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Restoration Ecology Issue Supplement: Involving Society in Restoration and Conservation

Thursday, April 26, 2018  
Posted by: Rebecca Shoer
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Humans have dramatically changed our planet and our environment – and all of us are needed to restore it. SER’s journal Restoration Ecology released a supplemental issue this week examining the role of society and community engagement in restoration and conservation. The issue includes research projects, opinion pieces, and practical suggestions for integrating local groups with environmental projects.

Restoration ecology is still a relatively new field of science, as researchers develop experiments while also working to restore damaged habitats. It’s critical that restoration ecologists have data to guide their projects in the field, but until relatively recently this also meant that many projects ignored local knowledge and input. This is a mistake, as Swart et al. explain: “Giving a voice to society in the context of social ecological systems is not only important because restoration is dependent on social conditions, but also because restoration will affect society.”

This issue supplement of Restoration Ecology includes global examples and guidelines for involving communities in local restoration efforts. In North Morocco, for example, restoration projects are historically unpopular and have been resisted by local communities. However, after involving residents in the design and implementation from the start of a forest restoration project, “250 plants were planted by 90 participants in a spirit of knowledge exchange, mutual aid, environmental education, and social solidarity.” Two years later, the new forest continues to thrive (Derak et al., 2017).

The issue also includes many other opportunities for local community engagement, from Lake Nasser in Egypt to the Ningxia Hui region of China. As restoration gains momentum as a science, it’s clear that society is essential to its success. Above all, the authors note, restoration is a human enterprise - without people there would be no restoration. The work of improving our environment will rely on communities and society as a whole to come together, share knowledge, and work to restore the planet.


Read the Issue Supplement Involving Society in Restoration and Conservation:
(2018),Restor Ecol, 26: S1-S62. doi:10.1111/rec.12710



About Restoration Ecology
Restoration Ecology is the Society’s bi-monthly scientific and technical peer-reviewed journal published Edited by a distinguished international panel, the journal addresses global concerns and communicates them to researchers and practitioners throughout the world

About SER

The Society for Ecological Restoration is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the science, practice and policy of ecological restoration to sustain biodiversity, improve resilience in a changing climate, and re-establish an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture.

Media Contact: 
Rebecca Shoer
Communications and Operations Associate
Society for Ecological Restoration
202.299.9518 /