Participatory monitoring key to restoration success

150 million hectares of degraded land – an area the size of Alaska. That’s what governments around the world have pledged to restore by 2020 under the Bonn Challenge. But if those forests are to survive longer than a year or two, local communities must be involved in monitoring them on an ongoing basis, scientists say. “If it doesn’t matter to the local people, then failure will be the norm,” says Kristen Evans from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). “There might be a whole lot of tree planting going on, but it will result in a bunch of dead trees.” In a new paper, Evans and colleagues outline the case for connecting global plans to local priorities by getting communities involved in setting goals for forest restoration projects, measuring progress against them, and then sharing and learning from the results with decision-makers at various levels. This process is called participatory monitoring. Read the full story on Forests News.