Research ArticleAPPLIED ECOLOGY

Global restoration opportunities in tropical rainforest landscapes

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Science Advances  03 Jul 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 7, eaav3223
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav3223

Abstract

Over 140 Mha of restoration commitments have been pledged across the global tropics, yet guidance is needed to identify those landscapes where implementation is likely to provide the greatest potential benefits and cost-effective outcomes. By overlaying seven recent, peer-reviewed spatial datasets as proxies for socioenvironmental benefits and feasibility of restoration, we identified restoration opportunities (areas with higher potential return of benefits and feasibility) in lowland tropical rainforest landscapes. We found restoration opportunities throughout the tropics. Areas scoring in the top 10% (i.e., restoration hotspots) are located largely within conservation hotspots (88%) and in countries committed to the Bonn Challenge (73%), a global effort to restore 350 Mha by 2030. However, restoration hotspots represented only a small portion (19.1%) of the Key Biodiversity Area network. Concentrating restoration investments in landscapes with high benefits and feasibility would maximize the potential to mitigate anthropogenic impacts and improve human well-being.

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