3.09.00 - Sustainable forest operations for forest landscape restoration
Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) as a natural solution to climate change represents an opportunity to reverse degradation that contributes to people’s livelihoods, reduce land-use carbon emissions from forest degradation and deforestation, and promotes biodiversity. FLR encompasses interventions such as agroforestry, silvopastures, reforestation, secondary and degraded forest restoration, assisted natural regeneration, ecological restoration, wildlife prevention actions, and many others defined according to the baseline conditions. Countries around the globe have made important commitments to restore more than 200 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 under the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the Bonn Challenge, and regional platforms such as Initiative 20x20 y Latin America, AFR 100 in Africa and new efforts in Africa and Europe. The magnitude of national commitments, as well as the variety of interventions needed to restore lands, require the implementation of sustainable forest operations that may require innovations to those used in traditional forestry in terms of scale and diversity of products. This Unit fosters research in new and innovative methods for planning, establishing, tending, thinning, and harvesting trees in a restoration context, which will be critical in achieving global FLR targets. Innovations to operations in silviculture and management of secondary and degraded forests are needed to facilitate the cost-effective and long-term sustainable implementation of FLR interventions with benefits for people. The Unit also seeks to understand what knowledge needs arise from the specific challenges of the FLR context and answer the question on How to operationally implement restoration commitments at scale by looking at challenges in the implementation of actions in the ground. This Unit is paying particular attention to the link between climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in degraded landscapes and the need of efficient, effective, and innovative forest operations. Forests is increasingly becoming part of the solution to achieve the Paris Accord commitments and the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity targets and improve landscape resilience. The FLR movement is currently transitioning from political engagement to implementation on the ground, and sustainable forest operations constitute an essential component of successful implementation. Sustainable forest operations for Forest Landscape Restoration collaborates with Research Group 1.06.00 – Restoration of degraded sites, and the Silviculture Division and Working Party 8.01.02 – Landscape Ecology in Division 8.
Much of the available literature, research, and work in these areas of ecological restoration planning. Still, there are significant gaps in the implementation of prescriptions and treatment at the scale the global commitments are demanding. In specific, operational, and engineering knowledge gaps are pronounced in all of the following areas and will limit FLR if they are not addressed:
- Identifying cost-effective operations needed for successful restoration interventions using native species.
- Observing forest operations and recommending changes needed when establishing and supporting agroforestry and silvopasture systems.
- Identifying the most cost-effective and sustainable operations when restoring forest structure in temperate forest
- Providing operational recommendations for silvicultural prescriptions where residual stand conditions have high structural heterogeneity, such as frequent fire natural forests and selective harvesting in secondary forest
Multi-objective optimization that includes non-market benefits, especially biodiversity and carbon outcomes.