The Social-Innovative Forest and Landscape Restoration

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Forest and Landscape Restoration is a viable solution to adapting and mitigating climate change, preventing mass species extinctions, and improving rural livelihood, and is one of the strategies under the UN Decade Ecosystem Restoration. FLR is the science, practice, and art of dealing with multiple interests to preserve native remnants and restore degraded lands, bringing shared benefits to people and other living beings. FLR is based on ecological restoration but encompasses other fields to comprise socio-ecological dynamics at the landscape level, favoring more context-oriented and politically viable solutions. Although prominent, FLR is a new approach, and its experiences have shown difficulties in coping with contemporary societal transformations. Both governments and markets have been unable to respond with the agility and intensity required by an increasingly dynamic and connected society that demands more efficiency and transparency in managing multi-use landscapes, a breeding ground for social innovation. Based on a conceptual review of Socio-Ecological Systems, Nature’s Contribution to People, Sustainable Livelihood, and Social Innovation, we develop the Social-Innovative Forest and Landscape Restoration (SI-FLR) theory of change. This new approach emphasizes the intrinsic connection between the landscape’s ecological, productive, and social transformation processes, highlighting the political option of putting sustainable livelihoods needs in the foreground. Integrating these aspects is fundamental to adapt to the shocks and stresses involved in the changing context of a deep and long lasting landscape restoration process. SI-FLR calls for a more inclusive and socially structured process, focusing on the social innovators dedicated to improving forest landscapes’ wellbeing and nature.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program