Community driven post fire restoration initiatives in Central Chile: when good intentions are not enough

Morales, Narkis S; Fernández, Ignacio C; Duran, Leonardo P; Venegas González, Alejandro

Keywords: Mediterranean ecosystems, Central Chile, post-fire restoration, local community initiatives, technical knowledge, government support


A fundamental pillar of community-driven restoration projects is motivation, without which initiatives are doomed to fail. However, technical knowledge and funding are also important factors for success. In this work, we present three case studies of post-fire restoration projects driven by local communities in Central Chile to assess whether motivation and proactive actions were sufficient to carry out successful restoration projects. We found that while in the three cases motivation was essential for starting restoration actions, the level of technical knowledge, the ability to connect with academic institutions, and the capability to secure funding, played key roles in the projects' results. We identified three key factors that should be present to increase community driven restoration success: (1) appropriate technical knowledge and expertise to set suitable restoration objectives and activities; (2) adequate capabilities and networks for procuring financial and technical resources; (3) capacity to apply for available funding to ensure resources for later phases. Ensuring the concurrence of these three factors cannot be the sole responsibility of local communities. Instead, it should be a shared responsibility between government agencies and academic institutions to develop strategies that help develop links between experts and local communities.

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Título de la Revista: RESTORATION ECOLOGY
Editorial: Wiley
Fecha de publicación: 2021