National Forest Monitoring

Good practices

What is ecosystem restoration?

FAO (2020) has defined ecosystem restoration as the “process of assisting in the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded, damaged, or destroyed, and focuses on establishing the ecological processes necessary to make terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems sustainable, resilient, and healthy under current and future conditions while improving human well-being".

Common principles are critical for a shared vision of ecosystem restoration. Towards this end, the Decade’s Best Practices Task Force, the Society for Ecological Restoration, and IUCN’s Commission on Ecosystem Management led an expert consultation process. The process, based on a synthesis of published principles for restorative activities, resulted in nine proposed principles that underpin ecosystem restoration across sectors, biomes, and regions.

  • Principle 1: Promotes inclusive and participatory governance, social fairness, and equity from the start and throughout the process and outcomes.
  • Principle 2: Includes a continuum of restorative activities.
  • Principle 3: Aims to achieve the highest level of recovery possible for ecosystem health and human wellbeing.
  • Principle 4: Addresses drivers of ecosystem degradation.
  • Principle 5: Incorporates all types of knowledge and promotes their exchange throughout the process.
  • Principle 6: Is tailored to the local context, while considering the larger landscape or seascape, and social-ecological and cultural settings.
  • Principle 7: Is based on well-defined short- and long-term ecological and socioeconomic objectives and goals.
  • Principle 8: Plans and undertakes monitoring, evaluation, and adaptive management throughout the lifetime of the project or program.
  • Principle 9: Integrates policies and measures to ensure longevity, maintain funding and, where appropriate, enhance and scale up interventions.

Good practices for Ecosystem restoration

To accomplish the UN Decade´s vision and goals by 2030, individual and voluntary actions are not enough. We need to strategically strengthen capacities of those stakeholders already involved in restoration efforts. To help achieve this, knowledge gained through the implementation of restoration programmes and projects must be capitalized and shared, to avoid repeating mistakes, replicate successful experiences, and improve results.

Good practices on restoration for different ecosystems need to be collected, shared and disseminated in such a way that those stakeholders engaged in restoration can learn from their own experiences and from others, transforming this knowledge into action, and enhancing their capacities to boost and scale up current and future efforts of restoration across ecosystems and regions.

What is a good practice?

good practice is a successful experience that has been tested and replicated in different contexts and can therefore be recommended as a model. It deserves to be shared so that a great number of people can adapt and adopt it. A good practice needs to be successfully proven through various replications in multiple contexts. If a practice has been proved solely in a specific context, then it can be considered a promising practice.

Call for submission of good practices

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration welcomes the submission of good and promising practices on restoration, relevant to all types of ecosystems (Marine, Freshwater, Transitional and Terrestrial) including urban, semi-natural and productive systems. When preparing your submission, please consider that a good practice for ecosystem restoration should fulfill the following criteria:

  • Being part of a restorative activity: “A restorative activity is one that directly or indirectly supports or attains the recovery of ecosystem attributes that have been lost or degraded” (Gann et al., 2019). Such activities include Ecological Restoration, Rewilding, Forest and Landscape Restoration, Sustainable Land Management, Regenerative Agriculture, among others. [Principle 2]
  • Enhancing ecosystem health and human wellbeing: it has achieved a positive ecological impact and has improved human wellbeing (individuals and/or communities). [Principle 3]
  • Inherently participatory: It has fostered meaningful involvement of relevant stakeholders at different scales and from multiple sectors, with particular focus on local communities, vulnerable, and under-represented groups (Indigenous Peoples, women, youth, etc.). [Principle 1]
  • Socially and culturally inclusive: It has shared benefits in an inclusive manner, benefiting actors of different genders, ethnicities, ages, (dis)abilities, etc., improving and diversifying their livelihoods. [Principle 1]
  • Inclusive knowledge-based: it has incorporated traditional, local, scientific, and/or practical knowledge through is implementation. [Principle 5]
  • Based on clear objectives: it has a clear restoration aim or objective that allows for further evaluation. [Principle 7]
  • Locally adapted: tailored to the local context, meeting the specific needs at this scale, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poorest, without compromising the ability to address future needs. [Principle 6]
  • Replicable and adaptable: After evaluation, it has successfully met a specific restoration objective, been proven to be technically and socially feasible, easy to learn and to implement. Therefore, it has shown the potential for replication and adaptation to similar objectives in different situations. [Principle 8 & 9]
  • Reducing disaster/crisis risks: in a medium to long term, it contributes to mitigation of disaster/crisis risks by improving ecosystems resilience. [Principle 8]