A framework for drivers fostering social-ecological restoration within forest landscape based on people’s participation. A systematic literature review

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenÜbersichtsarbeitenForschung


Degradation exacerbates food and water insecurity, economic hardship, biodiversity loss, and the devastating effects of climate change. Given that ecosystem restoration is a global challenge, the United Nations declared 2021 to 2030 as the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. Many ecological restoration projects overlook social perspectives, resulting in unsuccessful restoration outcomes within Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR). Against this background, we review social-ecological restoration frameworks and summarize seven key balanced drivers that could help enhance the adoption of ecosystem restoration in a dynamic social context. The drivers relate to including the most affected communities, privileging local knowledge and practices, empowering local representatives and opinion leaders, ensuring social and environmental justice and equity, targeting deep leverage points, aligning restoration practices with local needs and aspirations, and connecting neighboring communities. We argue that ecosystem restoration will be most effective if approached from a social-ecological perspective. In developing countries, establishing social groups that share savings and credit structures within neighboring households can be a sustainable approach. With increasing global initiatives, taking a social-ecological perspective on ecosystem restoration as a social-ecological restoration approach offers new opportunities for both research and practice. Social-ecological restoration is a key strategy that can support the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and deliver net positive gains environmentally, socially, and economically. Further studies should focus on two new cross-cutting aspects: the ecological and social effects of restoration at small to large scales and social ecological restoration and peace building within a restorative landscape.

ZeitschriftDiscover Sustainability
Anzahl der Seiten13
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.12.2023

Bibliographische Notiz

Funding Information:
The authors thank Prof. Dr. Joern Fischer from Social Ecological Systems Institute (SESI), Faculty of Sustainability, Leuphana Universitaet Lueneburg, Germany, for reviewing and constructive comments, and Dr.William Appollinaire from ARCOS, Rwanda for his invaluable comments that strengthened the final manuscript.
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.

Publisher Copyright: © 2023, The Author(s).