Building up the restoration dialogue: reflections on the state of ecosystem restoration practice and policy in Canada

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John-Francis Lane and Sonia Voicescu

Publication Date:

2021 marks the beginning of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021 – 2030). With many ecosystems across Canada and around the world degraded, ecosystem restoration provides a nature-based solution to human-caused ecosystem destruction. For this research, specialist interviews were conducted with ecosystem restoration practitioners and policy makers from across Canada in an effort to assess: (i) the current perception on the state of ecosystem restoration in Canada; (ii) existing barriers to restoration; and (iii) what Canada can uniquely contribute to the global practice of ecosystem restoration. A total of 69 participants were interviewed from nine provinces and two territories, originating from six employment sectors (Environmental Non-Profit Organisations, Government, Private Industry, Academia, International Organisations, and Parapublic Organisations). Participant selection was based on professional experience with ecosystem restoration practice or policy in Canada, and recruitment was performed via directed and snowball sampling. All interviews were semi-structured and conducted remotely. Initial analysis of interview data highlights a slightly unfavourable perception of ecosystem restoration practice in Canada, with participants emphasizing the developing nature of the field and its complex challenges. When questioned on barriers to ecosystem restoration in Canada, most interviewees identified political will and financing as being top obstacles. Participants recognized technical capacity and research and development as strengths that Canada can contribute to the international restoration community. Reflecting on these results can contribute to building a dialogue between restoration practitioners and policy makers and help develop policy that will support future ecological restoration practice and needs.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program