Promoting Sharing Best Practices of Forest Rehabilitation in Asia and Pacific
The Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration estimates that there are some 2 billion hectares of degraded lands available for restoration globally, 400 million in the Asia-Pacific region.
APFNet recognizes that current forest restoration practices often come with higher costs, while at times not delivering the results originally intended. Therefore, on the afternoon of the 26th of March APFNet hosted a session on “Promoting Sharing Best Practices of Forest Rehabilitation in Asia and Pacific that aims to identify viable cost-effective restoration approaches, which could be applied over a larger scale.
The invited participants gave a number of important insights during the session. Several promoted the Forest Landscape restoration (FLR) approach, which integrates different land-uses (such as agriculture, forestry, pasture provision and water supply) across a large area of land, and has at its core cross-sector communication and cooperation. Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) and agroforestry represent important pieces in the puzzle as one keeps costs low while improving ecosystem functions and the other provides immediate livelihood options. Many case studies, like the FLR-based forest restoration project in the Philippines and the National Reforest Programme in Vietnam, which successfully utilized ANR, show that these ideas do not have to remain niche approaches.
Some projects, while not under the FLR umbrella, similarily focus on landscape thinking. TheAPFNet-funded project‘Landscape approach to Sustainable management of forests in Prek Thnot Watersheds’, Cambodia, adopts an Integrated Watershed Management Plan to address problems of forest and land degradation and land tenure.
Of course, a scientific basis for interventions is key, as the “APFNet-funded project‘Rehabilitation and Management of degraded forests in Beijing’s Miyun Reservoir watershed’ showed. It uses the close-to-nature forest management to achieve high-quality forest stands.
Agroforestry receives special attention as an approach that intuitively embraces many FLR principles. In Yunnan, their agroforestry system does not only focus on simple intercropping, but plans ahead for several years through a successional planting approach.
In Myanmar home gardens are important for small scale farming families for food and cash income, but come with limited profits. Cooperation between households under agroforestry projects would increase opportunities across the landscape. Thus, the government currently promotes multi-household agroforestry approaches to ensure ecological integrity while increasing local livelihoods.
This ecological integrity aspect plays an even greater role in Chinese Taipei, where previously mass landslides due to typhoons have caused erosion that has been exacerbated by people are living in upland areas that used unsustainable practices. Through the implementation of the APFNet-funded project ‘Demonstration of Sustainable Upland Agroforestry Systems in Chinese Taipei’, it’s found that agroforestry is a possible and feasible solution to cope with the dilemma.
With so many ideas shared by the different economies, participants walked away with new-found knowledge to sustainable restore forested landscapes.