Ecological and Social Aspects of Ecological Restoration: New Challenges and Opportunities for Northern Regions

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"Interest in ecological restoration has recently intensified as scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders use restoration in management strategies to address and mitigate global climate change and biodiversity loss. Northern ecosystems offer special challenges to restoration managers because of their short growing seasons and long recovery periods. This special feature of Ecology and Society on ecological restoration in northern regions draws together 11 papers based on presentations from the conference 'Restoring the North', convened in October 2011 in Selfoss, Iceland. We summarize two themes of this conference: (1) setting objectives and evaluating success in restoration, and (2) legislation, policy, and implementation of restoration. We conclude that northern countries altogether comprise a significant knowledge base and suggest five actions to enhance restoration practices within them: (1) improved documentation of restoration actions, including objectives, measures and results, (2) regular evaluation of restoration progress and outcome, (3) coordination of conservation actions among northern countries, including location of restoration actions to sites where they are most useful in a global context, (4) formation of a common platform to strengthen development of research about ecological, political, social, and technical aspects of ecological restoration, and (5) education of new generations of restoration actors who can work in diverse biogeographic settings and cultures."
social-ecological systems, policy analysis