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Forest landscape restoration: Enhancing more than carbon stocks

United Nations Development Programme
OroVerde - Tropical Forest Foundation and Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza, Guatemala
Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative
FSC International and Gold Standard Foundation
International Tropical Timber Organization

United Nations Development Programme

[Stand No. 05]

Mr Charles Nyandiga is Programme Advisor for Sustainable Forest Management and Land Degradation and Regional Focal Point for Anglophone and Arab States. He has worked in the field of forest and natural resources management for over 25 years, working as a forest research officer and practitioner with government, development bilateral organisations and the United Nations. Currently, he is the technical specialist for the GEF SGP Sustainable Forest Management, Land Degradation and Climate Change Adaptation. He is also the regional focal point for anglo and lusophone Africa and Arab States for the UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme.

Presentation Summary

The GEF SGP is a corporate global programme of the Global Environment Facility implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. The SGP has over 14 000 projects of which 1600 are forest based. One of its key focus areas is Sustainable Forest Management in the context of addressing climate change, sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation. It does this mainly by engaging with grassroots-level community-based organisations and civil society. Its strength lies in experiential learning where learning by doing is highly encouraged.

Community forests present an opportunity to both REDD+ and the overall general restoration of forests in productive landscapes. The presentation will discuss and highlight examples, through case studies, that communities have used to measure a full menu of benefits and carbon stocks. However, it is recognised that this still presents many challenges, including finding the most versatile and robust simple carbon accounting procedure(s) that does not require complicated and lengthy calculations of carbon amounts. If communities are to actively take part and profit from REDD+, as well as actively engage in forest re-establishment and protection activities, activities towards biodiversity conservation and reduction of degradation of landscapes at local levels have to be incentivised both by governments and their partners. It is important for communities to link these activities with livelihoods improvements and better preparedness to mitigate impacts of climate change.

SGP works with remotely located grantees, who in many cases are illiterate and cannot even attempt to quantify many of the forest-derived benefits including carbon stocks they co-manage with state agencies. In particular, it is important that carbon assessments be based on community-level understanding of accounting systems and processes. GEF SGP, working with communities in over 125 countries, will provide its experiences to demonstrate challenges and possibilities in involving communities in forest-based enterprises and further to show that this is a growing portfolio of interest worth pursuing by many funding partners.

Key questions:

  • Is a community forest-based benefits accounting systems useful and are the ones out in the market appropriate?
  • Can a simplified and community-appropriate accounting system be found that allows communities to validate their carbon stocks and be able to generate income at individual household levels? If not, what options are available for communities to position themselves to be recognised as important actors?
  • How can communities become important stakeholders in finding a simpler accounting process?

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OroVerde - Tropical Forest Foundation and Fundación Defensores de la Naturaleza, Guatemala

[Stand No. 06]

Ms Elke Mannigel is responsible for the coordination of the international projects of OroVerde – Tropical Forest Foundation, a German non-profit organisation working on forest conservation projects in cooperation with local partners in different countries in Latin America and Asia. Reforestation, management of protected areas, indigenous rights and environmental education are the main areas of work. Climate change and forest, including biodiversity conservation and the involvement of local people, are among the most important work issues at the moment. In Germany, OroVerde is focusing on education for sustainable development, as well as the development of guidelines for investors in forest projects.

Mr Javier Marquez is Director of the Sierra Lacandón National Park, Defensores de la Naturaleza, Guatemala. He has been responsible for the management of the Sierra Lacandón National Park since 2004. The park is co-managed by Defensores de la Naturaleza and CONAP; they both work in conservation activities and with communities to regulate their permanence in the park, adapting their traditional activities to more sustainable methods promoting conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

Presentation Summary

Forest landscape restoration in the Lacandón National Park in Guatemala for climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation and community income generation is facing challenges and opportunities. OroVerde has been working on these topics since 2003 in cooperation with our local partner, Defensores de la Naturaleza, noting that restoration and enrichment of degraded forest landscapes is often more appropriate than pure reforestation or forest conservation. Together we would like to present our experiences and facilitate a discussion among practitioners. Lessons learned so far include: significance of involving communities; necessities of adaptation to local needs (i.e. watershed conservation, firewood production, collective co-benefits and non-economic-incentives, diversified alternative incomes using timber and non-timber forest products); ability of micro-credits to initiate changes in income-generating activities; challenge of obtaining seeds for native species, mixture of species needed to prevent pests and diseases; and risks of natural climate change phenomena (i.e. flooding and extended droughts); need to systematise lessons learned.

