On The Route to Large-Scale RestorationSPDC has coordinated feasibility studies of peer review processes for a validation and follow up of forest landscape restoration pledges.
Recognizing the need for large-scale restoration to counter forest degradation and improve vital ecosystem functions and services, international initiatives have set various targets for improving forest ecosystems. These include the Bonn Challenge, launched in 2011, that set an ambitious target to restore 150 million ha of deforested and degraded land by 2020. Pledges under the Bonn Challenge are commitments to improve land management practices in such a way as to increase demonstrably the flow of a number of ecosystem goods and services.
These pledges thus far, have been rather loosely defined, with significant scope for improvement of both the design of the pledges and the subsequent review of these pledges. A group of IUFRO scientists undertook a review of options for a peer review process to assist in the validation and follow up of pledges under the Bonn Challenge. We analysed and evaluated the potential for a systematic peer review process to assess pledges; this was a feasibility study and not the outline of a peer review process itself. We proposed four objectives for peer reviews that may be applied together or individually to any given project or pledge. These are:
a) ensuring that the projects/pledges really are undertaking FLR and demonstrating a case beyond “business as usual”,
b) confirming that the project is designed well, efficient, effective, and sustainable,
c) providing recommendations and/or a roadmap to achieve pledge status (or to qualify as FLR projects), and lastly,
d) lesson learning.
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