Page 7 - Cora van Oosten
P. 7


            It  is  with  pleasure  that  I  present  my  thesis  right  at  the  beginning  of  the  UN  Decade  of
            Ecosystem  Restoration.  The  proclamation  of  the  Decade  2021–2030  as  UN  Decade  of
            Ecosystem  Restoration  illustrates  the  political  momentum  for  restoration,  meaning  that
            global and national restoration policies and programmes will soon follow. It is therefore
            good  timing  to  reflect  on  the  governance  mechanisms  which  are  needed  to  make  this
            ambitious global initiative a success.

            It was more  or less ten  years ago,  during my first years at  Wageningen  Centre  for
            Development Innovation (WCDI), that I decided to focus on landscapes, restoration, and
            governance.  As  a  human  geographer,  these  topics  suited  my  background,  and  fit  in  my
            hitherto experience and interest. I started to build a narrative which I first presented at a
            conference  of  the  International  Society  of  Tropical  Foresters  at  Yale  University,  United
            States, in 2012. This event motivated me to write a first scientific article on the relation
            between  landscape  restoration  and  landscape  governance,  which  was  published  in  2013.
            Encouraged  by  WCDI  and  partners  I  started  to  build  a  project  portfolio  on  landscapes,
            restoration,  governance  and  capacity  development,  while  implementing  small  research
            activities  along  the  line.  In  this  way,  I  gradually  developed  an  action-learning  process
            which helped me shape my conceptual insights and strengthen the scientific basis of my
            work.  My  annual  landscape  governance  course  in  Indonesia,  implemented  together  with
            colleagues  from  CIFOR-ICRAF  became  my  anchor  point  to  annually  consolidate  new
            insights and share these with a larger group of scholars and course participants from across
            the globe. The accumulation of insights, articles and shared reflections became the body of
            this dissertation, which in its totality covers a period of almost a decade.

            Over  the  years,  I  had  the  pleasure  to  work  with  many  landscape  professionals  and
            practitioners who shaped my views and opinions. I learned a lot from my colleagues and
            peers  from  the  International  Union  for  Conservation  of  Nature  (IUCN)  and  the  Global
            Partnership  on  Forest  and  Landscape  Restoration  (GPFLR)  who  introduced  me  to  the
            concept of Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) and gave me the opportunity to take
            part in their work. My colleagues from Wageningen Forest and Nature Conservation Policy
            Group (FNP) helped me in scholarly reflections and stimulated me to turn my findings into
            a  dissertation.  My  colleagues  from  the  Global  Landscapes  Forum  (GLF)  provided  the
            platforms and spaces to share my findings and engage in debates which further shaped my
            ideas.  Intensive  collaboration  with  United  Nations  Environmental  Programme  (UNEP),
            Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the Netherlands Ministry
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