Opinion article: “Better monitoring of the benefits of ecosystem restoration in Europe is urgently needed”, By Holly Brooks (UNEP-WCMC) and Nancy Ockendon (Endangered Landscapes Programme)
Better monitoring of the benefits of ecosystem restoration in Europe is urgently needed
Summary: Despite growing awareness of the importance of ecosystem restoration and its potential to deliver benefits for nature and people, a recent review by UNEP-WCMC, the Endangered Landscapes Programme and BirdLife Europe and Central Asia found a surprising lack of evidence describing the outcomes of ecosystem restoration in Europe. This shortage of information was found both across the range of benefits that restoration can provide and across different ecosystems. These findings come at a time when evidence of the impacts of restoration is urgently needed to underpin effective national and regional restoration policy and strategies. This year is a key juncture for global policy, with the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) and discussions underway to set legally binding restoration targets as part of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. Although there are challenges associated with measuring restoration outcomes, it is vital that efforts are made to improve both the quantity and quality of monitoring. Gathering relevant data and effectively communicating results are key to demonstrating the benefits to people and nature that can flow from restored and healthy ecosystems and enabling evidence-based decision making.