, Volume 43, Issue 5-6, pp 543-560
Date: 27 May 2012

Ecosystem services from forest restoration: thinking ahead

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Global deforestation and forest degradation have led to massive loss of biodiversity and decline of ecosystem services. Against this prospect, it is important not only to protect, but also to restore forest ecosystems. The paper analyzes the current and future role of the restoration of forests and degraded lands starting with the definition of various techniques, scales and objectives of forest restoration. Three key motivations for and targets of forest restoration are then discussed: forest biodiversity protection, biomass production, climate change mitigation and adaptation. The paper also briefly discusses three tools of increasing relevance for supporting forest restoration policies: the development of forest nursery techniques and the improvement of quality of forest reproductive material, the use of standard and certification tools, and financing of restoration investments, including projects aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. We conclude by making some final remarks on the future challenges of forest restoration policies.