Lessons learned for involving local people in restoration monitoring

 

A CIFOR scientist (left) inspects Arenillo seeds collected by a Kichwa timber producer. These seeds will be replanted by the farmer to reforest his land in Napo Province, Ecuador. Tomas Munita/CIFOR Photo

A CIFOR scientist (left) inspects Arenillo seeds collected by a Kichwa timber producer. These seeds will be replanted by the farmer to reforest his land in Napo Province, Ecuador. Tomas Munita/CIFOR Photo

Success from the ground up?

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New global forest restoration initiatives – such as the Bonn Challenge, Initiative 20×20, AFR100, the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets – present an unparalleled opportunity to reverse the trend of deforestation and forest degradation in the coming years. However, those who work in forest restoration have countless stories of failed projects. How can we minimize these failures, learn from other restoration initiatives and build success from the ground up?

Restoration experts agree: monitoring is essential to restoration success. But is monitoring being given enough attention in the current major global initiatives?

Read the full story: CIFOR

 

Ecosysytems and reforestation

Photo credit: Bioversity International

Dr Moussa Ouédraogo, Director of the National Tree Seed Centre, Burkina Faso,

Why seeds for trees matter in ecosystem restoration efforts in Burkina Faso

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed in Nagoya in 2012 included restoring 15% of the world’s degraded ecosystems by 2020 (Target 15). Subsequent assessments have led to estimates that for terrestrial ecosystems, this 15% means restoring a staggering 350 million hectares – and requires billions of tons of tree seed and trillions of seedlings.

In this second blog in the CBD COP13 Forest and Landscape Restoration Blog Series, Bioversity International partner, Dr Moussa Ouédraogo, Director of the National Tree Seed Centre, Burkina Faso, outlines longstanding efforts to supply quality seeds for restoration initiatives and the challenges they are facing.

When assessing ecosystem restoration opportunities in a country, it is important to analyze what institutional, policy, and legal frameworks, as well as financial and technical resources exist or are lacking that can either support or hinder ecosystem restoration plans. This need is also highlighted in the Short-term Action Plan on Ecosystem Restoration that the Conference of Parties to the CBD which is expected to be adopted in Cancun as a guidance to countries and other actors interested in restoration.

Regarding institutional capacities, one aspect often overlooked in restoration planning is the ability of existing tree seed supply systems to provide the quantity and quality of seed required for meeting restoration goals. We spoke to Dr Moussa Ouédraogo, newly appointed Director of the Centre National de Semences Forestières (CNSF – National Tree Seed Centre) in Burkina Faso about his research centre’s longstanding efforts to supply quality seeds for restoration initiatives in the country and the challenges they are facing. More than 30 years after its establishment, the centre remains a reference for the Sahelian region with its pivotal role in supporting tree planting efforts in the region.

Q: Why is restoration important for Burkina Faso?

Dr Moussa Ouédraogo: Burkina Faso is a land-locked country. We experienced major droughts in the 1970s, which caused large-scale tree mortality, land degradation and pushed desertification processes. Nature could not recuperate alone after these dramatic events and human intervention was needed to revert land degradation. The need to restore became evident.

At the technical level, many approaches were attempted in order to restore the resource base needed for agriculture and agroforestry. Soil restoration techniques, to improve fertility and soil quality, were adopted due to support and maintain agriculture production. These were coupled with water management techniques and with assisted natural regeneration. Re-establishing a tree cover could mean planting within an existing forest area, in order to increase diversity, or direct/sowing and planting on a totally bare land.

Read the full article: Bioversity International

To bring degraded lands back to life

 

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Restoring lands and livelihoods in Burkina Faso: The business of one association

Effective participation of indigenous peoples and local communities and women in ecosystem restoration is one of the three main principles of the Action Plan on Ecosystem Restoration that the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity are expected to adopt at their next Conference in Cancun in December. Effective participation is both the ends and means of ecosystem restoration, but is not easily achieved.

A Burkinabè association tiipaalga (meaning ‘new tree’) has worked with the country’s farmers for over a decade to help them bring their degraded lands back to life. The organization’s aim is to help improve ecosystems for the purpose of improving the well-being of local households. The organization considers – and calls – farmers its partners. Mr Alain Traoré, Director of tiipaalga, shares insights from his long-term efforts in fostering farmer-led restoration initiatives in Burkina Faso.

This is the fifth blog in the CBD COP13 Forest and Landscape Restoration Blog Serieshighlighting why mainstreaming agricultural and tree biodiversity in sustainable food and production systems is critical to achieve the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, with a particular focus on forest and landscape restoration.

Q: What is tiipaalga’s approach in supporting farmers?

A: Our main approach is assisted natural regeneration, which is a low-cost forest restoration method aimed at accelerating growth of existing natural regeneration by removing competition from weeds and other disturbances and creating a more favorable micro-environment for growth. In some cases, if natural regeneration is not sufficient, planting of valuable species to supplement the existing tree populations (enrichment planting) can be carried out.

While we support planting trees, we recommend farmers only plant in small numbers, to allow them to maintain the trees. There is no point in planting one million trees which we cannot tend. It’s better to plant 10 trees per year and in 50 years we will have all we want. We want our partners [farmers] to be sure to be able to care for their trees so they can bring life; as our slogan says: “a tree for life”.

