Knowledge Sharing Workshop

There is an urgent need to address land degradation and the climate crisis. This online workshop aimed at exchanging a wide range of experiences with implementing FLR in India and South Asia to learn from each other and find opportunities to upscale efforts to restore degraded lands and transition to more sustainable land use as part of a green and circular economy. IUFRO’s role was to bring to the table not only the best science but also practical experiences on forest landscape restoration implementation from all over the world and discuss such approaches with Indian scientists and experts.

The 4-day workshop addressed the following major forest landscape restoration (FLR) aspects:

  • FLR - Interventions into Social-ecological Systems
  • FLR - Contribution to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
  • FLR - Reclaiming and Rehabilitating Ex-mining Areas
  • FLR - Financing and Building Capacities

Key recommendations from the workshop include:

  • Forest Landscape Restoration has the potential to improve the health of forest ecosystems and to improve the well-being of local communities through generating and sharing social, economic, cultural, and ecological benefits.
  • Integrating traditional knowledge in FLR through sustainable land management practices evolved by the community over centuries will contribute to restoring degraded lands.
  • FLR provides an opportunity to look beyond the forest to include entire landscapes. FLR process as a best practice can contribute to develop a bio-resource based circular economy, capacity development, sustainable use of natural resources, and accommodating local aspirations.
  • Main actors in forest landscape change such as local communities, governments, private sectors, NGOs, CSOs, and society need to be brought on-board for achieving lasting restoration impact.
  • FLR to be successful requires the application of three main tools:
    • Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology as an overall planning tool for entire landscapes, involving the identification of drivers of degradation, stakeholder mapping, spatial analysis, stakeholder consultations, and prioritising landscapes for restoration.
    • Six Principles and 32 Guiding Elements of FLR providing the framework for FLR implementation by defining ecological, social, economic and technical aspects to be considered.
    • FLR as a social process involving envisioning national or landscape-level goals, planning activities for achieving the local and landscape-level objectives, and sustained monitoring and feedback. Thus, FLR it is a cyclic process with constant feedback loops between conceptualization, implementation, and impact monitoring enabling constant learning and improvement.
  • There is a need to have a policy framework, clearly spelt out roles for the departments involved and continuous fund flow for successful implementation of FLR.
  • Extensive survey of sacred groves, important forest patches in India should be carried out and these areas need special attention for their rejuvenation.
  • To achieve eco rehabilitation of mined-out areas, cluster mining approach with landscape level planning starting from environmental clearance to the eco rehabilitation of mined-out areas should be followed.
  • There should be synergy between State Forest Department, Research and Developmental Organization, Mining Industry and Regulatory agencies to achieve eco rehabilitation of mined-out areas and forest restoration targets.
  • Public and private international/domestic funds are needed for various FLR activities.
  • Sensitization and involvement of children and youth should be promoted in the implementation and monitoring of FLR activities.

More information on the presentations and discussions can be found in the Workshop Proceedings.