This study demonstrates the potential of transformation strategy (an approach that emphasizes strengthening interdependence among social and ecological systems) to rehabilitate degraded land by examining two cases in Bangladesh and one in the Philippines. The study considers the benefits obtained from forests and forest-related activities in the form of income and energy sources as key parameters to link the social system (local people) with the ecological system (forest). Qualitative and quantitative analysis of data on land use and socio-economic changes indicates that the transformation strategy improved both the wellbeing of local people and forest cover. In the case of the Philippines, social and ecological linkages were found to be strong, with local people rehabilitating the degraded land while also obtaining a high proportion of their total income from the activity. For the two Bangladesh cases, however, the level of dependency on the forest for livelihood declined as local people used their income from the forest and forest-related activities for diversification to non-forest activities.
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