Spatial Planning

Systematic spatial planning can be adopted to minimise land use conflicts and maximise benefits from forest and landscape restoration (FLR)

As the global community prepares to scale up efforts on FLR, systematic spatial planning will play a key role in informing decision-making to achieve balanced and equitable benefits and costs.

For variations in expected benefits and costs that can be described spatially, we can adopt “systematic spatial planning” approaches. It aims to guide FLR practices that maximise a variety of long-term benefits, while minimising restoration costs and conflict with agricultural production. Systematic spatial planning takes into account stakeholder preferences, budget limitations, social needs and other key factors.

It is now possible to spatially predict and identify, with high certainty, suitable areas for assisted natural regeneration

A major barrier to the use of natural regeneration in FLR has been the ability to identify where this strategy can be successful and where more active restoration strategies might be needed. Thanks to cutting-edge technologies, a spatial predictive model has been created to analyse the socio-environmental conditions favoring successful natural regeneration. Such planning helps to ensure that decision makers don’t target costly and laborious planting efforts in areas with a high suitability to regrow on their own or with low-cost assistance.

A global spatial predictive model and map of the suitability for assisted natural regeneration within forest tropical regions is currently under development by the IIS AU, the Center for International Forestry Research, and Conservation International. This will soon enable decision-makers and land-use planners to develop cost-effective restoration plans that consider high priority natural regeneration areas.

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Conservation International Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative Convention on Biological Diversity Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) International Institute for Sustainability U.S. Agency for International Development European Union Korean Forest Service The University of Queensland The University of Melbourne The Australian National University Universidade Veiga de Almeida Forestation International Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations