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Developing a partnership with nature shaping new forests out of landscape elements


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Presentation by Robin L. Chazdon at “Science-policy exchange: Big ideas to connect landscapes, climate and development” Discussion Forum on the second day of the Global Landscapes Forum 2015, in Paris, France alongside COP21. For more information go to:

Published in: Environment
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Developing a partnership with nature shaping new forests out of landscape elements

  1. 1. Developing a partnership with nature: Shaping new forests out of landscape elements Robin L. Chazdon Association for Tropical Biology & Conservation University of Connecticut, USA International Institute of Sustainability, Brazil
  2. 2. From 2000-2012, most of the global loss of tree cover occurred in the world's tropical regions
  3. 3. Protecting existing forests and halting deforestation and forest degradation are not enough We need to regrow forests and rebuild landscapes in a partnership with nature We need to take the next step
  4. 4. Forests know how to do this But they need our help
  5. 5. Calvo-Alvarado et al. 2009. Forest Ecology and Management. 258: 931-940. Spontaneous natural regeneration can occur at large spatial scales 1966 23% forest cover 2005 47% forest cover
  6. 6. Trajano de Morais Municipality, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil de Rezende et al. 2015. Atlantic Forest spontaneous regeneration at landscape scale. Biodiversity and Conservation • In 36 years, forest cover increased by 3,020 hectares (15.3 %) through natural regeneration • Active restoration planting in the same area would have cost U$ 15.1 million (U$ 419 k/year).
  7. 7. The science-policy questions are changing 1. How much primary forest needs to be conserved, protected, and set aside to sustain biodiversity? 1. What are the minimal biodiversity components needed to regenerate native vegetation in human-modified landscapes?
  8. 8. 2. How can we prevent forest degradation and deforestation due to logging and shifting cultivation? 2. How can we improve forest-based livelihoods and promote local governance while fostering regenerating and restored forests?
  9. 9. 3. How can conversion of forest land be minimized to accommodate agriculture? 3. How can agricultural land be spared to accommodate new types of forests?
  10. 10. Ecological memory: landscape elements that connect regenerating forests with former forests
  11. 11. Ecological and cultural memory are both legacies and drivers of change
  12. 12. Arroyo-Rodriguez et al.. 2015. Multiple successional pathways in human-modified tropical landscapes: New insights from forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research. Biological Reviews (in press) High ecological memory Low ecological memory
  13. 13. Potential for large-scale natural regeneration has been demonstrated How and where to make this happen?
  14. 14. How much second-growth is there in the Neotropical lowlands?
  15. 15. Fagan et al. 2015. Targeted reforestation could reverse declines in connectivity for understory birds in a tropical habitat corridor. Ecological Applications (in press).
  16. 16. Archimedes said "Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the world.” Natural regeneration as a lever for large-scale restoration
  17. 17. Thanks to SecFor Network, People and Reforestation in the Tropics Research Coordination Network and YOU!