Stakeholder perceptions of marine restoration: Beliefs, preferences, and supporting actions

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Nadia Papadopoulou

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Aiming to reverse loss and limit further habitat degradation, International and European policies have put restoration at the top of their agenda, incorporating high-level policy objectives such as the protection of 10% of marine habitats and the restoration of 15% of damaged ecosystems. While there are many widely publicly supported terrestrial (e.g. forest restoration) and land-coast interface (e.g. sand dunes) restoration projects, ecosystem restoration as a concept and practice is lagging behind for many strictly marine ecosystems of many European countries. There is also limited understanding of what the stakeholders involved with the use, management and protection of marine ecosystems know about marine restoration. How committed to protection and restoration of damaged ecosystems are they? Within the MERCES project, the first European H2020 project to focus exclusively on marine restoration concerning a number of key ecosystems, we investigated stakeholder perceptions about restoration of degraded marine ecosystems, most of which we do not usually get to see. We are looking at preferences and reasons behind social acceptance of conservation and restoration. A European survey was conducted based on an anonymous on-line questionnaire targeting government, NGOs, researchers, and marine users. Survey results indicate that while stakeholders in general agree that marine restoration can reverse negative human impacts there is some heterogeneity in their degree of agreement. There are clear favourites (e.g. many favouring higher targets or preferably supporting local projects) and scepticism over some restorative approaches (e.g. recreation elsewhere is not considered a solution by many stakeholde

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration