Revisiting the factors shaping outcomes for forest and landscape restoration in Sub-Saharan Africa: A way forward for policy, practice and research

Ida Nadia S. Djenontin, Samson Foli, Leo C. Zulu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A lack of systematic understanding of the elements that determine the success of forest and landscape restoration (FLR) investments leads to the inability to clearly articulate strategic and practical approaches to support natural resource restoration endeavors across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This review examines the different challenges and opportunities for effective restoration interventions. Using a structured literature review, we draw evidence from a broad range of scholarly works on natural resource conservation and governance to investigate the early dynamics of FLR in SSA. We first engage in a contextual clarification of FLR concepts and then provide a synthesis of the factors that influence the results of FLR interventions at the social and institutional level to inform relevant restoration stakeholders-policy makers, investors, and practitioners. The review finds that several interacting factors shape the outcomes of FLR interventions. We classified them into three categories based on their features, intensity, and scale of occurrence: (1) micro-scale factors that enable or limit individual engagement in FLR and sustainable management practices; (2) project/program-level factors, including the design and implementation stages; and (3) institutional, policy, and governance factors, and issues of inequity that operate at the local or national government scale. The review goes beyond underscoring funding constraints as a major challenge to the up- and out-scaling of restoration interventions and FLR success. The findings also set out a premise for future research to guide the design and implementation of successful FLR models in SSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number906
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 21 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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