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(ARCHIVE) International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration, 1st edition
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Click here to download your copy of the Standards in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, Korean, and French.

An interactive version of the Recovery Wheel is available online. The Recovery Wheel is also available for download on your Android device and will soon be available for the iPhone and iPad.

A Living Document

The Standards are currently under revision. Academics, practitioners, and international experts are in the process of editing, adapting, and adding to the Standards. This second draft will be available for download in 2019.

About the Standards

 “The International Standards present the steps required to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate a restoration project to increase the likelihood of its success.” 

                          George Gann, SER Global Restoration Ambassador

The International Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration was released December 12, 2016 at the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 13th Conference of the Parties in Cancun, Mexico. 

This groundbreaking new publication provides updated and expanded guidance on the practice of ecological restoration, clarifies the breadth of ecological restoration and allied environmental repair activities, and includes ideas and input from a diverse international group of restoration scientists and practitioners. It is also a living document, and will be refined, strengthened, and expanded over time.

The International Standards were reviewed by more than two dozen restoration ecologists, including practitioners, from across the world. The International Standards provide a framework for guiding the development and implementation of ecological restoration projects in any ecosystem, in any country, anywhere in the world.

The Standards include a 5-star rating system ranging from the implementation of restorative actions to full ecological restoration. The Standards are built on six key concepts: 

  1. Ecological restoration practice is based on an appropriate local native reference ecosystem, taking environmental change into account
  2. Identifying the target ecosystem’s key attributes is required prior to developing longer term goals and shorter-term objectives
  3. The most reliable way to achieve recovery is to assist natural recovery processes, supplementing them to the extent natural recovery potential is impaired
  4. Restoration seeks ‘highest and best effort’ progression towards full recovery
  5. Successful restoration draws on all relevant knowledge
  6. Early, genuine and active engagement with all stakeholders underpins long-term restoration success.

New Tools

The Standards also introduce two key tools for restoration projects (click to enlarge):

  1. The ecological restoration recovery wheel                     2. The restorative continuum

E-learning Course

SER also developed a free e-learning course to introduce practitioners and professionals to the core components of restoration and how to implement the Standards on the ground.

This course is free and available online here.