Resource Details

Reforestation at a Landscape Scale, chapter 11 from "Regreening the Bare Hills: Tropical Reforestation in the Asia-Pacific Region"

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Lamb, D. 2011, Regreening the Bare Hills. Tropical forest restoration in the Asia-Pacific Region. Series: World Forests, Vol. 8, Springer.

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Corresponding Author:


University of Queensland


This e-book is available free of cost from SpringerLink


  • This chapter reviews landscape scale restoration: a landscape is defined as a spatial mosaic with differing land use patterns across a gradient, usually involving natural and human-intervened areas, and changing with time.  
  • Forest Landscape Restoration involves strengthening functionality (ie, hydrologic cycles) and resilience of the social-ecological systems (biodiversity and livelihoods), because it is very resource intensive ($$$) to restore original forest cover at large scales.
  • Landscape scale restoration assumes that landowners have land tenure so that they would consider restoration as an future investment.
  • How much land for reforestation?  Reforestation should be planned to maximize the ability of a fragmented landscape to conserve biodiversity (some studies show that forest-dependent species can be conserved on 20%-50% forest cover) and hydrological functions (one study suggests minimum of 15% cover but others recommend complete cover on steep slopes).
  • Where to implement reforestation? This depends on the goal of the restoration - biodiversity, hydrological functions, livelihood improvement – distinct priorities will target different geographic areas. In general, reforestation patches should be large enough to minimize edge effects.
  • Reforestation for economic benefits will involve timber markets and distance to the market (transportation costs).
  • For the planning of restoration activities, modeling software can identify priority areas, but it is difficult to implement due to political realities.
  • Participatory planning steps include:
    • Develop a landscape view of the problem
    • Group Engagement (identify key stakeholders and maximize participation)
    • Identify possibilities (considering level of interest from the different stakeholders)
    • Decision making and priority setting
    • Monitoring and adaptive management (the authors provide a list of potential indicators)
  • The author reviews possible decision making support tools, such as visual, community-drawn maps (rich maps), scenario analyses (maps of potential future scenarios), simple models, cost effectiveness analyses (CE= monetary benefit times probability of reforestation success divided by the discounted cost of reforestation).   
  • Fiji example - the government created a land use planning program to improve ag productivity, forest conservation, and reforestation. Planners met with farmers to make land use planning priorities, activities, and maps, and memorandums of understanding were signed with landowners to conserve remaining forest.
  • Hmong Thailand example - a national park was established in northern Thailand overlapping traditional Hmong shifting cultivation communities. Meetings were held between park managers and local communities to explore common ground and identify future needs; authors concluded that the relationship will be productive because meeting facilitators were well known to both parties and detailed maps make it clear where the proposed activities will take place.   


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