A study by an international group of experts from various international universities and institutions estimates that close to 300 million people in tropics live in areas with high potential for forest restoration.

Published in the journal ‘Nature Ecology & Evolution’, the research paper titled ‘Global forest restoration and the importance of prioritising local communities’, has been written by experts based at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan, USA, University of Manchester and the University of Sheffield from the UK.

This is one of the first comprehensive studies to examine to what extent tropical forest restoration overlaps with global populations and development, a statement by ISB said on Tuesday.

‘High potential’

The research estimates that 294.5 million people presently live in areas with high potential for forest restoration in the tropics, and that over one billion people live within 8 km of high-potential sites. In low-income countries, almost 12% of the population lives in areas considered important for forest restoration.The study said most forest restoration opportunity areas and their associated populations were found in countries with strong legal foundations for community forest ownership. Twenty two countries, including India, contain two-thirds of forest restoration opportunity areas. The team was led by James Erbaugh from Dartmouth College, and included Ashwini Chhatre, Public Policy expert from ISB as co-author.

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