“Restoration belongs to the community”
Timescales can be tricky in forest restoration. We might have the best arguments in the world for why it makes environmental and economic sense to plant trees and let them grow. But most people don’t have the financial flexibility to invest time and resources into planting and then wait years – or decades – for the benefits to start rolling in.
“If we want to restore a landscape,” says Fitri Aini, a scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), “we also have to think about the outcomes for the local community in the surrounding area. If it doesn’t give them quick benefits, one day they’ll return to the forest and cut it down because they need the cash to survive.”
That’s why Fitri and her colleagues at CIFOR, alongside Siti Maemunah from Muhammadiyah University, are exploring ways of planting tree crops for bio-energy that deliver both short- and long-term benefits for communities.
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