Forest ecosystems have been seriously degraded and fragmented, resulting in environmentally, economically and aesthetically impoverished landscapes. Loss of forest cover not only limits the scope of biodiversity and genetic conservation but also diminishes the prospect of many rural and coastal populations throughout the developing world attaining a decent and secure livelihood. In many areas, faltering clean water supplies, catastrophic floods and landslides, declining fish stocks and unreliable local weather patterns can be traced back to impaired forest ecosystem functions.
This report for WWF and IUCN shows how GIS can be used to prioritise areas for forest restoration. Candidate social and ecological criteria are identified at a regional level. The Mediterranean region is used as a case study.
The images below are a worked example of this methodology in Madagascar. Each criterion used for prioritisation (i.e. within 1km of forest) is successively layered on top of the next in each map
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