ISTF 2022 | Concept Note

Concept Note

The UN has declared the next ten years as the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, an urgent call  to action to curb and reverse ecosystem degradation. To achieve this goal, restoration efforts  need to be scaled up; yet successful long-lasting restoration often depends on local factors. These complex local issues of degradation vary hugely across spatial and temporal landscapes.  A key question is whether ten years is enough to affect meaningful change.

Coinciding with the global pandemic, what insights can we gain from concurrent conversations  around the next decade of restoration and recovery from COVID-19? The global pandemic is still  a pressing threat to most of the world, including many tropical countries. Throughout this crisis,  forests have functioned as a safety net for forest peoples and have also seen accelerated rates  of deforestation and degradation. The next decade holds numerous challenges and opportunities  for reflection and action in tropical forests. It is important to ask ourselves what kind of change  are we looking for?

ISTF 2022 will facilitate a space for academics, practitioners, activists, policy makers, artists,  journalists, and community leaders from all corners of the world to consider these notions of restoration and recovery in the coming decade. The conference will weave together  historically, ecologically, and socially relevant perspectives on timescales of threat, degradation,  and recovery. Select topics include:

  • How can a greater historical understanding of tropical landscapes help restoration be more resilient and long-lasting while addressing local needs and underlying causes of degradation in the coming decade?
  • We see competing imperatives of the need to generalize standards and metrics in  coordinating and scaling restoration and the need to make restoration inclusive and  specific to place. How can the expectations we hold and the metrics we use help us  mitigate this conflict when “restoring” healthy landscapes?
  • How do we ensure that restoration actively engages stakeholders that are marginalized or most impacted by restoration; equitably distributes risks, costs and benefits; and prioritizes social and ecological benefits over financial returns, all in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic?
  • How can restoration and management be implemented to ensure that tropical forests can  serve climate mitigation while maintaining biodiversity and the ability to adapt in the face of an uncertain future?

ISTF 2022 Conference made possible by our sponsors

Cullman Institute

Leitner Family Fund

YSE Learning Communities

People, Equity, and the Environment

Ecosystem Management and Conservation