FLR is defined as a process that aims to regain ecological functionality and enhance human well-being in deforested or degraded landscapes. FLR is not an end in itself, but a means of regaining, improving, and maintaining vital ecological and social functions, in the long-term leading to more resilient and sustainable landscapes.
Principles of forest and landscape restoration
Focus on landscapes – FLR takes place within and across entire landscapes, not individual sites, representing mosaics of interacting land uses and management practices under various tenure and governance systems. It is at this scale that ecological, social and economic priorities can be balanced.
Engage stakeholders and support participatory governance – FLR actively engages stakeholders at different scales, including vulnerable groups, in planning and decision making regarding land use, restoration goals and strategies, implementation methods, benefit sharing, monitoring and review processes.
Restore multiple functions for multiple benefits – FLR interventions aim to restore multiple ecological, social and economic functions across a landscape and generate a range of ecosystem goods and services that benefit multiple stakeholder groups.
Maintain and enhance natural ecosystems within landscapes – FLR does not lead to the conversion or destruction of natural forests or other ecosystems. It enhances the conservation, recovery, and sustainable management of forests and other ecosystems.
Tailor to the local context using a variety of approaches – FLR uses a variety of approaches that are adapted to the local social, cultural, economic and ecological values, needs, and landscape history. It draws on latest science and best practice, and traditional and indigenous knowledge, and applies that information in the context of local capacities and existing or new governance structures.
Manage adaptively for long-term resilience – FLR seeks to enhance the resilience of the landscape and its stakeholders over the medium and long-term. Restoration approaches should enhance species and genetic diversity and be adjusted over time to reflect changes in climate and other environmental conditions, knowledge, capacities, stakeholder needs, and societal values. As restoration progresses, information from monitoring activities, research, and stakeholder guidance should be integrated into management plans.