Tropical Reforestation Should Complement and Enhance Local Livelihoods, Needs, and Cultures
Participatory planning with smallholders and communities is key for enhancing local livelihoods, lasting ecological outcomes, and support (buy-in) for restoration. Restoration should enhance the ability of local people to make a meaningful living. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach to enhancing livelihoods. As such, engaging and working with local people to understand their livelihood strategies and the potential role for restoration is essential for ensuring locally relevant outcomes. More research is needed to identify effective restoration strategies that enhance livelihoods in different contexts, and to understand the long-term impacts and outcomes of restoring forests on livelihoods.
We also need to think broadly about how restoration and livelihoods intersect. Benefits to livelihoods can be direct (e.g., payment for work), indirect/delayed through the sale of products, or indirect through the services that restoration provides to agriculture. The benefits that are most impactful will be those that meet the needs of local peoples. Tree and forest-based strategies that are already being used to enhance livelihoods can also make significant contributions to landscape level restoration, and can provide a good starting point for additional restoration efforts.
- Analysis Shows Gaps in Understanding of Impacts of Forest Restoration on Local Livelihoods (Adams et al. 2016)
- Tropical Restored Forests as Sustainable Production Systems (Brancalion 2016)
- Private Sector, Government, NGOs and Research Organizations Formed a Coalition to Restore Forests in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest Region (Brancalion et al. 2016)
- Stakeholders Describe Multiple Dimensions of Trade-offs Among Reforestation Alternatives (Lazos et al. 2016)
- The Value of Community Managed Agroforests and Second-growth Forests as Restoration Approaches (Souza et al. 2016)
- Introducing Communally Owned and Managed Reserves Enabled Smallholders to Restore Cloud Forests (Wilson 2016)
- Four Key Opportunities for Regulating Markets to Promote Forest and Landscape Restoration (Brancalion et al. 2017)
- The Restoration Literature is Diverging Despite the Need to Link Social and Ecological Perspectives (Wilson et al. forthcoming)