Reforestation and Livelihoods: Socioeconomic and Financial Outcomes of Smallholder Reforestation in the Tropics
There are two billion hectares of deforested and degraded lands worldwide, which represent a risk to the health and livelihoods of 1.5 billion people in the world. In response to this, ambitious international goals have been established to rehabilitate ecosystems, increase forest cover and decrease poverty.
Much of the land with reforestation potential in the tropics is under the management of smallholders. To support the design, planning and management of smallholder reforestation interventions and systems, the main objective of my thesis is to assess the ways in which tropical reforestation and smallholder livelihoods affect each other. The three specific objectives are:
- to develop the theoretical basis for the thesis;
- to evaluate the potential long-term impacts of reforestation on smallholder livelihoods; and
- to evaluate whether financial attractiveness and risk are constraints to include native species in reforestation projects with human well-being components and to identify species that can meet both environmental and livelihood goals.
Gaps, trends and biases in the literature related to smallholder reforestation and livelihoods in the tropics were identified. Results show that the links between smallholder reforestation and livelihoods are numerous and interconnected. Reforestation can bring multiple benefits beyond income, including the increase of the socioeconomic resilience of households and communities to natural shocks. Financial analyses of individual tree species were carried out for the identification of species that could bring livelihood enhancement while also reducing the financial risks associated with smallholder reforestation.
In the publications included in my thesis, researchers from the following organisations were involved: USC, Visayas State University, University of Queensland, Southern Cross University, Sao Paulo State University
Liz Miyo Sousa Ota - PhD Candidate
ACIAR and USC, A$25,000/yr.