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Land journal Special Issue "The Governance of Natural Forest Regrowth as a Restoration Option"

Forests which regenerate naturally on previously deforested land are important for the conservation of biodiversity and the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.  In the context of the global restoration agenda, natural forest regrowth is increasingly being recognized as an important “nature-based solution”.  However, natural forest regrowth, as both a process and an outcome, often falls under the radar of land management norms and policies and socially inclusive environmental regulations, thus limiting its long-term conservation and sustainable use. 

This “invisibility”, often driven by cross-sectorial overlaps and technocratic approaches that ignore local needs and aspirations, impinges negatively on the livelihoods of forest- and agricultural-dependent people.  Definitional issues often linked to classic mapping classifications such as forest/nonforest also contribute to the failure to consider naturally regrown forests in decision-making and land use planning objectives. 

Although a globally important restorative activity, the underlying requirements for implementing and effectively governing natural forest regrowth interventions differ from other related restoration practices

This Special Issue aims to provide a global overview of the key institutional, policy, regulatory and normative dimensions governing the process, and the socioecological outcomes, of natural forest regrowth, through either passive or assisted processes.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Suggested topics

  • The persistence of naturally regenerated forests: policy and normative issues;
  • Land sparing vs. land sharing: implications for the long-term persistence of natural forest regrowth;
  • Large-scale restoration through natural forest regrowth: challenges and opportunities;
  • Research capacity and curricular development in the context of natural forest regrowth;
  • Innovative business models, incentive schemes and their socioeconomic effectiveness;
  • Intersectorial conflicts and concordances on the governance of naturally regenerated forests;
  • Agrarian reform and drivers of natural forest regeneration;
  • The role of natural forest regrowth in national restoration targets at multiple scales;
  • Socioecological mapping and classification of natural forest regrowth;
  • Dynamics of the urban-to-rural nexus and the fate of naturally regrown forests;
  • Extrasectorial policies influencing the development and permanence of naturally regenerated forests;
  • The governance of carbon stocks in the context of natural forest regrowth.


  • natural forest regrowth
  • forest and landscape restoration
  • forest classification
  • policies
  • incentives