A Cost-Benefit Framework for Analyzing Forest Landscape Restoration Decisions

Type Book
Title A Cost-Benefit Framework for Analyzing Forest Landscape Restoration Decisions
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Publisher by: IUCN, Gland, Switzerland
URL https://portals.iucn.org/library/sites/library/files/documents/2015-018.pdf
Land degradation significantly reduces the productivity of the land base upon
which the well-being of humanity relies. Global estimates suggest that between 1
and 6 billion hectares, approximately 8% – 52% of the Earth’s vegetated land
base, are degraded (Daily, Restorign Value to the World's Degraded Lands ,
1995). This in turn negatively impacts the provision of ecosystem services, with
approximately 60% (15 out of 24) of the ecosystem services examined under the
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment being degraded or used unsustainably,
including the provision of fresh water, food, fuel, and fibre, air and water
purification, and climate regulation (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005).
Together, emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use land accounted
for 20-24% of global annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or net emissions
of 12 Gt CO2e in 2010 (International Panel on Climate Change, 2014). More
specifically, and conversion and land degradation alone are estimated to account
for 4.4 Gt of CO2e emissions each year (Mathews & van Noordwijk, 2014).
Locally, degradation and deforestation directly impact many of the world’s
poorest or most vulnerable communities (FAO, 2008). It is well established that
the degradation and deforestation of landscapes can cause downward spirals
into poverty (Dasgupta, Diechmann, Meisner, & Wheeler, 2005). High population
growth and lack of agricultural intensification can encourage farmers to
continuously cultivate, which reduces soil fertility and future crops yields.
Degradation and deforestation have also been routinely linked to the frequency
and intensity of natural disasters, particularly floods and landslides (UNU-EHS,
The pressure on landscapes to serve extractive or consumptive use is not likely
to decrease in the coming decades. Demand for energy, food, and water - all
potentially sourced from the land - is forecast to increase.
1 Such predictions
emphasize the need to restore the productive capacity of degraded and
deforested lands and restoration has now become a global priority (Lambin &
Meyfroidt, 2011). Each of the Rio conventions have adopted goals focused on
forest landscape restoration: the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi target
15 requires signatories to restore 15 percent of degraded ecosystems by 2020
(CBD, 2011); The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change has also
adopted the global goal to slow, halt, and reverse forest cover and carbon loss
(UNFCCC, 2013); and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification is focusing
on restoring unproductive lands (UNCCD, 2013).

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