restoration news

restoration news 2020

UN Decade Team Reveals Strategy

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration revealed its Strategy after a lengthy review process over Spring and Summer 2020. There has been a launch of a new Take a look. The Decade Team is crowdsourcing the hype for the net benefit of all cultures and ecosystems that are critical in combating climate change and saving 1 million species from extinction.


China forges ahead with ambitious national park plan

"In 2018, the Chinese Academy of Sciences released a report that some of the pilot parks were using their funding to enhance tourism infrastructure to the detriment of the environment. Remote sensing technology revealed these parks were aggressively expanding roads, power lines, and public buildings that damaged sensitive ecological areas.... A core mission of China’s national parks is to promote eco-civilization—a mission that can be advanced by involving visitors...The process of engaging people in habitat restoration is a way for people to see the landscape in a more holistic and interdependent manner...."

from Kyle Obermann NatGeo August 27, 2020

The ecological and evolutionary consequences of systemic racism in urban environments

"...Equitable restoration of urban habitat patches and infrastructure necessarily improves landscape connectivity and refugia to support successful colonization of native species, guards against local extinctions, and increases urban biodiversity. Hence, equity-based ecological restoration will benefit both human and non-human communities...."

from Schell et. al. 2020 in Science.

New Zealand eco trust receives funding boost for predator fence

When does ecological restoration require exclusionary fencing? Point Bush Ecosanctuary is creating a predator-proof fenced conservation area for native birdlife & flora to flourish in South Canterbury.

more in the Timaru Herald and Point Bush EcoSanctuary in NZ

Sixty-Thousand Evictions in the Name of Environmentalism

"...The Indian state of Tamil Nadu is relocating whole slums...part of a vast effort, they say, to restore the city’s heavily polluted and constricted waterways. The government’s first step, according to project documents, is what’s officially called 'slum clearance,' or the removal of 'encroachments....”

from Theo Whitcomb and Undark in The Atlantic August 2, 2020

Next Steps Towards Ensuring SER and Ecological Restoration are Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive

At the end of June, the international board of SER took the following steps:

  1. Approved a motion to immediately strengthen the diversity, equity, and inclusion language in the 2011 SER Code of Ethics.

  2. That same motion also approved the creation of an ad hoc committee to review the full Code of Ethics and to recommend additional improvements throughout the Code, including the newly adopted language...

Read more at the SER website

Exploring impacts of the Grain for Green program on Chinese economic growth

Research on effects of ecological restoration and afforestation and their links to land conservation and regional development have received global attention. The Chinese government has successively invested a substantial amount of funds in the Grain for Green Program (GGP) since the mid-1990s.... This study analyzed the regional differentiation and temporal-spatial changes in the GGP and investigated economic impacts of the GGP at different scales.

from Jingjing Liu et al. in Environment, Development and Sustainability 2020

New series on restoration of arid lands

Just a week ahead of the UN World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (June 17, 2020), the first issue of Restoration Ecology – Arid Lands (RE-AL) addresses the urgent need to better disseminate and apply research breakthroughs, innovative technologies, and best practices to restoration ecology as a discipline and to the issues and challenges in large-scale restoration of arid land ecosystems. SER and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, in conjunction with Wiley Publishing, have released the first issue of this new thematic series will focus on the restoration of drylands, including arid and semi-arid areas, one of the most challenging ecosystems in the restoration arena.

Jim Hallet from Society for Ecological Restoration June 8, 2020

Rain plays a surprising role in making some restored prairies healthier than others

"...Why would dry planting years ultimately lead to more successful restoration than wet years, even though native prairie plants perform better with more water, as we showed in a previous study? Unfortunately, weeds are super-responders to water. We suspect that this explains why they gained dominance and suppressed prairie plants during wet planting years...."

by Lars Brudvig from The Conversation June 6, 2020

The border wall threatens decades of binational wildlife conservation

"...Eleven different properties make up the ecological restoration portfolio, the majority of them in Sonora. They link up with protected areas on the U.S. side of the border, such as the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge east of Douglas, Arizona...."

by Sarah Tory in High Country News June 8, 2020

Ecological Restoration Requires Racial Justice

"For to ecological restoration to succeed, everyone, everywhere should be safe and welcome in the natural world. For the US experiment to succeed, black people should be safe and welcome in their jobs, in our communities, while walking or jogging on the street, while bird or wildlife watching, while engaging in nature-based careers, and while just being....."

from Society for Ecological Restoration June 2, 2020

Special Issue on Climate-Change Refugia

The June 2020 Special Issue from Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment focuses on Climate-Change Refugia. It is Open Access at this time!

One can also find the articles on the Refugia Research Coalition website.

Federal effort underway to conserve American bison

"As one of the (Department of Interior's) first actions, Bernhardt announced that two bison transfers will take place later this year, demonstrating the focused direction toward enhanced intra-departmental cooperation and partnership, the agency stated. The transfer of bison among the department’s herds and across bureaus maintains genetic diversity of wild bison populations, especially for smaller herds that are managed in isolation. These transfers will support ecological and cultural restoration of bison, officials say."

from The Times-Independent May 15, 2020

more listening reading watching

Growing Old Podcast

Straight out of Seattle, this podcast is the greatest podcast I have ever listened to. Not only do they look at the future of our urban forest, they eloquently outline issues of historic and systemic racism that affects our political ecology and urban ecosystem.

Great people. Great stories. And great music.

Read and listen for yourself at


Welcome to Subirdia

To prepare for my interview with John Marzluff, I am reading his book Welcome to Subirdia: sharing our neighborhoods with wrens, robins, woodpeckers, and other wildlife from Yale University Press 2014.