What is to be restored? Contribution from landscape sustainability science to landscape restoration

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Cristian Echeverria

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Landscape sustainability science (LSS) can make a profound contribution to a better understanding of the concept of landscape restoration (LR) and its application. Diverse global and national initiatives and agreements seek to promote ecological restoration at the landscape scale. The Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration is a network based on a landscape approach and responds to the Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares. However, we believe that little consensus exists on the definition and methodological approaches needed to apply LR. The objective of this work is to discuss a definition of LR from a landscape ecology perspective and discuss some implications and practical challenges. LR can be defined as the planned process of recovering the capacity of a landscape to consistently provide long-term ecosystem services essential for improving human well-being. In other words, LR seeks to improve key attributes of a landscape including composition, configuration, and dynamics that are spatially interacting with ecosystem processes, biodiversity (at different levels of organization), and ecosystem services. We present a case study to discuss implications of this definition and exemplify practical challenges of how to deal with LR by integrating these key attributes. The study landscape is located in the core of a biodiversity hotspot, with a substantial loss of natural ecosystems, a landscape profoundly transformed by economical drivers, and an explicit need from local community and relevant stakeholders to recover essential ecosystem services in order to improve their well-being.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration