Forest landscape restoration legislation and policy: A Canadian perspective




Mansuy, Nicolas
Hwang, Hyejin
Gupta, Ritikaa
Mooney, Christa
Kishchuk, Barbara
Higgs, Eric S.

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Restoring degraded ecosystems is an urgent policy priority to regain ecological integrity, advance sustainable land use management, and mitigate climate change. This study examined current legislation and policies supporting forest landscape restoration (FLR) in Canada to assess its capacity to advance restoration planning and efforts. First, a literature review was performed to assess the policy dimension of FLR globally and across Canada. Then, a Canada-wide policy scan using national databases was conducted. While published research on ecological restoration has increased exponentially in Canada and globally since the early 1990s, our results showed that the policy dimensions of FLR remain largely under documented in the scientific literature, despite their key role in implementing effective restoration measures on the ground. Our analyses have identified over 200 policy instruments and show that Canada has developed science-based FLR policies and best practices driven by five main types of land use and extraction activities: (1) mining and oil and gas activities; (2) sustainable forest management; (3) environmental impact assessment; (4) protected areas and parks; and (5) protection and conservation of species at risk. Moreover, FLR policies have been recently added to the national climate change mitigation agenda as part of the nature-based solutions and the net-zero emission strategy. Although a pioneer in restoration, we argue that Canada can take a more targeted and proactive approach in advancing its restoration agenda in order to cope with a changing climate and increased societal demands for ecosystem services and Indigenous rights. Considering the multifunctional values of the landscape, the science–policy interface is critical to transform policy aspirations into realizable and quantifiable targets in conjunction with other land-use objectives and values.



climate change, cumulative effects, ecological restoration, Indigenous Peoples, nature-based solutions, novel ecosystem


Mansuy, N., Hwang, H., Gupta, R., Mooney, C., Kishchuk, B., & Higgs, E. (2022). “Forest landscape restoration legislation and policy: A Canadian perspective.” Land, 11(10), 1747.