What is Landscape Restoration?
Evolving evidence suggests that planting trees alone is not moving the global needle on poverty nor adequately addressing the pressures driving landscape degradation and conversion worldwide. Landscape Restoration goes beyond planting trees to encompass a series of large-scale restoration interventions aimed at providing environmental and socioeconomic benefits to fulfill current and future needs. It is a larger, longer, and comprehensively planned method of restoration and conservation.
What is Landscape Restoration?
Landscape Restoration is a holistic, standards-based approach to conservation and restoration that generates environmental, biodiversity, and socioeconomic benefits for the well-being of the planet and communities. The design of project activities aims to ensure the drivers of historical deforestation and degradation are addressed through comprehensive programming. Through this approach, Eden Reforestation Projects (Eden) supports long-term sustainability across landscape project areas, laying the groundwork for healthy relationships between people and the landscapes on which we all depend.
Why is Landscape Restoration important?
There is an urgent, critical need to prevent degradation and restore the world's ecosystem now. Through movements such as the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, it has become apparent that planting trees is not enough to address the high level of global degradation. It is essential to transition from a series of small reforestation projects to more comprehensive planned methods of landscape restoration. This holistic approach will have a more significant impact that generates relevant, long-lasting results specific to the landscape and local community's needs.
Landscape Restoration is important for the environment and communities because it includes:
- Comprehensively planned projects that generate relevant and long-lasting positive impacts
- Broader restoration targets for the entire landscape
- New initiatives to address drivers of historical deforestation and degradation in the long-term
- Designated funding to address the landscape's most pressing challenges such as invasive species and fires
- Revenue-generating activities by and for communities that creates additional income streams so the local population can maintain an improved livelihoods
- Strategic partnerships with credible organizations to amplify the impact on the environment, community, and biodiversity
How does Landscape Restoration help the environment?
Landscape Restoration begins by identifying historical drivers of deforestation (the root causes, both direct and indirect, of deforestation in an area). Fire, agriculture, extensive logging, and encroachment are all examples of potential drivers of deforestation. A clearly defined Restoration plan is developed with science-based strategies to address each of these drivers along with the specific ecological function of the area (I.e., water movement and animal migration) in each project boundary. By addressing these drivers, long-term sustainable restoration can be implemented to maximize positive impacts on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem health and functions.
Through this holistic approach, Landscape Restoration will help the environment by:
- Improving ecosystem health
- Increasing and protecting biodiversity
- Mitigating climate change
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
How does Landscape Restoration help with community development?
There is a deep connection between people and the landscapes they depend on. Eden collaborates directly with local communities and other key stakeholders (government, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, and private sector entities) to design and implement restoration projects. Each project will address a community’s needs in a landscape to support community resilience and well-being.
Landscape Restoration helps with community development by:
- Providing fair wage employment to local community members
- Improving the ecosystem's goods and services (clean air, purified water, fertile soil, etc.)
- Raising living conditions
- Strengthening local, sustainable economies
- Generating alternative income activities that reduce pressures on the landscape
Landscape Restoration acknowledges the interdependence between people and their land. Through collaboration and science-based restoration practices, Eden will generate substantive benefits designed explicitly by and for each community that supports their well-being, raises living conditions, and restores their environment. To learn more about Landscape Restoration, please visit edenprojects.org/landscape-restoration.