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Forest Restoration Strategies in Productive Landscapes


The Association of Agricultural and Silvopastoral Producers of Pedasí (APASPE) is a cattle ranching group from the District of Pedasí in the Province of Los Santos, Panama, whom over the past two years have implemented a Small Grants Programme (SGP) Project, with funding from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and support from ELTI. The first component of the project was the implementation of two demonstration plots using intensive silvopastoral systems (iSPS), a strategy aimed at improving on-farm productivity while increasing the provision of ecosystem services.  The second component was the reforestation of riparian corridors on several ranches, aimed at providing a number of ecosystem services that have socio-economic value (for example; provision of drinking water for cattle and biodiversity). While APASPE successfully implemented riparian reforestation areas with native species (approximately 8,000 trees planted in 25 different farms within 2 years), these active restoration efforts showed poor long-term results due to site biophysical conditions, high maintenance cost, and a limited understanding of forest restoration using native species. Thus, this field-based course aims to provide the APASPE members with the technical basis to identify the most adequate and cost effective strategies to restore the degraded riparian areas on their farms.


Module 1. Basic forest ecology and the supply of ecosystem services

Introduction to tropical forest dynamics, forest succession, and natural regeneration
Forest's goods and ecosystem services

Module 2. Limitations for restoration and the provision of environmental services      

Degradation of tropical forests and the associated characteristics
Ecological effects and consequences of degradation

Module 3. Strategies for the restoration of environmental services in human-modified landscapes

Knowing on-farm conditions when developing a restoration strategy
Principles and methods of forest restoration (active and passive)
Developing an on-farm plan for integrating trees into a productive landscape