TREES Project: International research tandems for FLR impact assessment

Shibire Bekele
Published: 24 October 2022
Last edited: 24 October 2022
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Restoration as a complex issue requires joint actions. Collaboration of policy makers, practioners and scientists is needed to develop and monitor context specific best-fit solutions to regain ecological integrity and enhance human wellbeing in deforested or degraded landscapes. Currently, emphasis is put on ecological and technical solutions thereby neglecting the social dimension of restoration. To strengthen social-ecological focus on restoration and collaboration at the science-practice interface, TREES project performs accompanying research on FLR strategies implemented by GIZ's global project Forests4Future (F4F). Hereby, focus is put on ecological and socio-economic effects as well as questions on governance. Master and PhD students based at universities in Germany and in F4F implementing countries are selected to work on project relevant topics in a tandem approach. Whilst each student has his/her individual research focus, data collection is planned and implemented in the binational tandems.


East and South Africa
West and Central Africa
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Rangeland / Pasture
Tropical deciduous forest
Tropical evergreen forest
Access and benefit sharing
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Disaster risk reduction
Ecosystem services
Erosion prevention
Food security
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Health and human wellbeing
Invasive alien species
Local actors
Protected and conserved areas governance
Species management
Sustainable livelihoods
Traditional knowledge
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Ecosystem loss
Invasive species
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Lack of food security
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Poor governance and participation
Unemployment / poverty




Setting up binational research teams contributes toward enhanced complexity thinking through integration of multiple perspectives and disciplines. This facilitates research on FLR implementation for enhanced analysis and solution development as well as capacity building and global learning through North-South and South-South collaborations. Different expertise and perspectives can be integrated in the different PhD and Master Thesis study projects, research design and implementation. Diversified research methods can be implemented in a complementary way to deepen FLR related analysis and combined interpretation perspectives enrich research output. Joined field visits can facilitate students’ access to study sites, interaction with actors on the ground, and increased samples sizes if questionnaires are combined. If questions on data arise or verification is needed upon completion of the field trip, the tandem structure facilitates follow up field visits for complementation or verification of results. Knowledge derived and communicated via multiple channels in Germany and the F4F countries can enhance dialogue at the policy, practice, science interface within and across countries. Research results help to scientifically underpin FLR practices developed by F4F. In Ethiopia, e.g., research topics include modelling land use transformation or restoration sites monitoring and carbon accounting.

Contributed by

katharina.loehr_42234's picture

Dr. Katharina Löhr Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)

Other contributors

Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF e.V.)
Hawassa University, Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources
University of Lomé, Forest Ecology and Botany,
University of Antananarivo, Landscape and Development Research Lab,