Top 20 Questions for Forestry and Landscapes

The framework for the EBF initiative comprises two distinct but inter-related elements: determining high-priority policy‐relevant questions for review, and the conduct of the consequent systematic reviews. The Top 20 Questions for Forestry and Landscapes (“T20Q”) process follows an earlier exercise that identified key forestry research questions in the United Kingdom and Ireland1, and expands the survey internationally. T20Q uses an iterative internet survey approach, coupled with workshops and Delphi groups, to determine priority questions in forestry and its associated fields for future systematic reviews, and as a means of identifying potential priorities for further policy development. Through this project, the EBF initiative will foster collaborations across research and policy organizations concerned with forestry in the contexts of both landscapes and sustainable development.

The “T20Q” survey was launched in May 2014 at the Forests Asia Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, and concluded in January 2015. We have indexed and sorted over 2500 submitted questions and arranged them into the most commonly-occurring themes. Following a public assessment and rating of these questions, the final set of Top Twenty Questions is presented here.

  1. How can degraded ecosystems be restored to meet the objectives of biodiversity conservation, ecosystem function, ecosystem resilience, and sustainability of rural livelihoods?
  2. In the context of high human density and scarcity of farming land, how can we address the question of sustainable management of tropical forests? [Dans un contexte de forte densité humaine et de rareté des terres arables, comment peut-on aborder la question de gestion durable des forêts tropicales?]
  3. How can we integrate sustainability into trade regulation and law?
  4. How can we develop models of forest restoration that are economically feasible?
  5. Can we develop practical tools that allow land-planning and forest management to be better tailored to the needs, culture and perceptions of different communities and locations?
  6. What are the implications for biodiversity and the environment of using afforestation as a mean of carbon mitigation?
  7. How do we make sure that the needs of indigenous people who rely on intact forest systems are being met while also providing wood products for economic growth?
  8. How is it possible to develop a sustainable mechanism for payments for ecosystem services?
  9. What are the institutional arrangements that might enable smallholders within a landscape to jointly market the ecosystems services provided by reforestation of some of their land?
  10. How can we improve agriculture to reduce the pressure in forested areas?
  11. How can we best select species that simultaneously provide ecological and economic benefits?
  12. What are the best means to ensure that forest/landscape restoration projects add value to the landscape in terms of connectivity between populations and habitats, facilitating gene flow, species migration, as well as complementarity of land-uses and livelihoods of local people?
  13. How can local knowledge, wisdom and experiences (e.g. on tree species, NTFPs [non-timber forest products]) be effectively combined with national and subnational forest assessment, monitoring and management efforts?
  14. How can we guarantee effective protection and conservation of environmental services in a world increasingly in need of raw materials at low cost? [¿De que manera puede garantizarse la protección y conservación efectiva de los servicios ambientales en un mundo cada vez más tensionado por la necesidad de materias primas a bajo coste?]
  15. Adaptation to climate change means answering to trends in future climate and also to increasing risks. These two aspects are often studied separately when they should be combined. How to combine them?
  16. Can we really use ecosystem service values as a method to value a whole landscape?
  17. How can inclusive forest and landscape management be enhanced for the resource-poor?
  18. How can farmers get money from biodiversity conservation?
  19. How can we maintain, restore and shape water-friendly landscapes, including forests and trees, while addressing partly-conflicting land use and water needs of all stakeholders of a landscape?
  20. How can we ensure that forests are for the benefit of local economies and forests are not grabbed for the benefit of some foreign company?

To learn more about T20Q, visit the website, read the below newsletters, or contact us.

English, French, Spanish

1 Petrokofsky, G., N. D. Brown and G. E. Hemery (2013). “Matching a scientific knowledge base with stakeholders’ needs: The T10Q project as a case study for forestry.” Forest Policy and Economics. 37: 29-36

Funding Partners