Spatialy explicit, Socio-economic, sepal planning tool


Restoration of forests and other ecosystems can be a major nature-based strategy for achieving a wide range of global development goals and national priorities, including Sustainable Development Goals, but the suitability of different locations for restoration varies and financial resources are limited. Country governments, international organizations, and other restoration stakeholders need to identify and prioritize locations suitable for restoration. A suitability analysis for forest restoration requires information on not only ecological conditions for tree growth but also restoration’s socioeconomic impacts, including its benefits, costs, and risks. Locations where benefits are high relative to costs and risks are where restoration is more likely to achieve sustainable success. These locations are also where restoration initiatives are more likely to attract the private investment needed to augment government funding and official development assistance.

This mapping tool combines ecological data on forest restoration with data on restorations’s benefits, costs, and risks. It is intended to support the preparation of strategic restoration plans for a given area of interest (AOI) —a country, a group of countries, or a region within a country—by providing spatially explicit information on restoration suitability and impacts. This information is intended to aid decision makers in identifying promising, cost-effective restoration locations: locations where restoration provides a high level of benefits relative to the costs incurred. It can also help identify tradeoffs among impacts that might require further attention.

Before running the tool, users select their areas of interest, provide information on their ratings of different prospective restoration benefits (i.e., the relative importance of the benefits to them), and have the option to impose constraints that exclude locations they view as unsuitable for restoration due to ecological or socioeconomic risks. The tool then generates maps and related information on restoration’s benefits, costs, and risks in the areas of interest. It provides an overall suitability index, on a scale of 1 to 5, that indicates the relative benefit-cost ratio for each location within the areas of interest. By varying the benefit ratings and constraints, users can investigate the sensitivity of model output to these input choices. They also have the option to use customized data for their areas of interest instead of the default data build into the tool.

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The usage and method documentation are in elaboration