Scale-sensitive governance in forest and landscape restoration: a systematic review

Daniel Wiegant*, Pieter van Oel, Art Dewulf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Building on different bodies of the governance literature, we propose a conceptual framework specifying nine scale-sensitive governance arrangements that aim to (1) create cross-scale fit between the governance and ecological scales, and/or (2) foster cross-level alignment between different governance levels. To understand how scale-sensitive governance has played out in practice, our systematic review builds on 84 peer-reviewed empirical journal articles, which represent 84 cases of forest and landscape restoration governance. In the case studies, we identified eight out of nine scale-sensitive governance arrangements: moving tasks to other governance levels; task-specific organisations; polycentric governance; multilevel coordination; multilevel collaboration; multilevel learning; bridging organisations; and multilevel networks. These arrangements constitute important elements of the multilevel environmental governance landscape, and we analysed their role in promoting forest and landscape restoration. By using the proposed conceptual framework, a better understanding is created of how different scale-sensitive governance arrangements can support existing and future restoration efforts that are implemented as part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Forest and landscape restoration
  • Policy
  • Scale-sensitive governance
  • Water


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