The restoration of forest biodiversity and ecological values

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Several countries in the East and South Asian region, are embarking upon major programs for the restoration of degraded forest ecosystems. This paper argues that many schemes proposed in the name of ecological restoration have failed to yield the benefits expected of them. There has often been a lack of clarity in defining the precise objectives of restoration. A further problem is that they are not based upon a full understanding of why the forests were degraded or lost in the first place. The implications of reforestation and restoration for biodiversity are less well documented and this paper focuses on this issue. Based on recent and ongoing research this paper concludes that many programmes have taken narrow sectoral approaches to restoration. More holistic, integrated approahes are needed and the must be sustained over long periods. Restoration situations therefore require integrated 'ecosystem approaches'. This paper conclude with six principles that authors' experience suggests should be applied to restoration programmes not only to enhance their environmental and social benefits but also to reduce the risk of expensive failed programmes. 1. Involve stakeholders in the definition of objectives. 2. Define objectives in measurable ways. 3. Ensure that causes of degradation are understood and addressed and not just symptoms. 4. Invest on people and local institutions and not just in physical infrastructure. 5. Encourage learning and adaptation in the management programmes. 6. Apply ecosystem and common property management principles (fig. 1 and 2). (YS)

    . Proceedings of International Seminar on Restoration Research of Degraded Forest Ecosystem, 13-14 April, 2001


    Seoul National University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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    Sayer, J.A.; Chokkalingam, U.; Poulsen, J.


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