Our books

Our new book "Restoring Tropical Forests: a practical guide" is now in press. More information is available here.

Research For Restoring Tropical Forest Ecosystems: A Practical Guide (2008)

Around the world, many attempts to “re-create natural” forest ecosystems on deforested land have failed. This has often been due to poorly developed techniques, as well as poor management and failure to engage local people. However, this need not be the case. This book sets out to show how successful and innovative forest restoration strategies can be devised to suit the various ecological and socio-economic conditions represented across SE Asia.

It presents the generic concepts and research protocols that were used to develop successful forest restoration in N. Thailand. By adapting such concepts and protocols locally to indigenous forest ecosystems and their tree floras, it successful methods to restore forest ecosystems can be developed anywhere in tropical SE Asia.

This is a book for researchers. It is aimed at helping anyone involved in setting up and running a Forest Restoration Research Unit to devise a suitable framework species approach to the restoration of forest ecosystems for biodiversity conservation and/or environmental protection. Printed copies are now out of print but you can still download the entire book (8.6 MB), or select individual chapters below. The Thai version is available on the Thai section of this website. Please contact us if you are interested in obtaining the Chinese, Lao, Khmer, Indonesian or Vietnamese language editions.

Cover Front and Back Cover (0.26 MB)
Preamble Includes table of contents (0.28 MB)
Part One Forest Restoration - Fundamental Tools And Concepts (1.40 MB) 
Part Two Establishing A Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU) (1.24 MB) 
Part Three Propogating Trees For Forest Restoration (2.58 MB)
Part Four Field Experiments (1.93 MB)
Part Five Monitoring Forest Recovery (1.27 MB)
Part Six From Research To Restoration (1.35 MB)
Appendices Includes index, glossary, references and contact details (0.52 MB) 
How to Plant a Forest : The Principles and Practice of Restoring Tropical Forest (2006)

It is possible to transform largely deforested landscapes into lush tropical forests, supporting rich biodiversity, in just a few years. Based on the work of Chiang Mai University's Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU-CMU) since 1994, this book shows how the framework species method of forest restoration has been successfully adapted to re-establish natural forest ecosystems in northern Thailand.

It presents background information that enables readers to understand the natural mechanisms of forest regeneration, as well as practical techniques to harness and accelerate them. Richly illustrated with easy-to-follow diagrams, this book provides scientifically tested advice on how to select appropriate tree species, how to grow them in nurseries, and how to plant and take care of them in deforested areas. In addition, the logistics of implementing forest restoration projects are explained and, most importantly, how to motivate and involve local people.

This book is not just about northern Thailand. The concepts and techniques described in it could be applied equally well to a wide range of different forest types in other areas, so anyone interested in restoring forest ecosystems for wildlife conservation and environmental protection will find it useful. This book is now out of print but you can still download the entire book as PDF (30.8 MB) or select individual chapters below. The Thai version is available on the Thai section of this website. Please contact us if you are interested in obtaining Chinese, Lao, Khmer, Indonesian or Vietnamese editions of this book.

Cover Front and Back Cover (1.55 MB)
Preamble Includes table of contents (1.00 MB)
Part One Forest restoration - pipe dream or practicality? (1.47 MB)
Part Two Recognising forest types (2.38 MB)
Part Three Understanding forest restoration - learning from nature (2.43 MB)
Part Four Helping forests to help themselves - Accelerated Natural Regeneration (2.3MB)
Part Five The Framework Species Method of forest restoration (1.08 MB)
Part Six Growing your own trees (6.14 MB)
Part Seven Planting trees (6.79 MB)
Part Eight Planning (1.5 MB)
Part Nine Framework tree species for forest restoration in northern Thailand (3.12 MB)
Appendices Includes index, glossary, references and contact details (3.45 MB) 
NEW!! The Indonesian version of "How To Plant A Forest": "Bagaimana menanam hutan: Prinsip-prinsip dan praktek untuk merestorasi hutan tropis" is now available thanks to the Harapan Rainforest Initiative. You can download the cover and full text here: HTPAF Indonesian Cover (10 MB); HTPAF Indonesian Book (10MB).

Forest Restoration for Wildlife Conservation, 2000. Proceedings of a Workshop with the International Tropical Timber Organisation and The Forest Restoration Research Unit, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

This book presents the proceedings of a Scientific and Technical Workshop on Forest Restoration for Wildlife Conservation, held in Chiang Mai, Thailand February 2000, organized by FORRU-CMU and sponsored by the International Tropical Timber Organisation. The volume includes 28 peer-reviewed papers, covering a wide range of technical aspects of forest restoration across the region from seed collection to silviculture, as well as social issues. A wide range of examples of innovative techniques and best practices are included, of interest to both scientists and restoration practitioners. The volume culminates in the "Chiang Mai Research Agenda for Restoring S.E. Asia's Forest Ecosystems" - a list of proposed research projects voted on by a quorum of more than 80 experts, as being most likely to improve the effectiveness of forest restoration across the region - well worth a read if you are starting research in this field.

Some printed copies are still available through the FORRU-CMU office so contact us if you would like one. They are available free of charge to graduate students, starting out on new research projects on any forest restoration topics. Otherwise, the PDF files can be viewed through the ITTO website.