Steering towards sustainability requires more ecological restoration

  • Aronson J
  • Alexander S
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Ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems is now a global priority for addressing, and reconciling, environmental and sustainable development goals. Biocultural, bioregional, and landscape perspectives are vital for this purpose. Those working in restoration ecology, landscape ecology and conservation biology can help design, steer and implement such programs, but their work will only be effective if it is coordinated with ecological economics, law, and ethics. Many other disciplines and professions may be required as well, depending on the specific context. All scientists and professionals on a team must also be able to communicate and collaborate with non-scientists as well, including community leaders, NGOs, policymakers, landowners, and others. This is called transdisciplinarity. Here we discuss results obtained and outstanding challenges in this regard, in four landscape and bioregional scale restoration programs in South Africa, India, the USA, and Brazil. We also call for the establishment of an international network of long-term sites where research and development, capacity-building, workshops, outreach and in situ demonstration of ecological restoration, and the restoration of natural capital and ecosystem services, can all take place. © 2013 ABECO.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Atlantic forest restoration pact
  • Lake chilika
  • Networking
  • Puget sound
  • Restoration of natural capital
  • Working for water

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  • James Aronson

  • Sasha Alexander

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