ROOT – A decision-support tool

Craig Beatty

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Presented by Craig Beatty of LERS and IUCN. Following over three years of development through a partnership between International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and The Natural Capital Project, ROOT (Restoration Opportunities Optimization Tool) is a software tool that optimises trade-offs among different ecosystem services to help decision-makers visualise where investments in restoration could be made that would optimise benefits for multiple landscape goals. Technically, ROOT applies an integrated linear programming algorithm which optimises and displays the location of the expected ecosystem services generated through restoration. Most notably, it does so for multiple ecosystem services at the same time and can weigh these optimisations based on the location of people who rely on such services. This includes optimising landscape restoration interventions in areas that would generate clean water, or avoiding areas where disadvantaged people might be negatively affected by changes or modifications in land use. The result is knowledge that is not purely biophysical, but instead blends the social priorities of those with the rights to manage land with the ecosystem service benefits that are expected from restoration. This webinar will explore why ROOT was designed, how it works, and a few case studies showing the different results that it can generate and the implication of those results in national and international large-scale restoration programmes and policies.

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