- Chapters & Sections
- Professional Development
- Restoration Resource Center
- News & Events
|Letter from SER Executive Director Bethanie Walder|
Volume 31 Issue 1 | March 2017
Dear SER Members,
I was sitting in a restaurant talking with a colleague from an international development organization when they asked me the question that many restoration ecologists and advocates are also asking themselves: “How will we ever reach all of these international restoration targets with projects at the 50-hectare, 500-hectare, or even 5000-hectare scale?” The Bonn Challenge alone calls for 150 million hectares of forest restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030. Similarly, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) calls for all signatory nations to restore 15% of their degraded lands by 2020. These targets are exciting, inspiring, and extraordinarily challenging. They illustrate the promise of ecological restoration, while also exposing the youthfulness of this field. How can we help achieve these targets without making compromises on-the-ground? Where are the good examples of high acreage, high quality, ecologically-sound projects?
This issue of SERNews provides a detailed introduction to SER’s new International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration (“International Standards”), which provide a framework to help ensure that restoration is well-practiced and ecologically-based. In addition, this issue includes two articles that apply the assessment component of the International Standards to real, on-the-ground projects. We also include one related article introducing the CBD’s newly adopted Short Term Restoration Action Plan, which is intended to help achieve CBD’s 15% restoration goals.
George Gann, lead author of the International Standards, walks us through the key components, including their genesis, key concepts, and the new 5-star system for rating ecological restoration along a broad continuum. Following George’s article, we are pleased to be able to include two case studies assessing projects using the 5-star system. First, Gabriel Wilks discusses a small-scale project inside Kosciuszko National Park in Australia. The assessment and analysis provide a look at applying the 5-star system, in this case to a project with an 11- hectare footprint. Though small, the project has been a strong success, illustrating that restoration can achieve important ecological objectives.