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Decision-making by Indigenous, Local Communities Essential for Restoration

April 16, 2019 |

Veton PICQ [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

This article was originally published on Landscape News

“From California to Nepal, Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) have succeeded in managing restoration projects on their own lands. This demonstrates why they must be actively involved in planning through to post-project monitoring if ecological restoration work is to succeed.

That’s the conclusion of an opinion article based on an extensive review of existing research and published in the journal Restoration Ecology. The article urges greater engagement with IPLCs, who are often living on the front lines of environmental change.

“Indigenous peoples and local communities have to be brought in on decisions about restoration… decisions on what should be restored, and how it has to be restored,” says Victoria Reyes-García, lead author of the paper and ICREA research professor at the Environmental Science and Technology Institute of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB).

“There are all these targets set and all of these efforts made to restore ecosystems, but we scientists or the politicians should not be deciding alone… the IPLCs are the ones who live in these areas, so they should be brought in when decisions are made.”

The opinion article points to examples of IPLCs leading successful restoration of their own lands and waters after such areas had been overexploited or degraded by others. In California, for instance, traditional fire regimes have been used to restore overgrown broad‐crowned black oak tree stands. In Alaska, the Qawalangin Tribe received funding to restore coastlines affected by pollution. In Nepal, government regulations that devolved state forests to community control in the 1970s slowed deforestation and resulted in many communal forests and watersheds being safeguarded and restored, in turn increasing ecosystem services as well…”

Read on at: Landscape News.

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