The Bonn Challenge, a voluntary global initiative launched in 2011, aims to restore up to 350 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. Pilot forest landscape restoration efforts to date demonstrate that enhancing community and smallholder tenure rights is critical to achieve joint environmental and social well-being objectives.
The Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM) is a decision support tool that has become widely used in national and subnational forest landscape restoration planning. Although it is structured to encourage inclusion of tenure rights and governance analyses, the extent to which ROAM reports actually incorporate tenure issues is undocumented.
In a new research paper, scientists with the Center for International Forestry Research report the results of an analysis of publicly accessible ROAM reports from eight countries in Africa and Latin America.
Their findings demonstrate that the reports superficially covered tenure and governance considerations. They recommend designing a tenure diagnostic that could facilitate more robust tenure and land governance analyses – to complement ROAM and other forest landscape restoration planning approaches.
“We suggest the adoption of a rights-enhanced forest landscape restoration approach so as to capitalize on the motivating force that strong and secure tenure rights provide for landholders to engage in forest restoration design and practice,” the report in Land Use Policy journal states. “Although developed in the context of FLR, the proposed tenure diagnostic should have broad utility for other land use initiatives where tenure rights and security are at stake.”