Key questions:

  • How do forest restoration initiatives face the challenge of combining climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation and local needs?
  • What are the experiences (positive and negative) of landscape restoration with native species?
  • Should forest landscape restoration activities be rewarded by payments of incentives - in kind, in cash or in technical assistance?
  • Can restoration activities contribute to local diversification of income through the use of different native species?
  • How can the restoration project contribute to an exchange of experiences and learning between different communities and be used as a model for other protected or forested areas?

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Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI)

[Stand No. 07]

Dr Eva Garen, the Director of ELTI, is a social ecologist with over a decade of experience working on the social science aspects of conservation and development, primarily in Latin America. Prior to joining ELTI, she was a technical advisor on the social aspects of REDD+ with Conservation International's (CI) Science and Knowledge Division, where she designed training on social safeguards and REDD+, analysing the social impacts of REDD+ projects and managing CI's participation in the social and environmental soundness component of USAID's Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities (FCMC) Program. Eva had previously worked with ELTI as the Neotropics Training Program Coordinator based at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama.

Ms Hazel Consunji is the Program Assistant for ELTI's Training Programme in tropical Asia. She worked as research assistant for the Center for Tropical Forest Science-Harvard University Arnold Arboretum, Philippine Programme. She also co-authored the CTFS permanent forest plot data book series, Forest Trees of Palanan, Philippines: A Study in Population Ecology. Her interests are in forest restoration and community-based forest management.

Ms Alicia Calle is the Coordinator of ELTI's Leadership Programme. Alicia is a Colombian biologist and graphic artist. She has worked as a freelance graphic designer specialising in designing communications strategies for environmental education, targeting diverse audiences. She has collaborated extensively with the Center for Research on Sustainable Agriculture Production Systems (CIPAV) in Colombia. She enjoys working with farmers in developing alternatives such as agroforestry, which can provide a dignified rural livelihood while contributing to conserve and restore tropical forests.

Presentation Summary

Addressing forest restoration and local livelihoods in working landscapes – Case studies from Asia and Latin America

Deforestation rates in regions of Southeast Asia and Latin America often are driven by extractive and productive industries, such as oil palm production and cattle ranching. Efforts to integrate conservation and restoration into productive landscapes are needed in order to re-establish environmental services from forest ecosystems and provide sustainable rural livelihood options. The Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI) works with local partners in the Philippines, Colombia and Panama to integrate forest restoration into multiple use landscapes. In the Philippines, ELTI and partners have coordinated field-based trainings, conferences and meetings to promote the adoption of 'Rainforestation', a restoration approach that re-establishes many forest-based ecosystem services and provides sustainable rural livelihood options. In Colombia and Panama, ELTI works with landholders on landscape-level restoration strategies, including silvopastoral systems, improved animal management practices, watershed protection and connectivity corridors. While these approaches provide a range of ecosystem services and help to mitigate the threat of climate change and improve local livelihoods, they are not yet incorporated into national REDD+ programmes. Consequently, funding for such projects remains limited and training is needed to bridge this gap.

Key questions:

  • How can Rainforestation and other restoration strategies in the Philippines be integrated into ongoing efforts to develop the country's national REDD+ programme and pilot initiatives?
  • What kind of training is needed and with which stakeholder groups to ensure that restoration efforts, such as Rainforestation, are considered part of REDD+ in the Philippines?
  • Given that smallholders are among the primary adopters of Rainforestation, are there any specific cases where Rainforestation can be a particularly effective strategy for integrating local people into national-level REDD+ processes?
  • How can sustainable cattle ranching in Colombia and Panama (and the region more generally) be integrated into ongoing efforts to develop national REDD+ programmes and pilot initiatives?
  • What kind of training is needed and with which stakeholder groups to ensure that sustainable cattle ranching is considered part of REDD+ in this region?
  • Since cattle ranching is a significant component of the region's economy and culture, what additional efforts are needed to overcome the stigma attached to cattle ranching by conservationists in order to harness the benefits of sustainable cattle ranching practices for climate change mitigation?

