Combining socioeconomic and biophysical data to identify people-centric restoration opportunities

Choksi, P. et al. | npj Biodiversity | 2023 | Peer Reviewed | Original research |


Designing restoration projects requires integrating socio-economic and cultural needs of local stakeholders for enduring and just outcomes. Using India as a case study, we demonstrate a people-centric approach to help policymakers translate global restoration prioritization studies for application to a country-specific context and to identify different socio-environmental conditions restoration programs could consider when siting projects. Focusing, in particular, on poverty quantified by living standards and land tenure, we find that of the 579 districts considered here, 116 of the poorest districts have high biophysical restoration potential (upper 50th percentile of both factors). In most districts, the predominant land tenure is private, indicating an opportunity to focus on agri-pastoral restoration over carbon and forest-based restoration projects.