The extensive development of monitoring is one of the required stages for forest restoration projects to gain scale with the necessary quality. It is an integral part of the restoration process and a fundamental step to evaluate activities and correct the trajectory, aiming at increasing efficiency and decreasing the costs associated with restoration. TNC and partners had an in-depth debate on the monitoring of areas being restored in the Atlantic Forest that culminated in the creation of a Restoration Monitoring Protocol in partnership with the Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact. The document is available in three languages, and today has been adapted for use in the Cerrado and Amazon biomes.
According to the protocol developed, the process of restoration monitoring goes through two phases: 1) evaluation of the vegetation structure; 2) assessment of the ecological results. Soil cover is the leading indicator for the first phase, while the functionality of the forest, such as tree density and shrub individuals, and the richness of tree and shrub species are used to assess the second stage.
The evaluation of the first phase can be replaced by remote sensing methodologies, using satellite images or even UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), thus optimizing the field process, which may occur more in the second stage of monitoring. The period between on-site monitoring varies between three to four years, and for the area to move to phase 2, a threshold of 70% of the coverage of native vegetation is considered. The objective is to monitor the restoration process until the area can go at it alone, that is, without needing further maintenance interventions before it becomes a forest again.
Integrated Restoration System (SIR)
TNC created the SIR to register and manage all areas in the process of restoration. The SIR is a web system with a spatial database that allows and facilitates the management and monitoring of projects. It uses opensource technology to reduce costs and facilitate its use.
The main objectives of the SIR are:
– Registration and management of restoration projects
– Monitoring of donations and allocations in each area under restoration
– Ecological forest monitoring through an application
– Estimation of the amount of carbon sequestered in the projects
Recently, the SIR underwent customization so that other countries can register and manage their restoration projects. The system was developed by TNC to manage its projects, but it ended up contributing to the development of a system for the Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact. And it may even provide data for the creation of a federal system, linked to PROVEG.
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