The Atlantic Forest (AF) is a tropical ecoregional complex distributed throughout the Brazilian coast, reaching Argentina and Paraguay territories. It presents high species endemism and severe loss of forest cover, currently estimated at 85%. Restoration is necessary in order to retain biodiversity and crucial ecosystem services provided by its remnants. Despite this, large-scale initiatives are still lacking, and information about projects remains diffuse. To make a gap analysis of opportunities and challenges in AF restoration, we collected data about restoration initiatives from 24 institutions and interviewed six Brazilian specialists. Altogether, 81 initiatives were mapped, of which 66% focus in small-scale restoration and 56% in restoration supply production. Fewer projects address economics of restoration and compliance with environmental liabilities. Paper and pulp industries are strategic stakeholders to promote gain of scale in restoration initiatives in the AF, since companies are compelled to protect and restore native forests due to legal compliances. Over 70% of the initiatives are placed in the South and Southeast regions, depicting the lack of restoration investments in the Northeastern AF. Specialists mention key themes for the gain of scale in AF restoration: i) Financing for forest restoration projects; ii) Incentives and financial mechanisms to reduce costs of forest restoration projects; and iii) Regulation of political forecasts; and agreeing that sustainable landscape planning is an opportunity for scaling up restoration. Also, restoration technical capacity building, alignment to international climate change commitments, and incentives to enhance natural regeneration processes were detected as gaps and opportunities to restore the AF.
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Society for Ecological Restoration