Enhancing restoration by sustainable use

Best practices for integrating the sustainable trade in wild plants and fungi into landscape restoration

Context & Opportunity

To be sustainable in the long-term, landscape restoration must benefit people as well as achieve conservation goals. Local benefits from sustainable use of wild plants and fungi can help incentivise a shift from the overexploitation of wild species that is driving the degradation of European landscapes.

Promoting sustainable and legal use and trade in natural resources can complement regulatory interventions to generate local income and benefits as well as support effective landscape management.

This project provides and applies knowledge products to address three barriers around securing socio-economic value from sustainable trade in wild plants in restored landscapes:

  1. Generating financial benefits: Wild plant supply chains are long, complex, and lacking in transparency. Developing financially viable supplies requires robust oversight.
  1. Perceptions of restored landscapes as unproductive and hostile for people: This perception results in pressure on policy-makers to limit restoration efforts or develop projects that create co-benefits.
  1. Applying best practice expertise from relevant global initiatives: A lack of tailored materials that draw upon voluntary standards and other relevant materials.

Project Aim

Landscape restoration can be managed to deliver local socio-economic and conservation benefits, leading to long-term sustainability. This project will provide practical guidance to help ELSP projects overcome barriers to sustainable use of wild species in their restored landscapes

Project Impact

The project will create resources to support equitable and sustainable trade in wild plants and fungi ingredients, incentivising sustainable practices and disincentivising landscape degradation. This will add value to the delivery of large-scale restoration projects in Europe, amplify the impact of the ELSP’s investments, and enhance their sustainability.

The project will draw on existing resources to support ELSP grantees overcome the challenges of generating financial and practical benefits from sustainable trade, and help strengthen the wider policy case for landscape restoration.

Guidance, tools, and support that draw on international best practices will:

  • Support ecological and social safeguards for legal and sustainable harvests;
  • Set out pathways for third-party verification to address unsustainable harvesting;
  • Advise on valuations of trade in wild species;
  • And assist with the engagement of industries sourcing wild plant ingredients for the restored landscapes.

These outputs will demonstrate how the value of sustainable use of nature can be integrated into ELSP projects, and beyond. Stakeholders in restoration projects, especially local communities that harvest wild plants and fungi, landowners (as appropriate), and project managers will benefit from more sustainable economies in restoration landscapes.

Project Partners

FairWild Foundation
IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi)

Project Gallery

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