Read the full article: Bioversity International

Reforestation with native trees, mostly willows

 

Photo credit: The San Diego Union-Tribune

Flavio Sanchez, of Habitat Restoration Sciences, Inc., carries a cottonwood tree to be planted in a habitat restoration area at the Lake Calavera Preserve. (Charlie Neuman)

Going native at Lake Calavera Preserve

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by Phil Diehl Contact Reporter

Hunndreds of carefully cultivated young native trees and shrubs are taking root at Carlsbad’s Lake Calavera Preserve where a grove of invasive Mexican fan palms was recently cut down and hauled away.

A wide palette of trees and plants — oaks and cottonwoods, marsh elder and lizard tail — was installed at the preserve this week as part of a habitat restoration project coordinated by the city.

The palms may have been pretty, but in wildlife areas such as the preserve, they are a nuisance that attracts rats and other rodents, while crowding out desirable native plants and animals, officials said.

“You give them an inch, and they’ll take an acre,” said Eddie Rosas, a foreman for Habitat Restoration Sciences, the company hired by Carlsbad to tackle the replanting project.

The restoration project is designed to compensate for vegetation removed as part of the maintenance of the Lake Calavera dam. The preserve, with more than six miles of public hiking trails, is on the northeastern end of Carlsbad near the Oceanside border and is notable for the ancient volcanic cone at its center.

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Most of the trees planted this week were willow cuttings. Workers took hundreds of cuttings from three types of willows — arroyo, red and black — already growing in the preserve and then stored the inch-thick, 4-foot-long cuttings for a week in buckets of water, like flowers in a vase.

 

Poverty, low water availability, deforestation and land degradation are fuelling conflicts, but Kenya greens drylands.

 

Photo credit: IPS News

A Kenya Forestry Research Institute technician pruning an acacia tree at a drylands research site in Tiva, Kitui County. Credit: Justus Wanzala/IPS

Kenya Greens Drylands to Combat Land Degradation

High levels of poverty, low water availability, deforestation and land degradation are fuelling conflicts among communities in East Africa.

Faced with growing degradation that is swallowing large swathes of land in arid and semiarid areas, Kenya is heavily investing in rehabilitation efforts to stave off the threat of desertification.

Charles Sunkuli, secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, says a programme targeting 5.1 million hectares of degraded and deforested land for restoration by 2030 was launched in September 2016. He added that Kenya is increasing its forest cover from the current seven percent to a minimum of 10 percent.

“We have introduced an equalisation fund to help communities living in dry and degraded lands eke out at a living and participate in rehabilitation initiatives,” said Sunkuli.

He was speaking in Nairobi during the Fifteenth Session of the Committee of Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which concluded last week.

Afforestration, he noted, will mainly be done in the country’s arid and semiarid areas which make up 80 percent of Kenya’s land cover, although other areas of the country to are being targeted too.

To succeed in its ambitious endeavour, Sunkuli said Kenya is implementing a programme to promote drought-tolerant tree species such Melia volkensii (locally known as Mukau) in the country’s vast drylands to increase forest cover.

Indeed, Kenya is heavily investing in research into drought resistant trees to enhance afforestration of dry lands and improve livelihoods. At Tiva in the dry Kitui County, eastern Kenya, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) has established a research centre to breed tree species ideal for planting in arid and semiarid areas. The centre is supported by the government in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Read the full article: IPS News

The ‘Green Wall of China Project’, a guiding line for the Indian Government ?

 

 

INDIAN LANDS TURNING INTO DESERTS

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Fast desertification of lands must be stopped. The ‘Green Wall of China Project’ can be a guiding line for the Indian Government to halt desertification across the country. For this, prompt legislative measures should be initiated

As India battles climate change amid rising temperatures and pollution levels, the threat posed by desertificationhas been slowly but steadily rising. Currently, 25 per cent of India’s total land is undergoing desertification while 32 per cent is facing degradation. This has severely affected the productivity, livelihood and food security of millions of people across the country.

As much as 105.19 million hectares (Mha) of the country’s total geographical area of 328.73 Mha is being degraded, while 82.18 Mha is undergoing desertification. Desertification is majorly occurring in the forms of land degradation including soil erosion, which accounts for over 71 per cent of the total degradation, and wind erosion that comprises another10.24 per cent. Other causes for desertification include water logging and salinity-alkalinity.

According to studies, nearly 68 per cent of the country is prone to drought, due to the impact of climate change, particularly in dry lands. These conditions are being made worse due to land desertification that is on the rise, thanks to deforestation and unsustainable fuel wood and fodder extraction.

Besides this, the shifting of cultivation, encroachment into forest lands and recurrent forest fires have taken a toll on the condition of the land. Additionally, the problems of cattle overgrazing, inadequate soil conservation measures, and improper crop rotation combined with indiscriminate use of agro-chemicals has only accelerated the deterioration of land.

Agriculture is turning out to be the single largest casualty of land desertification. More than a quarter of India’s land is gradually turning to deserts and the rate of degradation of agricultural areas is increasing according to an analysis of satellite images collated by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Furthermore, according to the ISRO report, land desertification and degradation — defined in terms of  loss of productivity —is estimated at 96 million hectares, or nearly 30 per cent of Indian land.

Read the full article: The Pioneer

High value trees in Africa RISING Ethiopia

 

Photo credit: Africa Rising

Photo 1: Avocado sapling in Lemo Upper gana. Photo: ICRAF/Hadia Seid)

Intensifying with high value trees in Africa RISING Ethiopia – some reflections from the first phase