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How social considerations improve the equity and effectiveness of ecosystem restoration

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Summary of action points for more equitable and effective ecosystem restoration. credit: bioscience (2022). DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biac099

The United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montreal closed in December with an unprecedented agreement to protect 30% of the world’s degraded landscapes by 2030.

However, despite ambitious policies and strong financial interest, recent restoration efforts have fallen short of their targets: only a fraction of the land promised to be restored by 2020 has been restored by 2019. 18%, and the world is currently off track to meet the targets set for 2030.

So far, setting the global restoration agenda has been driven primarily by insights from ecologists, particularly mapping studies outlining the potential for restoration across scales. These studies have yielded important advances on the global scope and geographic heterogeneity of the challenge and have played an important role in mobilizing attention and efforts towards recovery.

but, social aspect Power relations, governance systems, value trade-offs, etc. restoration project Persist over time. However, these factors have received less attention in policy. In a recent study published in biosciencemy colleagues and I have found that the regions of the world identified by other scholars as having the highest priority for restoration contain more than a billion people who are disproportionately belonging to groups with below-average health, education and income. It shows how we live. These people are often directly dependent on their landscape. food securityand often have strong cultural ties to their land.

Impact of social processes on restoration outcomes

Current restorations often take place in the context of strong power imbalances, with external funders usually having the power to decide whether, where and how restorations take place. local community Those who are most vulnerable to the consequences are often those who have the least say.

Moreover, the objectives supported can vary significantly between actors.Local people tend to benefit from restoration projects that are integrated into their agricultural systems, but follow cultural forestry practices and/or yield yields economic benefit, private funders often prefer remediation projects with strong climate change mitigation profiles. This means we prefer to invest in fast-growing monoculture carbon farms, which can be directly counter to local community objectives and can have detrimental impacts on ecosystems.

In all this the question of who rules the landscape becomes clear. Land use policies driven by actors in the Global North and implemented in the Global South should be managed by marginalized communities for the benefit of carbon targets, especially when decisions are made by far-flung and powerful stakeholders. It has a nasty track record of increasing volatility. Conversely, there is growing evidence showing how communities can benefit from the restoration of healthy ecosystems when decision-making is decentralized and equitable.

There are clear moral arguments for a fairer restoration. People living in restorable areas should have the strongest voice in decision-making, as they will be most affected by how the landscape changes.

But beyond ethical reasons, restoration project Ecological goals are more likely to be maintained and thereby met when they are consistent with the local community’s desires for the landscape. People are more likely to maintain participatory restoration projects that benefit them.

Restoration outcomes are ecological and social processBy better integrating the two Restoration Agenda setting and implementation will increase opportunities to mitigate climate change, protect biodiversity, and restore the planet’s degraded ecosystems in ways that benefit vulnerable communities for current and future generations. can.

For more information:
Sara Löfqvist et al, How social considerations improve the equity and effectiveness of ecosystem restoration, bioscience (2022). DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biac099

Quote: How Social Considerations Improve the Equity and Effectiveness of Ecosystem Restoration (1 February 2023) https://phys.org/news/2023-02-social-considerations-equity-effectiveness -Retrieved 01-Feb-2023 from ecosystem.html

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