The scope and current investment for forest landscape restoration (FLR) is great, as are the demands put upon it for improving livelihoods and well-being. International leaders have pledged 350 Mha for FLR as part of international sustainability agendas. FLR is implemented primarily through incentives and institutions, with an emphasis on the role of active planting and land tenure reforms. Despite recent attention and a growing literature that assesses the contributions of FLR and related projects to livelihood and well-being, there is a dearth of evidence linking FLR to social, economic, or political outcomes. We present a simple framework to understand environmental and social effects of FLR interventions and we review the evidence linking FLR to livelihood and well-being outcomes. We suggest that to enhance benefits to local populations from FLR, it is necessary to better integrate socioeconomic and political data into FLR planning and implementation, to increase the role of informational implementation, and to develop monitoring and evaluation protocols to assess direct and indirect environmental and social impacts from FLR projects.
Read the full article in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.