IUFRO-SPDC Training Workshop
Hotel City Lodge, Durban, South Africa, 4-6 September 2015
IUFRO’s Special Programme for Development of Capacities (SPDC) in collaboration with the World Resources Institute organized a 3-day training workshop on science-policy interactions for forest and landscape restoration in conjunction with the World Forestry Congress.
Workshop Report is now available!
The concept of combating environmental degradation at the landscape scale has gained significant recognition in ongoing global and regional policy debates. This is exemplified by policy initiatives promoting forest and landscape restoration of large tracts of land extending over millions of hectares. Such initiatives at the global level include the Bonn Challenge and New York Declaration established in 2011 and 2014, respectively as well as the regional 20x20 policy goal defined for landscape restoration in Latin America and the Caribbean. In this context, the global policy debate on forest and landscape restoration is largely dominated by commitments of governments to work towards restoration with emphasis on extent of area to be restored. Although this political momentum is important, there is still a lack of clarity of what is needed - in a local context - to implement forest and landscape restoration for achieving a desired impact. It also seems that more substantive input is required for informed decision-making, particularly with regard to the necessary changes to ongoing land management practices affecting local stakeholders, institutions, governance approaches, technology choices, and investments. These aspects and their complexity appear to be insufficiently appreciated at decision-making levels.
Science-policy interactions for providing available scientific knowledge generated by the research community can contribute to increase awareness of and understanding for appropriate policy and governance approaches, and technical and managerial solutions needed for effective forest and landscape restoration. This workshop, therefore, discusses ways and means of transforming scientific knowledge into useful information for policy and management decisions on the ground. More specifically, the workshop aimed at the following specific objectives:
• Provide concepts and methods to researchers and practitioners on how research results can be transformed into usable information for problem-solving and policy-making;
• Discuss forest and landscape restoration as an approach for reversing land degradation and achieving defined social, environmental and economic objectives; and
• Present case studies from around the world that demonstrate how past and ongoing landscape restoration activities can contribute to enhancing benefits to society including e.g. in the context of climate change mitigation and adaptation, water governance and poverty alleviation.
Overall, the workshop served as an opportunity for participants to share experiences on disseminating forest landscape restoration related scientific knowledge and learn more about effective methods and tools to deliver substantive information for policy making.
Early and mid-career scientists, educators and professionals involved in forest and landscape restoration from developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were encouraged to submit their expression of interest for participating in this workshop.
Sponsorship for selected participants was available from IUFRO-SPDC covering – in principle – the costs of the workshop, accommodation and subsistence during the workshop (3-6 September, 2015). In addition, a limited number of travel grants from the home country to South Africa and return were available.