Filling knowledge gaps in restoration opportunities and the valuation of ecosystem services

To increase CAR’s commitment to forest and landscape restoration at the national and subnational levels, TRI CAR is working to fill existing knowledge gaps in the valuation of ecosystem services and restoration opportunities. To do this, TRI CAR has contracted two graduate students with the Central African Agricultural Research Institute (ICRA) and the Higher Institute for Rural Development (ISDR) to carry out a valuation of ecosystem services. As the projects develop, the on-the-ground research will inform TRI CAR’s technical recommendations for the various policies being elaborated. Similarly, to help identify restoration opportunities, TRI has initiated the creation of a geospatial working group that will focus on finding restoration priority areas. This will also lay a base for TRI CAR’s policy input, as the team will pursue measures focused on the restoration opportunities identified in geospatial data analysis.

To successfully engage in projects that fill knowledge gaps necessary for policy elaboration, the work of ICRA and ISDR in supervising and leading the graduate projects looking at the valuation of ecosystem services will be critical. Additionally, to best enable the technical working group working on analysis on geospatial data, TRI CAR has conducted trainings on how to collect and use data analysis. The trainings ensured the working group most effectively analyzes the geospatial data.  

Contracting two projects to research the valuation of ecosystem services and bringing together a technical working group to conduct analysis of geospatial data to identify restoration opportunities, TRI CAR is learning critical lessons around how to work with local institutions to facilitate knowledge generation and how to train participants to best implement project research. TRI CAR is growing its understanding of how working with institutes like ICRA and ISDR through the graduate projects will help policy commitment and how collaborating with outside actors can provide greater resources for filling knowledge gaps. TRI CAR is also strengthening its ability to train participants and local actors in collecting and analyzing data required for the effective development of the country’s policies. Ultimately, TRI CAR’s work has also provided the team with invaluable information it can use to provide technical input and recommendations for the elaboration of national policies related to restoration and sustainable land management.