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FSC International and Gold Standard Foundation

[Stand No. 09]

Mr Stefan Salvador is Programme Manager at FSC International for the Ecosystem Services Programme. He is in charge of the strategic planning, organisation and coordination of projects and activities to explore, pilot test, and adopt systems for the certification of ecosystem services. Stefan worked in a number of functions for and with FSC for 14 years.

Mr Pieter van Midwoud is Director, Business Development for Land Use & Forests at the Gold Standard Foundation. He is in charge of the business development side of the Gold Standard certification scheme for New Forest and Agroforestry, Climate Smart Agriculture and Sustainable Forest Management, including the building of high level strategic partnerships. Pieter previously worked in various sustainable forest policy functions on all levels.

Presentation Summary

Establishing new global partnerships for forest restoration – creating synergies and reducing barriers between certification schemes

Forests and land-use play a key role in our global carbon cycles. Through the unsustainable use of forests and other land use, this sector contributes yearly to one-third of human-caused climate change. In addition, 25 times the volume of net human carbon emissions accumulates naturally every year through terrestrial systems. There is no question that there's an urgent need to make forests and agricultural practices more sustainable to combat climate change, but also to improve the livelihoods of the millions of people that depend on these natural resources for their daily living. Responsible forest management is an example of a cornerstone vector for climate change mitigation and is built upon strong social and environmental safeguards that are universally relevant for a wide range of management objectives. Giving value to these practices and giving value to the ecosystem services like carbon sequestration, biodiversity and water supply is therefore key for our common future. Recently the best in class forest stewardship and carbon standards announced a close collaboration to endorse and scale up much-needed sustainable practices. The marketplace discussion looks into opportunities to reduce the natural complexity when working on various ecosystem services. A special focus will be given to the new FSC and Gold Standard collaboration aiming at mutually recognising the schemes' approaches towards social and environmental safeguards and carbon certification, respectively.

Key questions:

  • How can forest landscapes benefit best from synergies between certification standards?
  • How can forest and carbon certification schemes scale up sustainable landscapes?
  • How can the new collaboration most effectively reach the relevant stakeholders like grassroots NGOs, project developers, financers and research organisations?

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International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)

[Stand No. 10]

Dr Ma Hwan-Ok joined the International Tropical Timber Organization in 1996 and has been working for sustainable management of tropical forests as Projects Manager. He has been engaged in the capacity building of formulating afforestation and reforestation CDM projects under the Kyoto Protocol. Since 2008, he has followed capacity building issues of REDD+ readiness and is currently working for ITTO's Thematic Programme on REDDES.

Presentation Summary

Restoration and rehabilitation projects are undertaken for a variety of environmental, economic and social objectives. Such projects can have significant impacts when sound management strategies for degraded and secondary forests are analysed and implemented nationally along with national guidelines for restoration. In order to provide a useful framework for such management strategies and national guidelines, this presentation is to introduce the principles of the ITTO Guidelines for the restoration, management and rehabilitation of degraded and secondary tropical forests, which were developed in close cooperation with CIFOR, FAO, IUCN and WWF International. Specifically, it will focus on the following principles: formulate and implement supportive policies and appropriate legal frameworks; empower local people and ensure the equitable sharing of cost and benefits; and utilise appropriate ecological and silvicultural knowledge and efficient management practices.

Key questions:

  • How can we identify major elements for effective management strategies for degraded and secondary forests?
  • What are the basic conditions for the effective management of degraded and secondary forests?
  • How do we scale-up site-level knowledge and experience to local and national strategies and guidelines development?

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