Natural forest regeneration is the most cost-effective nature-based solution as it is a low-cost, low-tech and high impact strategy for restoring forests, sequestering carbon, and conserving biodiversity
Harnessing the power of nature is essential for achieving the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C beyond pre-industrial levels. Nature-based solutions can provide 30% or more of the climate change mitigation needed by 2030, yet they receive only 2% of global climate funding. Current nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement do not reflect the full potential of nature.
The most cost-effective solution for removing carbon from the atmosphere is restoring forests, and the most cost-effective way of restoring forests is by removing barriers to the natural regeneration process and—where required—accelerating it, a strategy known as assisted natural regeneration.
Under suitable conditions, assisted natural regeneration can reduce the costs of implementing restoration by more than 70% compared to active restoration, which uses full tree planting. Natural regeneration requires little or no specialist training.
Active restoration strategies can be used in areas where:
> economic development using timber species and agroforestry strategies are required by local communities; or
> assisted natural regeneration is not ecologically or economically feasible – that is, areas where land degradation or the opportunity cost of land is high, and the land is far from forest remnants from which seeds would naturally disperse.
Assisted natural forest regeneration can be used to help countries meet their nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement, post-2020 targets under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, and Land Degradation Neutrality targets
It is not just about time: Agricultural practices and surrounding forest cover affect secondary forest recovery in agricultural landscapes
Associations between socio-environmental factors and landscape-scale biodiversity recovery in naturally regenerating tropical and subtropical forests
Fostering natural forest regeneration on former agricultural land through economic and policy interventions
Achieving cost-effective landscape-scale forest restoration through targeted natural regeneration
How to deliver forest restoration at scale
Assisted natural regeneration as a better alternative than active restoration in many contexts
Ecological restoration success is higher for natural regeneration than for active restoration in tropical forests
The role of natural regeneration to ecosystem services provision and habitat availability: a case study in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest
Natural regeneration and biodiversity: a global meta-analysis and implications for spatial planning
The role of natural regeneration in large-scale forest and landscape restoration: challenges and opportunities
Predicting and mapping the potential for natural regeneration in tropical forests
Webinar Series: A decision support platform for spatial optimisation planning of forest ecosystem restoration (WePlan – Forests)
IIS AU and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity conducted a capacity exchange workshop for systematic spatial planning of restoration in Castries, Saint Lucia
Ten Years of The Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact (PACTO), Brazil
WePlan – Forests: A decision support platform for the spatial optimisation planning of tropical forest ecosystem restoration
IIS Introduce Restoration Project in South Africa´s Conference
IIS AU launches policy brief at UN Summit in New York