitioners create strategies to engage local communities in the process, define no-go zones for reforestation, select appropriate reforestation approaches, and establish baselines needed to adequately quantify restoration outcomes. Guiding principles can increase transparency and accountability in program management and decrease risk for private and public investors. Guiding principles focused on social and ecological considerations, and clarity of definitions and vocabulary are urgently needed to reach the scale and the full benefits of forest and landscape restoration.