Analyzing the Systemic Impacts of Forest Landscape Restoration: The case of Viridis Terra in Peru

An economic valuation of socio-economic benefits and ecosystem services of using natural infrastructure for climate adaptation

This assessment demonstrates that land restoration in the Peruvian Andes will provide multiple benefits, such as job creation and improved climate adaptation, including reducing the risk of landslides, improving water availability, and increasing carbon storage.

By Georg Pallaske, Edoardo Carlucci on September 21, 2023

Rural communities in the Peruvian Andes are heavily impacted by climate change and land degradation. They rely on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods, and their productivity is often affected by erratic rainfall patterns, prolonged droughts, and soil erosion. As a result of these challenges, rural communities face a range of socio-economic issues, including food insecurity, poverty, and migration to urban areas.

Land restoration can help address the root causes of land degradation and promote the development of sustainable land management practices. By restoring degraded ecosystems and promoting the regeneration of forests, these initiatives can help improve soil health, increase water retention, and support the recovery of local biodiversity. These measures can also help to tackle climate change by reducing the risk of landslides, improving water availability, and increasing carbon sequestration.

Moreover, land restoration initiatives can provide a range of economic opportunities for rural communities, including the production of non-timber forest products and increased agricultural production through agroforestry. By involving women in these initiatives, land restoration can also help to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in rural communities.

We conducted a Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) assessment of nature-based infrastructure (NBI) in the Peruvian Andes. This is intended to provide an estimate of the system-wide economic impacts of landscape restoration practices and the value this can generate for the community and landscape (i.e., investment vs. benefits). SAVi aims to go beyond a conventional cost-benefit analysis (CBA) by providing a more comprehensive analysis of the systemic impacts of infrastructure investments throughout their life cycles.

The benefits of land restoration include a number of environmental, economic and social impacts, with the greatest seen in livelihood protection for the community, including job creation and greater agricultural resilience in the face of climate change.