Restoration of Degraded Tropical Forest Landscapes

Restoration of Degraded Tropical Forest Landscapes


Forest loss and degradation negatively affect rural communities whose livelihoods are dependent on forests for ecological goods and services. To address the challenge, three solutions have been proposed, expanding networks of protected areas, improving agricultural productivity on abandoned lands and reforestation. Of the three, new approaches to restoration have shown to have the potential to address forest degradation and rural poverty.


The authors assess the different forms of restoration that may be used when secondary forests are present or when some form of planting is needed. They also assess what can make restoration more attractive to farmers. 


According to the authors, there is an urgent need to increase forest cover through protection and management of large areas of secondary or regrowth forests now present. For restoration, developing appropriate government policies and improving markets for forest products would be essential tools in making reforestation more attractive to communities. Integrating agriculture and tree growing to balance both economic and ecological needs of farmers will be ideal. A success story will mean moving restoration from being a site- based activity to a landscape activity.


Lamb D. Restoration of Degraded Tropical Forest Landscapes. Science. 2005;310:1628–1632. doi:10.1126/science.1111773.


  • Rainforest Cooperative Research Center and School of Integrative Biology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Research and Development, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, USA.