Large-scale Forest Restoration: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Large-scale Forest Restoration

1st Edition

By David Lamb


302 pages | 61 B/W Illus.

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Landscapes are being degraded and simplified across the globe. This book explores how forest restoration might be carried out to increase landscape heterogeneity, improve ecological functioning and restore ecosystem services in such landscapes. It focuses on large, landscape-scale reforestation because that is the scale at which restoration is needed if many of the problems that have now developed are to be addressed. It also shows how large-scale forest restoration might improve human livelihoods as well as improve conservation outcomes.

A number of governments have undertaken national reforestation programs in recent years; some have been more successful than others. The author reviews these to explore what type of reforestation should be used, where this should be carried out and how much should be done. For example, are the traditional industrial forms of reforestation necessarily the best to use in all situations? How can forest restoration be reconciled with the need for food security? And, are there spatial thresholds that must be exceeded to generate economic and environmental benefits?

The book also examines the policy and institutional settings needed to encourage large-scale reforestation. This includes a discussion of the place for incentives to encourage landholders to undertake particular types of reforestation and to reforest particular locations. It also considers forms of governance that are likely to lead to an equitable sharing of the costs and benefits of forest restoration.


"Covering plantation forestry, natural forest regrowth, and ecological restoration of degraded forests, Dr. Lamb explains how to achieve effective, large-scale reforestation or restoration in tropical and extra-tropical regions alike. This book comes at just the right time, and is based on a lifetime of experience and reflection. Don’t miss it." – James Aronson, Restoration Ecologist, CEFE / CNRS, France, and Missouri Botanical Garden.

"Large-scale forest restoration is needed globally to improve human livelihoods and ecological functioning. David Lamb uses his wealth of experience to explore the socioeconomic, legal, and historic context of the challenge. Authoritative case studies illustrate the complexity of restoration in practice." – John A. Stanturf, Senior Research Ecologist, US Forest Service, USA.

"David Lamb has thought deeply about large-scale forest restoration, and provides us with carefully researched insights on where and how to go about it. His analysis is informed by lessons learned from around the world over the past 100 years. This book is immensely informative and timely – a valuable resource as we mobilize our collective efforts to restore millions of hectares of deforested and degraded land to benefit people and the planet." – Bob Winterbottom, Senior Fellow, Restoration Initiative, World Resources Institute, USA.

Table of Contents

1. The need for large-scale forest restoration

2. Lessons from the last hundred years

3. Natural forest regrowth

4. Types of planted forests

5. Where in the landscape should forest restoration take place?

6. How much forest restoration is needed?

7. Creating multi-functional landscapes: choices and trade-offs

8. Making it happen: policies and institutions

9. Final discussion

About the Author

David Lamb taught forest ecology at the University of Queensland, Australia, for 30 years and has since undertaken consultancy work on forest restoration for a range of international organizations and aid agencies, including the World Bank, FAO, AusAID and GTZ. He is a member of the Commissiono n Ecosystem Management of IUCN.

About the Series

The Earthscan Forest Library

The Earthscan Forest Library

This series brings together a wide collection of volumes addressing diverse aspects of forests and forestry and draws on a range of disciplinary perspectives. Titles cover the full range of forest science and include the biology, ecology, biodiversity, restoration, management (including silviculture and timber production), geography and environment (including climate change), socio-economics, anthropology, policy, law and governance. The series aims to demonstrate the important role of forests in nature, peoples’ livelihoods and in contributing to broader sustainable development goals. It is aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers, professionals, policy-makers and concerned members of civil society. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Hannah Ferguson, Editor (

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecosystems & Habitats / Forests & Rainforests
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Ecology
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / Forestry
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General