SER’s certification program for ecological restoration practitioners: Opportunities and challenges around the world

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Chris Lenhart

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The practice of ecological restoration has grown in recent decades, yet the profession is still developing. The Society for Ecological Restoration’s (SER) Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP) program began in 2017 and now has over 500 certified restoration practitioners, primarily in North America with pockets of activity in Europe, Australia and Asia. One of the major benefits of certification is that it helps to raise the standards for ecological restoration projects by identifying qualified professionals who follow a process and use criteria for doing good restoration work as exemplified by SER’s International Standards for Ecological Restoration. Certification benefits funding organizations by increasing the probability of getting good restoration work done, in part by paying attention to the whole restoration project life cycle. In many developed nations, the field of ecological restoration is well established, so the growth of the restoration profession requires more work distinguishing restorationists’ skills and values from related professions. Globally there is a need to diversify the restoration profession to include under-represented groups and regions and increase involvement by indigenous communities. The need for ecological restoration will only increase in the years to come. There will be continued demand for well-trained restoration professionals and certification to improve our ability to address global challenges such as climate change and land degradation

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program