Make a Difference Week – A first for the SER World Conference

Since 2005, the SER World Conference has been the premier venue for those interested in connecting with the international restoration community. World Conferences bring together experts in the scientific, technical, and socio-economic dimensions of restoring damaged and degraded ecosystems across the globe. Those who attend the conference are often not only passionate about discussing and debating big picture issues and broad trends, as well as specific tools, techniques, research, and policies for restoration, but also want to directly contribute to restoration activities in the locale of the conference. To leverage this enthusiasm of SER meeting participants, one day of every World Conference has always been reserved for giving attendees the opportunity to learn about local management challenges, and have hands-on participation in restoration implementation. This day has been proudly called Make a Difference Day due to its significant positive impact on the locale of the conference. 

With the upcoming #SER2021 World Conference going virtual due to a once in a lifetime pandemic and worldwide lockdowns, Make a Difference Day has become Make a Difference Week! SER is extending the traditional day-long activities to a week to capitalize on the worldwide membership and support the directives of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The Make a Difference Week is scheduled to run from 5–13 June 2021, launching on World Environment Day. Therefore, we are seeking individuals and organizations to partner with, and organize locally relevant and volunteer-led restoration events as part of the Make a Difference Week. SERs goal for this once in a lifetime event is to encourage individuals from all over the world to engage in activities that improve their local environment. 

Make a Difference Week events do not need to be any different than a typical volunteer event in length or focus, and it can take place on any day during the week of 5–13 June. Potential activities include but are not limited to: restoration plantings, seed collection and seedball making, invasive plant pulls, and garbage pick ups. Overall, your event of choice must be easily accomplished in a COVID safe manner in your area. Our goal is to provide everyone with a locally-organized activity in every country where SER members can be found. It is ambitious, but together we can put together one of the biggest worldwide efforts for restoration ever! 

SER has created a committee to help support this effort. If you are interested in organizing a Make a Difference event in your area as part of #SER2021, please get in touch with us at We look forward to hearing back about your ideas and paving a way for restoration activities worldwide!