Advancing Forest Landscape Restoration in Sub-Sahara Africa: Articulating knowledge gaps in interventions’ design and in governance challenges and institutional arrangements

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The momentum of Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) across Africa is increasing with the active involvement of 28 countries in the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative. Like other existing environmental mechanisms well-grounded conceptually, the risk of falling short on intended outcomes in line with FLR’ ambitious promises are high and avoiding such scenario from the early stages of FLR is paramount. Harnessing restoration science knowledge and its social-dimension to help articulate gaps in design and implementation of FLR interventions/schemes is important, and we present our early research efforts in that direction. We provide a literature-informed synthesis of the socio-institutional factors that influence the outcomes of FLR schemes, and a proposed characterization of FLR interventions as part of scholarly attempts to realign FLR conceptual philosophy and principles to its practical forms. First, early insights on the socio-institutional influential factors operating at multiple scales from the household, community, project/program, and government sector indicate governance and cross-sectoral and cross-scale institutional arrangements as one defining major challenge for successful FLR implementation within a defined landscape. Second, we elaborate ten criteria characterizing FLR in current practice in an attempt to reconcile its divergent discourses, definitions, and interpretations across countries and actors, which have implications on its contextual design. The question is to investigate the extent to which differences between conceptual ideas of FLR and practical investments tagged as FLR can affect delivery of its promises to pre-empt potential differences. Future empirical research aiming at framing context-appropriate polycentric governance system and institutional configurations for FLR is ongoing.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Society for Ecological Restoration