This article was originally published on Landscape News


“Worldwide, landscapes are changing rapidly due to social-economic development and globalization processes. While such modifications have often brought prosperity for humans and societies, adverse effects can also be observed. Diverse ecological and cultural landscapes are disappearing at a rapid pace around the world, while local cultures and biodiversity are threatened.

Yet, we know that degradation can be reversed, and over recent decades many landscapes around the world have successfully been restored. Such restoration processes are often complex, providing economic, social and ecological challenges, which require smart governance processes to overcome competing claims and conflicts over areas targeted for restoration and methods to be used.

China’s Experience

China has been particularly successful in addressing restoration pitfalls. Historically, the country has been confronted with severe landscape degradation due to massive political, socio-economic transformation leading to large-scale deforestation, water and soil erosion, and loss of biodiversity.

However, rapid response actions have led to massive restoration of China’s degraded lands. A frequently mentioned example is the northwestern Loess Plateau, which was highly degraded, but completely restored within a decade. Similarly, the country has been able to successfully reforest and restore landscapes at an impressive scale. For example, between 1998 and 2013, China has restored about 3.6 million hectares of forests annually, which equals about 35 percent of its total global forest loss.

This enormous effort has been made possible by strong government interventions and massive investments in the dryer hinterland areas, as well as in the major watersheds surrounding China’s coastal cities. In this way, China has managed to restore large parts of its productive land, while generating employment and providing ecosystem services to metropolitan areas nearby…”

Read on at: Landscape News.