WWF Germany has teamed up with the IUCN Washington Office and the World Resources Institute to establish a Forest Landscape Restoration Implementation Hub. The purpose of this platform is to contribute to the efforts of countries aiming to achieve sustainable forest restoration. The actors within the Hub are particularly mindful of the social and economic aspects that forest restoration entails and, with this in mind, have inquired us to conduct an exploratory study into markets, products and revenue models that take into account these aspects. By focusing on the socio-economic indicators, the Forest Landscape Restoration Implementation Hub aims at providing local communities with the necessary tools to simultaneously work on forest restoration and livelihood improvement.
Within this research project we investigate existing and potential revenue models for land use practises that can contribute to landscape restoration for 6 countries in South America (Peru Colombia, Brazil) and East Africa (Tanzania, Uganda, Madagascar). One example of such sustainable use practise is the integration of coffee production as part of a bigger agroforestry system which, aside from coffee beans, also includes other crops- and tree species such as bananas. This mixed agromodel combines multiple streams of revenue for the farmer whilst at the same time ensuring conservation and recovery of the forest. Forest restoration interventions – such as the aforementioned combination of crops and trees, and sometimes cattle farming and/or the sustainable management of existing forests or the planting of new ones – help to restore soils, improve the quality of local waterways, and contribute to the increase of terrestrial biodiversity. Forest restoration interventions also offer economic opportunities for the local population.
As part of the research we have participated in several country-missions within the different territories. In addition we have spoken with a wide array of stakeholders ranging from national and regional governments, to NGOs and corporate- and industry actors. Additionally we organized small-scale workshops in each of the countries to further refine our desk research. This has resulted in tailormade, per country, factsheets that encompass the respective landscapes, initial forest restoration interventions and promising revenue models. Information about value-strategies is included as well as the opportunities and challenges within each scenario and the potential of financing opportunities and the projected profitability of investments. We have processed and visualized this information into digestible bits and pieces and in doing so, have contributed to the foundation of an effective Forest Landscape Restoration Implementation Hub.