Forest News #3

In this issue: how and when to assess the success of forest restoration efforts, agroforestry in the tropics and a review of how restoration opportunities are also business opportunities. In addition, check our suggested event, where several international experts get together in Zurich to discuss how to scale-up forest restoration.

Our short video of the month takes us to Java, Indonesia, to show how a landscape approach manages to balance nature conservation, development, agriculture & industry goals. Produced by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR – external link)

This month:

Forest landscape restoration:

  • The video above provides a good introduction to landscape restoration, an approach that tries to ensure healthy ecosystems and human well-being while balancing the (often) competing uses from different stakeholders.
  • But when can we say that restoration of a given ecosystem been achieved? How is it measured and which indicators should be included, ideally from the start? This IUCN article available at the InfoFLR site highlights several relevant points, while at The Applied Ecologist’s Blog, another recent article focuses on finding evidence for land restoration strategies.
  • Also from the IUCN website, a their economist Leander Raes explain in a recent interview the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM), which helps countries to identify restoration opportunities at national level. Raes conducts cost-benefit analysis in four Central American countries by assessing the implementation costs as well as financial, environmental and social benefits of each proposed restoration intervention. We strongly recommend checking the ROAM video series from IUCN to learn more.


  • Continuing on the topic of agroforestry, started in our previous issue, we would like to highlight the work of the World Agroforestry Center, a reference centre for the research and application of agroforestry in the tropics. In addition to their extensive resources, we recommend reading their “Projects” section, where you can read about past and current agroforestry projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • One project that caught our eye was “Trees for Food Security” in eastern Africa. The project, currently in its second phase, aims to improve food security and smallholder livelihoods through the adoption of agroforestry practices in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda. The project overview page presents the current phase and an overview of the results from the first part, together with additional resources.
  • But, in the end, what makes a farmer grow a tree in their farm? This crucial question is addressed in this interesting blog post, related to the above project.

Forest restoration and business

Events to note:

  • June 6&7, Zurich – Switzerland: Latsis Symposium 2018 – Scaling up forest restoration (link and registration)
    The Latsis Symposium 2018 brings together some of the world’s leading forest restoration scientists at ETH Zürich to address the ecological, economic, and societal challenges for scaling-up forest restoration. It is motivated by the challenge of delivering an effective global response to two major environmental threats, climate change and forest degradation.

Online Course Suggestion:

  • For those interested in e-learning, we strongly recommend looking at the online course on Ecosystem Services being offered by the University of Geneva in Coursera. The course is comprehensive and can be taken for free, with the option to pay for a certificate.
    More details and registration here: