PRCF forest habitat restoration activities are carried out at sites that have suffered forest degradation due to their previous conversion into agriculture or because of fire and natural disasters. Forest restoration measures are primarily used at sites where the original natural habitat is desired to support conservation of endangered species populations, such as the critically endangered Eastern Black-crested Gibbon in Vietnam. A variety of forest restoration techniques are used, depending of the present condition of the forest land, state of prevailing vegetation, and the cause of habitat degradation. The most used techniques include natural regeneration, assisted natural regeneration, enrichment or understory planting, and afforestation with native tree species.
Many of the areas we work in on forest rehabilitation retain the potential to regenerate their original forest conditions by just preventing disturbance and leaving natural regeneration to take place over time. This can be a lengthy process, but the approach is simple, inexpensive, and entails just protecting the areas from further anthropogenic disturbance and allowing natural regeneration to take place at its own pace. Natural regeneration is the primary measure when degraded areas in need of restoration are inside core strictly protected zones of conservation areas.
Assisted natural regeneration
When needed and desired, we enhance and accelerate natural regeneration by providing assistance to surfacing seedlings, saplings, and poles of desired species. This is often done by clearing grass and weeds surrounding the stems of denied native trees and plants, and by liberating poles of desired species from vines and other climbers.
In a number of cases, we engage in understory planting with native species to assist in the forest regeneration process. The activity entails securing and nursing seedlings and wildlings from desired native species, and thereafter planting these randomly or mimicking the natural forest distribution at the target forest regeneration site.
When the forestland has been subject to intense pressure where natural or assisted natural regeneration is likely to yield poor results in mimicking the original forest structure and conditions, we engage in afforestation with desired native species. Afforestation techniques usually entail planting of native species in patterns that most mimic the natural forest.