Agro-Successional Restoration as a Strategy to Facilitate Tropical Forest Recovery.

Vieira, DLM; Holl, KD; Peneireiro, FM

This article investigates a creative approach to restoration efforts in tropical forests. The authors note that restoration efforts in tropical areas are often hampered not only by the financial and timeframe constraints that other projects confront but also by socio-economic factors such as conflicts with peoples livelihoods and cultural and social values. The authors suggest using agro-succession techniques as a good alternative. This involves a multi-stage effort that transitions the forest through agroecology and agroforestry techniques at the start of the restoration process. They argue that these techniques help to provide multiple benefits including: providing for the livelihood of the land owner while reducing costs, prolonging the restoration period beyond the usual 1-3 years (a short time for a forest bio) and getting farms involved with restoration efforts.

The authors do a good job of comparing the opportunities afforded a transitional agro-succession restoration process compared with traditional restoration and straight agroforestry. However, their analysis does not seem to be very scientifically rigorous. It mainly constitutes a summery and basic comparison of potential reforestation techniques in the tropics and arguing for agro-succession restoration as a valid alternative without much analysis of project success.

Image Credit: Agroforestry Education Wed Database

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