Mapping vocation for forest restoration and multifunctional landscapes in Rio Doce Basin, Brazil: Vocation for Restoration Index (VRI)

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Sónia Carvalho Ribeiro

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Considerable efforts have been devoted to exploring pathways for moving toward resilient landscapes. A particular challenge is to reconcile the needs for economic growth, provision of ecosystem services, and social development across the landscape. This paper has three objectives: The first is to draw upon conceptual models for addressing production vs. conservation challenges. We adapted the land-vocation concept into the context of forest restoration in Brazil, based in three modalities: i) vocation for natural regeneration, ii) forestation for conservation purposes and iii) vocation for agroforestry systems, as an opportunity for landscape planning, after one of the worst man-made disasters in Brazil, caused by the Fundão Dam break in the Rio Doce Basin. The second objective is to apply the conceptual framework to a spatially-explicit index for mapping vocation for forest restoration (VRI), aiming to map the most favorable areas for receiving approximately USD 300 million of restoration investment over the next 10 years. Finally, we address implementation issues and the way IVR is taken up in the Brazilian decision-making context. Our results show that IVR is innovative and suited to dealing with the whole-landscape-approach conceptual framework. The methodological approach, as well as results of VRI received constructive feedback from both governmental institutions and local/regional stakeholders. We expect this work to inspire and gauge the implementation of forest restoration at the landscape scale in Brazil as a way to go beyond land sparing, instead of reconciling land vocation for production (agroforestry) and conservation (natural regeneration nd plantations) at the landscape scale.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration