Resource Database

©Danilo Lima, Agripalm Ambiental

The RRC database contains a wide variety of resources and publications related to ecological restoration, and we are actively working to expand this collection. It is our aim to serve as the principal clearinghouse for information and tools to support the work of researchers, practitioners, land managers, educators, students, and anyone else interested in restoration. Use the filter tool below to search the database by title, author, resource type, keyword, or any combination of these factors.

Although SER does review all entries in the database for relevance and quality, these resources have not been rigorously reviewed or extensively vetted in every case, and SER therefore makes no claim as to their accuracy or accordance with generally accepted principles in the field. The database is provided as a resource for visitors to the SER website, and it is ultimately left to the individual user to make their own determinations about the quality and veracity of a given publication or resource.

If there is a resource we missed, please let us know! We are interested in current books, articles, technical documents, videos, and other resources that are directly relevant to ecological restoration science, practice or policy, as well as resources treating the social, cultural and economic dimensions of restoration.

Publication Year:
Resource Type
Keyword
Title
Author

 

Peatland degradation: From fire to restoration – southern African case studies

Abstract:

Peatlands compose 50% of the world’s wetlands, host a third of terrestrial carbon, and 10% of fresh water resources. However, the occurrence, functioning, and value of peatlands in drier climates, such as southern Africa, is poorly understood and their conservation status unsure. During the recent extensive regional drought, peat fires were reported from the wetter east in the Kingdom of Swaziland (KoS) and coastal KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa (SA), and the drier west in North West Province (SA) with the latest fire reported in 2019 in the southern Western Cape Province (SA). Degraded peatlands turn from carbon sinks to sources. Peatland desiccation results from the draining of peat pores, oxidation of the peat, compaction, hydrophobicity, and eventual collapse of the accumulated peat due to impacts such as drainage, erosion, or water abstraction. Peatland restoration can be complex, and therefore expensive, with varying levels of success. Not only hydrology, geomorphology and vegetation dynamics need be considered, but also a suite of microbial communities and bio-chemical processes must to be in place. A peat fire is the (burning of the) last straw resulting in the total collapse of these sensitive ecosystems. Restoration of peatlands should therefore aim to address the impacts first that resulted in the desiccation (e.g. water abstraction upstream from the peatland or an erosion gully draining it). This study focuses on five fire-scarred peatlands in SA and KoS and the success of restoration efforts using various techniques.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Dhesigen Naidoo Opening Plenary: Challenges in a Multi-Polar World

Abstract: Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Community asynchrony rather than climate change determine the temporal stability of plant community biomass: A 20-year experimental study in eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Abstract:

Climate changes have the potential to influence the temporal stability of plant community biomass in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, but most studies were based on short-term field climate manipulation experiments, the response of biomass stability of natural alpine meadow remain largely unexplored. We conduct a 20-year experimental study in eastern QTP with linear regressions and a path analysis of annual temperature, annual temperature range, annual precipitation, annual precipitation distribution, biomass stability of grass, biomass stability of forb, community asynchrony to assess the influence climate change and biological factors on the temporal stability of plant community biomass, we find that it was community asynchrony rather than climate change determine the temporal stability of plant community biomass and alpine meadow ecosystems are resistant to climate change. Our findings suggest that future climate change may have considerable uncertainty about the temporal stability of plant community biomass in the alpine meadow and we should combine with both field climate manipulation experiments and long-term observational experiments to assess the influence of climate change on the temporal stability of plant community biomass.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Genetic identity and genetic purity: Who cares?

Abstract:

Assume that you as a plant professional are in charge of restoring a compromised landscape as it was pre-disturbance, or at least revegetate it to similar ecological form and function. You find seeds in the marketplace that appear applicable to your project at a price you can afford and order them delivered. You end up with a very nice pile of bags, bins, or boxes. Do you care if they are labeled correctly with the proper species, germplasm notation, and provenance (i.e., genetic identity)?  Do you care if the delivered seeds possess the genetic traits (and include minimal off-types or contaminants) representative of the natural populations or germplasm selections that you specified (i.e., genetic purity)?  If you do care, do you have the resources available to accomplish your own investigation before planting to verify genetic identity and genetic purity?  If you don’t have the resources, you might want to learn about seed certification schemes for native seeds applicable in your part of the world that provide traceability of origin and collection and that ensure compliance with high standards for cultivated multiplication. Sampling and testing may also be required so that the seed purity and viability is known. In this presentation, we will briefly present to you existing examples of seed certification frameworks worldwide, address the basics of the certification process and what is really necessary, and welcome your input and opinions on this topic.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

An information system for monitoring changes in South Africa’s freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem condition

Abstract:

South Africa’s unique freshwater biodiversity is under enormous pressure from human activities, climate change, and invasive species. River health is deteriorating faster than it can be measured, and the data that do exist suggest that human impacts have and continue to severely compromise biodiversity and aquatic ecosystem function. This can have serious adverse consequences for ecosystem services, such as the provision of food and safe, clean drinking water. Until now, there has been no informative and accessible database for hosting river biodiversity data in South Africa, impeding assessments of historic and current river conditions. Such information is critical for establishing baselines and measuring patterns of change in response to human-linked impacts and restoration efforts. The Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (FBIS) is a response to this knowledge gap, and through consultations with data users and contributors, and collaborations with key partners and stakeholders, aims to provide South Africa’s first platform for rapid and reliable assessments of change in freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem condition. The project seeks to mobilize and import to the system baseline biodiversity data, identify strategic long-term monitoring sites (including sites associated with key restoration projects), and train key organizations on how to use the information system. Through the use of map-based visualisations, user-friendly data dashboards and rapid data extraction capabilities, the system will improve knowledge of freshwater biodiversity and long-term river health, and thereby support better-informed river management decisions and ecological restoration projects.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019

Asia-Pacific Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) Repository

Abstract:

Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the context of REDD+ continues to be a challenging concept. There is no single internationally agreed definition. Neither is there a single way to implement FPIC. It varies across regions, countries, contexts, peoples and communities. There is, however, a growing body of practitioners, be it UN-REDD Programme partner countries, or REDD+ project developers, who have taken the discussion beyond the realm of the rhetoric into actual demonstration. This repository aims to facilitate and encourage knowledge and experience exchange among practitioners as well as those interested to embark on FPIC within the Asia-Pacific region.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
This is a repository for information on a safeguarding system that can be used to engage stakeholders and protect their fundamental rights (A3).

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Assessing, with limited resources, the contribution of wetland restoration to ecosystem services supply

Abstract:

Resources for evaluating the ecological outcomes of investments in ecological restoration are often limited. In order to rapidly assess the contribution of wetland restoration to the functionality of a wetland for supplying ecosystem services, a method has been developed based on the WET-EcoServices method. A set of indicators (e.g. hydraulic roughness of the vegetation) are rated on a five-point scale. Indicator scores are then combined in an algorithm that attempts to reflect the relative importance and interactions of the attributes represented by the indicators. In addition, the extent of the affected wetland area is recorded. Furthermore, supply is placed in the context of the demand for the ecosystem services, based on the number of beneficiaries and their level of dependency. Thus, the greater the increase in functionality over the wetland area for which there is a high demand for the ecosystem services, the greater will be the contribution of wetland rehabilitation in terms of ecosystem services. This provides a currency for comparing different wetland rehabilitation sites or scenarios within a site.  Application of the method is illustrated by comparing five different wetland restoration sites in South Africa’s Working for Wetlands program, encompassing a diversity of land use contexts. At some sites the contribution to supply was much greater both in terms of the spatial extent of the wetland and the level to which the functionality of the positively affected area had been raised. However, this was often not accompanied by a correspondingly greater demand for the services at the site.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019

REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards

Abstract:

The REDD+ Social & Environmental Standards provide a comprehensive framework of principles, criteria, and indicators along with Guidelines for their use through a participatory and transparent approach at country level. The Standards and the accompanying Guidelines were developed by the REDD+ SES Initiative through an inclusive participatory process from 2009 to provide a best-practice framework that can be used on a voluntary basis as appropriate and relevant to the country context.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
This is a source for safeguarding systems that can be used to engage stakeholders and protect their fundamental rights (A3).

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Determining optimal germination cues for use in restoration seeding in a lowland Fynbos ecosystem

Abstract:

Invasive alien plants impact ecosystems, which often necessitates their removal. Where indigenous species recovery fails following removal alone, active seed reintroduction of native species may be needed. This study investigated the potential for combined smoke and heat pre‐treatment of seeds in breaking dormancy and facilitating increased germination. Selected species represent different functional types in the Cape Flats Sand Fynbos; a fire‐prone, critically endangered vegetation type in South Africa. Seeds were exposed to either a heat pulse (temperatures between 60 and 300°C for durations between 30 s and 20 min) or dry after‐ripening (1 or 2 months at milder temperatures of 45°C or less). Thereafter, seeds were soaked in smoke solution for 18 h and subsequently placed on agar at 10/20°C for germination. Most species fell into one of two main groups: Seed germination in the first group was greatest following a lower temperature (60°C) heat pulse, an extended period of mild temperatures (20/40°C or 45°C) exposure, or no pre‐treatment with heat. Seed germination in the second group was promoted after brief exposure to higher (100°C) temperatures. No germination occurred in any species following heat treatments of 150°C or higher. Species that responded better to higher temperatures were mainly those possessing physical dormancy, but seed morphology did not correlate with germination success. This study showed that heat stimulation of seeds is more widespread in fynbos plant families than previously known and will enable development of better seed pre‐treatment protocols before large‐scale sowing as an active restoration treatment after alien plant clearing.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

The role of seeding density, species composition, and abiotic constraints to competitively exclude Phragmites re-invasion in Great Salt Lake wetland restorations

Abstract:

Invasive species are a global environmental challenge that have contributed to degradation of wetland ecosystems. Phragmites australis is of particular concern in wetlands, particularly in the Great Salt Lake wetlands of the U.S. Intermountain West, as it rapidly outcompetes native species that provide important ecosystem functions. While seed-based restoration is a promising restoration strategy following P. australis control, recruitment following seeding is often unpredictable and largely unsuccessful. Seed sowing density is an important consideration, though few guidelines exist for optimal seeding density in wetland restoration. Furthermore, competitive exclusion of invaders depends not only on initial seeding density, but also the composition (i.e. functional roles/traits) of native species and environmental conditions. To address these context-dependencies, we conducted two mesocosm experiments investigating: 1) the influence of P. australis density and the density of a mix of diverse native species on recruitment, and 2) the effect of water and nutrient availability on competitive interactions. For experiment 1, mesocosms were sown with P. australis seeds at three densities and a native seed mix at four densities. We found that higher native seeding densities resulted in increased native biomass, but only when P. australis propagule pressure was greatly reduced. In the second experiment, we identified the species and sowing densities that were better able to exclude P. australis across a range of environmental conditions. Taken together, these results provide a better understanding of the context dependency of competitive interactions in wetland restoration, which can be used to maximize wetland restoration outcomes with limited seed supplies.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs)

Abstract:

National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs) optimally contain information on geographical areas where restoration would contribute most significantly to achieving national level targets contributing to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
These plans are particularly relevant to activities B1 and B6 as they provide frameworks for nations to align national biodiversity targets, restoration targets and ecosystem-based climate mitigation and adaptation targets.

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Predicting and alleviating dormancy in challenging species: Insights and innovations from the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership

Abstract:

The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew (UK) works with countries in the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP) to carry out germination tests on locally sourced seed collections of wild plant species from all over the world. Germination tests are conducted after drying seeds at 15% equilibrium relative humidity (eRH) and 18°C prior to hermetic storage at -20°C. Seed dormancy, which functions to ensure seeds germinate at the best possible time for seedling establishment, represents a significant obstacle in monitoring viability in some species. Understanding how dormancy functions in the natural environment is crucial and so climate data are used for choosing dormancy breaking treatments and germination conditions. For instance, Dry afterripening (seeds held at 60% eRH and warm temperatures of c. 20°C) alleviates dormancy by simulating a dry season. In some species dormancy ensures seeds germinate sporadically over several years in nature. It is possible to shorten this time by extracting the embryo from seeds in the laboratory, as in the case of Galeopsis angustifolia, but this is time consuming and not suitable for large-scale restoration works. Move-along experimental designs, where seeds are moved through a sequence of different temperatures to simulate different seasons, are preferred. This protocol has been successfully used to propagate seeds of Adonis annua. Heat and smoke pre-treatments can also be used for breaking seed dormancy and cuing germination in restoration. Light or darkness may function as an important germination cue, such as photoinhibition of seed germination in some monocots in open, disturbed, and dry habitats.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Bet hedging through fine-scale intraspecific variation in seed dormancy and seed germination cues in the Australian arid tropics

Abstract:

Seed biology in the annual herbaceous flora of ecologically stressful, seasonally wet habitats remains largely unexplored. Temporal and spatial species turnover among these habitats is often high, yet little is known about how fine-scale habitat variation drives intraspecific variability in seed dormancy depth and seed germination requirements. We present seed biology data from over 50 species of wetland plants from the Australian Monsoon Tropics, as well as complementary habitat data, and show that fine-scale differences in the thermal and hydrological conditions of seasonally wet habitats appear to be strong drivers of dormancy depth. Widely distributed species exhibit high levels of plasticity in seed-dormancy depth and germination response to germination stimuli such as biogenic ethylene among different habitats, with similar responses being observed for sympatric species. Sediment seed banks may represent significant drivers of species persistence and diversification in these ecosystems, and inhabitant flora display a high degree of adaptation to local hydro-geological conditions, potentially reflecting a long and relatively geologically and climatically stable evolutionary history.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Direct seed harvesting techniques in mesotrophic grasslands

Abstract:

Brush harvesting, hay transfer, and other ‘near-natural’ direct harvesting techniques are effective and well-established means of overcoming seed limitation in grassland restoration. The species composition and viability of seed captured by these techniques significantly influences restoration success, varying according to grassland type, local environmental conditions, and harvesting methodology, but is not always fully understood or accounted for in restoration projects. In this study, carried out at RBG Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank (MSB), we compare the species composition and viability of seed harvested using brush and combine harvesting techniques in mesotrophic grassland, and brush and green hay transfer techniques in calcareous grassland. The effectiveness of each technique in capturing the species-diversity of the donor community is assessed, including interactions between harvesting technique and key plant traits including dispersal time and height. Costs and practical considerations associated with each technique will be discussed alongside new MSB protocols for species composition analysis and viability testing of large mixed-species harvests.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Effectively conserving a species’ genetic diversity ex situ: the case of Fraxinus excelsior in the UK

Abstract:

Well planned seed bank collections play a vital complementary role to in situ conservation and ecological restoration by preventing extinctions, providing seed for habitat recovery, and providing accessible, well-documented germplasm for research and experimentation. It is vital that such collections capture the genetic diversity of a target species over the geographic area in which it will be used. The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, comprises a range of seed collecting projects worldwide. The UK National Tree Seed Project has placed particular importance on the capture of intra-specific genetic diversity for native trees and shrubs.  The project provides a useful case study for common challenges to capture genetic diversity, whether for long-term conservation or more immediate use in restoration. The UKNTSP has developed a detailed sampling strategy which, in the absence of detailed knowledge of population genetics, uses biogeographic zones as a proxy for genetic diversity and adaptation. The outcomes of this sampling strategy were evaluated using a modelling approach using simulations and geographic distribution data for the species Fraxinus excelsior. The model estimates that UKNTSP ash collections have captured >90% of all alleles present in Britain. The approach can be used to help design, justify, or evaluate seed collection outcomes for any species or application.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Prioritization of the restoration species pool to maximize restoration outcomes

Abstract:

It is worth thinking critically about which plant species are appropriate to use for restoration treatments and why. Can we restore targets for not only diversity, but also for supporting ecosystem services and function? Can we be more effective in selecting species for particular targets to maximize desired outcomes and minimize inputs? Our study suggests we can. Here for the first time, we applied decision support software, to prioritize plant species by maximizing the provision of plant traits that enable ecosystem functions in order to compile optimized selections of plant species for restoration treatments. Using European alpine grasslands as a case study, we identified and prioritized plant species to meet restoration objectives that support and may accelerate regeneration. We compared the prioritized species selections to that of selecting plant species for biodiversity (systematically selecting one plant species of every taxonomic family or genera), for dominant species, and for selecting species completely randomly.  Our results suggest that the functional identity of plant species matters more for ecosystem function than the number of species. This novel framework transcends that of a case study, and may be applicable to any initiative, in any habitat, seeking to apply quantitative decision making to ecological restoration objectives so as to optimize the provision of desirable ecosystem functions or targets. You can prioritize anything that can be measured, and this approach has an exciting range of potential applications to restoration and conservation. We present a simple proof of concept but suggest approaches to practical situations.

 

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

The International Land and Tenure Facility

Abstract:

The International Land and Forest Tenure Facility is the first and only international, multi-stakeholder financial mechanism exclusively focused on securing land and forest rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. It provides grants to implement tenure rights under existing law and policy and shares the knowledge, innovations and tools that emerge. Launched in 2014 by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), the Tenure Facility is dedicated to scaling up recognition of collective land and forest rights globally.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
This resource proposes a framework for countries to coordinate existing national law and policy with indigenous or collective land rights in accordance with activity B2.

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

The decade of ecological restoration: Plans for required urgent synthesis of restoration across ecosystems and treatments

Abstract:

The recently declared ‘Decade on Ecological Restoration’ by the United Nations represents a timely opportunity to develop a strong and integrative path forward for ecological restoration. One of the most effective ways to do this is to create a living data repository where restoration successes (and failures) are collated and made freely available to researchers and practitioners alike. Restoration has been taking place for decades across ecosystems, in every part of the world, with millions being spent. Different types of restoration ‘action’ have been taking place, depending on the definitions and targets of individual projects and their context. Data collected are used for monitoring, the results of which are sometimes published in academic journals, sometimes not. Projects and investment will continue, the results of which will affect legacies for decades more. We are in the process of developing a large, cross-cutting and collaborative effort to compile data from across the world, across ecosystems and across restoration efforts and types. We plan to publish an open-access data paper, maintain and grow the database as other efforts join, and lead the syntheses of these data in order to move forward into this dawning decade with an idea of what works and doesn’t, what constitutes success, and major lessons learned. We invite anyone involved in restoration, in any corner of the world to join us on our mission and donate existing data to be a part of an effort to quantify success and synthesize the future of ecological restoration.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Global Landscapes Forum (GLF)

Abstract:

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) provides a platform for sharing information on sustainable land use, including restoration, with a focus on connecting, sharing, learning and acting. The Forum is dedicated to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement. The Forum takes a holistic approach to create sustainable landscapes that are productive, prosperous, equitable and resilient and considers five cohesive themes of food and livelihood initiatives, landscape restoration, rights, finance and measuring progress. It is led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), in collaboration with its co-founders UN Environment and the World Bank and Charter Members.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
The GLF is of relevance to activity B3, under which educational systems should be employed to share information about restoration activities to raise awareness and connect people to restoration efforts in their communities.

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

The critical value for transferring knowledge between restoration projects

Abstract:

As the number of restoration projects increases, the potential for knowledge exchange between them becomes more relevant. Utilizing the experiences from one project in others can be challenging and calls for a systematic approach: what is transferable, under what conditions, and how to communicate between projects? We use the restoration of a mountain area in Norway as a case project to illustrate our approach. The project, Hjerkinn PRO, has an aim formulated by the Norwegian Parliament, to restore a 165 km² former military training area into National Park. This is the most prominent restoration project in Norway so far, ongoing for almost 20 years, including stages of planning, implementation, and documentation. The experiences from Hjerkinn PRO have to some extent been adopted and continued in other restoration projects, nationally and internationally. More specifically, we will discuss transferability relative to goal formulation, restoration methods, cooperation between actors during implementation, and system for documentation and evaluation. In this presentation we want to suggest a model for how to identify and separate the relevant and transferable experiences from those that are unique and not relevant to others in more general terms. We will also discuss barriers for transfer of knowledge and from this identify further potentials. Finally, we give examples of how such transfer can improve the quality and effectiveness of future restoration.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES)

Abstract:

The Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) partnership aims to promote sustainable development by ensuring that natural resources are mainstreamed into development planning and national economic accounts. It has published a series of policy briefs on the topic.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
A major step towards the adoption of accounting for natural capital was the adoption by the UN Statistical Commission of the System for Environmental and Economic Accounts (SEEA) in 2012. This provides an internationally agreed method to account for material natural resources like minerals, timber and fisheries, relevant to activity B7.

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Promoting rangeland restoration and climate resilience through case studies

Abstract:

Rangelands occupy over a third of the ice-free land on Earth. Domestic livestock operations are a primary user of this grazing resource and will have to adapt to climate change effects on rangelands. Management directed toward current rangeland stresses that may be amplified under a changing climate—including fire risk, invasive plants, and variable forage production—is beneficial under every future scenario. And although climate change discussions have become highly politicized, our experience suggests that U.S. ranchers support management strategies and practices that provide ecological and economic benefits in addition to benefits relating to climate change. Our goal is to foster adoption of these “no-regrets strategies” by sharing individual success stories of rangeland restoration and sustainable management. Successful ranchers are already experienced at considering economic, ecological, and social risks in decision-making. They can identify and implement practices that increase resilience to climate change and support wildland restoration while balancing the other risks they face. Forward-thinking ranchers can provide insights into their resilience management practices, enabling others to join them. Farmer-to-farmer communication is known to be more successful than “expert” outreach. Our multi-media case studies are designed to encourage other ranchers to make management changes toward promoting rangeland restoration, resilience, and economic sustainability. Each case study consists of a short documentary film highlighting an innovative rancher and a peer-reviewed written factsheet with descriptions of the rancher’s ecological context, innovative practices, and a discussion of challenges and benefits of adopting restorative practices. These innovations apply worldwide in regions with semi-arid plant communities.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Ecological restoration 30 years later: Which priorities should we focus on?

Abstract:

Since 1987 ecological restoration (ER) has evolved from a technical discipline to a trans-epistemic one in terms of its socio-cognitive organization. It became a transversal space for knowledge production and degradation solution. Multiple approaches and research/management subjects coexist under a common umbrella that harbors scientists, practitioners, and, especially, stakeholders directly linked to decision making. Colleagues from government agencies, NGOs, private companies, or international banks are also regular members of the restoration community. Although science and technology are still the core of the discipline, current major challenges are (1) to integrate political, cultural, and economic interests; (2) meet local, regional, and global targets of ER, and (3) prevent new degradation processes. Such challenges require strong social agreements to solve key issues (e.g. land planning and tenure). In order to investigate which questions should be addressed from now on, we did a critical review of the literature, national plans, and international policies. In particular, we tested whether the major conclusions and recommendations from SIACRE-2015 (4th conference of the Latin American and the Caribbean Society) could be applied worldwide. We established 63 statements pooled into nine thematic subjects: epistemological, degradation causes, principles, land use planning, governance, social-cultural, scientific, technological, and standards. We also found that efforts and approaches are related to cultural values and welfare conditions. In conclusion, restorationists should devote efforts to other priorities: “how well was this hectare restored” or the nice “before-and-after picture” of a rehabilitated site, are no longer enough.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN)

Abstract:

Through its Global Forest Financing Facilitation Network (GFFFN), the UN Forum on Forests provides financing to promote the design of national forest financing strategies to mobilize resources for sustainable forest management, facilitate access to existing and emerging financing mechanisms, including the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund. The GFFFN serves as a clearing house on financing opportunities and as a tool for sharing lessons learned from successful projects.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
This resource builds an innovative network to provide financing for restoration efforts while also creating a space to share lessons learned, which is in line with activity B9.

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Protecting and restoring rivers and fish migration in Africa

Abstract:

The economic benefit and viability of dams has long been the topic of controversy. While many countries have begun to realise both the economic and ecological benefit of removing dams, Africa remains at the forefront of proposed dam constructions. The provision of electric power, flood control, water supply, and reservoir creation are attractive motivators for dams in third world countries such as those dominating the African continent, where the lack of electricity and sporadic water supply due to intermittent rainfall patterns remain as key social concerns. However, no dam is the same and thus, efforts to generalise from a few continues to cause controversy and debate. Dam removal decisions are complex, requiring owners and regulators to weigh a dam’s current value in accomplishing its original purpose, such as water supply for agriculture or industries and power generation, against the dam’s ongoing effects on public safety, water quality, water quantity to the downstream resources, impacts to fish migration and populations, etc. In rural Africa, the social implications of dam removals are considered less straightforward, as communities have been observed to adapt their lifestyles based on the continuous provision of a water supply and year-round food security many dams provide. In the presentation we will consider the evaluation of the practicality of dam removal in the context of long-term maintenance costs, against the costs of removal including several of the social considerations once communities have become reliant on the relatively short-term benefits of these structures.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund

Abstract:

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification has launched the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund, an impact investment fund blending resources from the public, private and philanthropic sectors in support of achieving LDN through sustainable land management and land restoration projects undertaken by the private sector worldwide. The LDN Fund offers financing for the rehabilitation of degraded land and for sustainable business models on land undergoing or at risk of degradation.

Relevance for the Short Term Action Plan for Ecosystem Restoration:
The Fund blends the needs identified in activity B8 with the recommended action in activity B9, leveraging public, private, and philanthropic financial resources to mobilize restoration efforts.

Resource Type:Web-based Resource
Publication Date: 2019

Riparian rehabilitation in the upper Berg & Breede River, Western Cape, South Africa

Abstract:

Intaba Environmental Services has been involved in rehabilitation and re-vegetation projects in the Western Cape, South Africa, since 2009 with specific focus on the river riparian on private land in the upper Breede and Berg River (Western Cape) since 2012. This has been in partnership with the Dept. of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning (DEADP) and Department of Agriculture (LandCare), Western Cape. Approximately 356,000 plants have been propagated at Kluitjieskraal Nursery (Wolseley, Western Cape, RSA) and planted over 14 sites within a 3-year time frame (2016-2019). Sites on the Berg River are located in Franschoek, through Paarl, Wellington to Hermon. Sites on the Breede River are located from Wolseley to the Breede Valley towards Worcester. The objective of such an initiative has been the active rehabilitation of degraded areas to improve ecosystem functioning and catalyse further succession within the broader catchment. This is regarded as the largest project of its kind within South Africa for rehabilitating riparian land. There have been numerous obstacles and challenges to overcome as we facilitate the return of nature. Main challenges have been: 1) drought and irrigation, 2) landowner participation, and 3) capacity of staff. The following topics will be expanded: 1) drought and irrigation – attempts to increase plant survival while decreasing irrigation requirements, 2) successful landowner relationships, and 3) capacity building of staff. The high variation in conditions between sites required site specific rehabilitation plans and an adaptive mitigation approach to challenges that were faced. 

