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19 May 2021

Transparency is key when choosing a restoration project

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How do you know which restoration projects to support? A new database from Mongabay aims to help funders evaluate tree-planting initiatives.

Their searchable ‘Reforestation Directory’ focuses on transparency: how many of several important criteria are publicly disclosed by an organization? Covering more than 350 projects in 80 countries, the database considers 36 criteria organized into five categories – context, ecological, economic, social and institutional – that experts say are key to success. The more transparent an organisation is about these criteria, the higher their project scores in the database. 

“Our list of criteria was primarily drawn from the Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) approach, widely heralded as the gold standard across the restoration sector,” explains Mongabay’s news release, which includes opinions from WeForest, Ecosia, RBG Kew and Thomas Crowther. “The FLR approach centers on the people that depend on the forest, aiming to restore ecological functionality while enhancing human well‐being, with a strong focus on monitoring and adapting the project to changes over time.”

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Vienna Leigh

Communications Manager

Vienna has a B.A. in Language and Linguistics and an M.A. in Literature Studies. She began her career working in publishing and journalism in the UK, then moved into science communication at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. Between 2010 and 2018 she was the Head of Communications and Outreach at IBEC, a bioengineering research institute in Barcelona, Spain. Her passion for the environment and animals led to a position at Eurogroup for Animals and now to the one of Communications Manager at WeForest.