In 2021, the UN declared the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration as a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world.
A year has gone by already, we need to quickly get moving from aspiration to reality. Initiatives, tools and networks already exist to make this happen, including the:
- UN System of Environmental and Economic Accounting
- Natural Capital Project at Stanford
- EcoHealth Network
- The INCASE Project
A paper recently published in Restoration Ecology – the Journal of the Society of Ecological Restoration – explains what these tools are and the importance of collaborative efforts, particularly engagement between ecologists, economists, and other stakeholders, in developing them.
Our Director, Carl Obst, is an author of the report, along with other luminaries in the field, including Catherine A. Farrell, James Aronson, Gretchen C. Daily, Lars Hein, Paddy Woodworth and Jane C. Stout.
The paper suggests that we can maximise the impact of ecosystem restoration by applying a natural capital approach. This approach offers us opportunities to track our efforts at restoration. And it helps us highlight the benefits for both society and economies that occur when we prioritise nature.
Collaborative efforts are essential if we are going to implement these approaches and achieve the results that the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration calls for.
The paper invites more engagement between ecologists, economists, and other stakeholders. In doing so it reflects on the phrase ’natural capital’ and how it is often misunderstood to imply that monetary metrics should take preference over non-monetary measurements. This can present a barrier to engagement for some ecologists, environmentalists, and stakeholders.