Communities still not at the core of restoration, experts say
It’s a familiar refrain in environmental circles: to be effective and sustainable, landscape restoration initiatives must be founded on local communities’ desires and needs. “We have all been saying this for a long time,” said Paul Laird of the International Tree Foundation in his Landscape Talk in the Global Landscapes Forum’s annual conference in Bonn in December last year. “But are we doing it?”
In the hurry to conserve and restore landscapes to meet international climate change mitigation commitments, it’s all too easy for governments and international organizations to take ownership of projects and processes at the expense of local participation. “We need to avoid being rushed into these commitments becoming top-down,” said Laird. “We must not repeat the old mistakes.”
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