Conversion of natural habitats into degraded lands or forests is a major threat to sustainable development all over the world. Degradation of forests erodes environmental services, such as production of wood and biomass, natural habitats for biodiversity, watershed protection, and provision of non-woody forest products. In addition, forest degradation contributes severely to climate change. Today, huge areas worldwide are in urgent need of forest restoration. This necessitates spatial prioritization of restoration efforts according to future-oriented cost-benefit analyses that are based on scientific knowledge. To support this process, we organize an international scientific conference, The 3rd Restoring Forests: Regeneration and Ecosystem Function for the Future, which communicates the state-of-the-art in the relatively new research field of restoration ecology.