Publications

Restoring Landscapes—Governing, Place: A Learning Approach to Forest Landscape Restoration

Oosten, C.J. van

Summary

Forest landscape restoration is gaining ground, not least because of the role of forests in mitigating climate change. At present, pilot projects are initiated to generate “good practice” and “lessons learned” that can be scaled up to higher levels of policy making. However, landscape restoration is not new. People have always been constructing and restoring their landscapes to safeguard their livelihoods. A better understanding of existing local practice will help in identifying and implementing new restoration initiatives, and assure sustainable outcomes. Understanding local restoration practice means: (a) understanding how the biophysical conditions of landscapes are reshaped over time through the collective decisions of a landscape's inhabitants; and (b) understanding the governance mechanisms underlying these collective decisions. Thinking of governance from a landscape perspective adds a spatial dimension to governance as a means of reconnecting governance to landscape, citizenship to place. This offers the opportunity to cross administrative and political boundaries, allowing for broader groups of actors to engage in spatial decision making. Constructing networks across scales thus becomes an instrument for enhancing learning processes within and between landscapes and a means to scale up good forest landscape restoration practice for wider application at a global scale.