What's in a name? From one perspective, Irish oak woods infested with alien invasives might look like 'novel' ecosystems, but from another we see them for what they are: chronically degraded landscapes in need of restoration (Photo: Paddy Woodworth).
I contributed this article to the June issue of SER News, which I also guest edited:
The world ecological restoration movement finds itself at an unprecedented moment, as we approach our next international SER conference in Brazil.
We are moving into unfamiliar territory, territory that offers bracing opportunities but also poses disturbing threats, both of them on a scale that we could hardly have imagined at the beginning of this century. This new territory is increasingly shaped, both physically and conceptually, by human-generated climate change. And climate change is still accelerating, despite the Paris accord, in a political context shaken by the recent eruptions of right-wing, anti-science populism. The decision this month by President Trump to pull the US out of that accord casts a dark shadow over the fragile hope that Paris offered us.
Nevertheless, a series of major international agreements over the past decade, including the Bonn Challenge and the New York Declaration on Forests, are a welcome sign that the restoration concept has reached the global policy mainstream. These commitments to ‘restore’ millions of hectares of degraded ecosystems, while not legally binding, are game-changers for the theory and practice of ecological restoration. The new game will bring great challenges, and very real dangers.
Read the full article
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Articles on the environment; Spanish, Catalan and Basque politics; travel; culture; and other subjects; interspersed with personal reflections and images