Forest and Landscape Restoration Opportunities

Opportunities for restoration on degraded lands based on forest condition and current land use

  • Source: WRI/IUCN/UMD

The Atlas of Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunities represents a first-ever global approximation of where degraded forest lands have the potential to be restored—opportunities to reduce poverty, improve food security, mitigate climate change, and protect the environment. The Atlas was produced by World Resources Institute in collaboration with the University of Maryland and the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a contribution to the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration. The maps in the atlas are presented at a resolution of 1 km. The atlas includes maps on current forest coverage, potential forest coverage, forest condition, restoration opportunities and human pressure. Data on forest condition and current land use were used to derive the map of opportunities for restoration on degraded lands. The land use data sets include population density, urbanized or industrial areas, and cropland distribution. Areas with high population density or those occupied by intensively managed croplands were considered as having no or low forest restoration potential. Areas with scattered cropland areas, pastures, agroforestry, and all types of forest plantations were considered as providing promising opportunities for restoration. Restoration opportunity landscapes are distinguished with regard to the most likely type of restoration as follows: (1) Wide-scale restoration aims to restore closed forests to the landscape. This type of restoration is more likely in deforested or degraded landscapes with low population density (< 10 people/km2) that are also areas where closed forests formerly dominated the landscape. (2) Mosaic restoration integrates trees into mixed-use landscapes, such as agricultural lands and settlements, where trees can support people through improved water quality, increased soil fertility, and other ecosystem services. This type of restoration is more likely in deforested or degraded forest landscapes with moderate population density (10-100 people/km2). (3) Remote restoration is reserved for deforested or degraded forest lands that are completely unpopulated and located far away from human settlements, such as northern Canada and Siberia. The reduced density of forests in these areas is likely due to fire and pests, and their remoteness makes them a more costly and lower-priority restoration opportunity. Resource Watch shows only a subset of the data set. For access to the full data set and additional information, see the Learn More link.

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Formal name

Atlas of Forest and Landscape Restoration Opportunities


The atlas shows landscapes where restoration opportunities are more likely to be found, not the location of individual restoration sites. Many features of the landscape are not visible at the level of spatial resolution of the atlas (1 km), and local context could not be considered. No ground validation was conducted. The atlas shows the location of land with characteristics that indicate restoration opportunities, but it does not prescribe any particular type of restoration intervention. It is intended to inform the policy-making process at the global level and should be complemented by further investigation at regional and national scales, where more detailed information is needed and available.

Suggested citation

Potapov, Peter, Lars Laestadius, and Susan Minnemeyer. 2011. "Global map of forest landscape restoration opportunities." World Resources Institute: Washington, DC. Online at Accessed through Resource Watch, (date).


World Resources Institute (WRI)
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
University of Maryland (UMD)

Geographic coverage


Spatial resolution

1 km

Date of content



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