Understanding restored forests for benefiting people and nature in the Atlantic Forest

Large-scale forest and landscape restoration in the Atlantic Forest region of Brazil needs novel upscaling from thousands to millions of hectares. The NewFor project is part of NWO-FAPESP a large collaboration between Dutch and Brazilian partners that are investigating how to achieve this.

We work together with Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture of the University of São Paulo in Piracicaba. We evaluate how upscaling from plot-based inventories to large-scale planning and design is possible, taking into account ecological functions, forest services and human perceptions.

We determine characteristics of new forests and their drivers of regeneration and deforestation, assess their aboveground diversity and structure, evaluate key forest functions based on functional traits, predict new forests’ potential contributions to ecosystem services, develop a large-scale method with remote sensing to identify areas with the highest forest restoration potential to promote ecosystem services, and develop novel policies and market instruments to foster and stimulate new forests.

In an era of ambitious restoration commitments and societal demands for ecosystem services, we provide alternative landscape developments and promote a sustainable future of the Atlantic Forest.