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Restoring the Colorado River Delta – A framework for binational cooperation in restoration science, finance, and resource management

Abstract:

The Colorado River delta once consisted of 800,000 hectares of riverine, wetland, and estuarine habitat. This ecosystem has contracted to a fraction of its historic extent due to flow regulation and water consumption upstream. In 2012 a novel agreement between Mexico and the US provided for sharing of water under drought conditions and committed water and funding for ecological restoration. A coalition of environmental groups that facilitated negotiations partnered with the two governments to fund and implement restoration. Successful implementation has led to a successor agreement that provides additional commitments of water and funding to support expanded restoration. Remnant wetlands in the delta are part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Ramsar wetland. The Colorado River is one of the most intensively managed of 263 international rivers; it provides water for 40 million people and supports critical year-round agriculture through an extensive network of dams, reservoirs, and canals in an arid climate. A 1944 treaty provides for annual delivery of municipal and agricultural water from the US to Mexico, leaving the river with no flow through Mexico. The agreement to dedicate environmental flows to support restoration establishes a global precedent and model for other nations. While upstream water demands limit full restoration of the delta ecosystem, restoration and monitoring implemented to date, as well as creative funding and water ownership models that are driving binationally supported restoration, provide a framework for the restoration and protection of an international river corridor and estuary in a politically challenging border region.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Application of an EFlows Model in the eco-revitalization of the River Ravi, Pakistan

Abstract:

The River Ravi is one of six transboundary rivers comprising the Indus River system. Approximately 50 million people live in the basin, with more than 10 million in Lahore, its largest city. Political differences and careless development have come at profound cost to the River Ravi. In terms of the Indus Water Treaty, all Ravi flow upstream of Pakistan is abstracted by India, and flow downstream is dominated by heavily polluted discharges from cities that lack any effective infrastructure, policies, or regulations to treat their effluents. Most river reaches do not sustain aquatic life throughout the year. In the cities and towns, the stench is overwhelming, affecting the health, safety, and enjoyment of residents and eroding property prices and tax bases. Eco-revitalization efforts in the basin are multi-pronged and include status assessments, visioning, policy and institutional analyses, and investigation of cost-effective waste water treatment. The nature and level of interventions required to meet stakeholders’ visions are being guided by an ecosystem-based EFlows model that uses scientific reasoning and logic to model river ecosystem responses to past influences and interventions aimed at improving water quality, promoting year-round flows, and restoring river channels. The model captures the understanding of driving catchment processes and functioning of the rivers and uses this to provide information on how the implementation of suites of interventions would affect river ecosystem condition and, as a consequence, the potential cultural, recreational, and public health value of the River Ravi and its tributaries.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Restoring fragmented habitats using eland as a veld management tool

Abstract:

With the ongoing threats to biodiversity and pressure from human activities on the unique flora of the Cape, the need for modern restoration and conservation practices has emerged. Experimenting with new tools to restore and conserve fragmented habitats is creating opportunities for novel veld management practices in the urban environment. The aim is to reach a balance between human needs while restoring and protecting biodiversity and eco-system services and functioning in the face of climate change. Remaining natural areas within the Cape hold a high biodiversity value and through understanding and enhancing the way we restore these fragmented areas, we will enhance the way people experience and value such sites. The Gantouw Project is testing a restoration tool for modern conservation practises on small, isolated conservation areas in Cape Town, and involves using habituated eland antelope to combat bush encroachment. It is expected that the eland’s browse and trampling activity will reduce canopy size, opening up the veld resulting in changes to faunal and floral communities, mimicking historical actions of large herbivores. The method of using eland as a veld management tool, apart from the ecological value, is also proving to have other beneficial spin-offs to youth of the local community. Employment opportunities are created for youth as eland monitors. Eland monitors go through various skills development programmes, contributing to growing the green economy of South Africa. Mystical eland, once a sacred animal to the San people of southern Africa, are important ambassadors, connecting people, young and old, with nature.

Resource Type:Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Publication Date: 2019
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program