This Week In The News

Ecological Restoration for Protected Areas – Comments Invited
SER, in partnership with Parks Canada and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas is pleased to invite you to comment on the draft document Ecological Restoration for Protected Areas: Principles, guidelines and best practice. This consultation draft, which has been prepared by a 23-member Task Force with input from many other experts around the world, is intended to guide the efforts of protected area managers and their partners in restoring ecological, cultural and other important values of protected areas.

January 4, 2012

Sinners, repent! How our natural self-bias got us into this mess
 A conversation with conservation biologist Michael Soule, the founder of the Society for Conservation Biology and The Wildlands Network and a professor emeritus of environmental studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz. In recent years, in pursuit of an ultimate explanation for human reluctance to protect biodiversity, Soule has turned his attention to the seven deadlies, examining their history and evolution as both a scientist and a longtime Buddhist practitioner. I spoke with Soule at his home in western Colorado.

UK: Hedgerows can be managed better for wildlife
 Hedgerow berries are an essential food for small mammals and birds, including blackbirds, fieldfares and redwings, and their flowers provide nectar for pollinating insects. When and how often hedges are trimmed makes a big difference to the amount of both flowers and berries they produce.

First Gulf Coast Restoration Projects Selected for BP $1 Billion
 Restoration of oyster beds, marshes, dunes and nearshore reefs damaged by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are among the first set of projects proposed today for funding under the $1 billion BP agreed to set aside for early restoration projects.

Romania Pledges to Protect Its Virgin Forests
Virgin forests in Romania will receive the status of protected areas and the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Forests will work with the global conservation organization WWF to identify, map and protect virgin forests. These actions are specified in the Memorandum of Understanding signed Tuesday by the Minister of Environment and Forests Laszlo Borbely and WWF two months after the launch of WWF’s campaign to save Romania’s virgin forests.

After 85-year Absence, Wolves Return to California
 For the first time in more than 85 years, a gray wolf has been documented in California. The 2 ½-year-old male, known as OR-7, journeyed more than 700 miles from the northeastern corner of Oregon, crossing into California’s Siskiyou County on Wednesday, according to the California Department of Fish and Game. OR-7, and any other wolves that wander into California, are federally protected by the Endangered Species Act.

US: Stitching habitat together across public and private lands
 In some places, environmentalists or public agencies have identified important corridors, and then worked to enlist landowners in protecting them. But from the Mexican border to the Crown of the Continent, where the U.S. and Canadian Rockies meet, a growing number of landowners are showing their own initiative, banding together to protect working land from development, and to link migration and dispersal routes across jurisdictional boundaries. Many conservationists say that the future of large-landscape conservation lies in these efforts.

Jamaica: Hazard Mitigation Funds to Rescue Tourist Mecca
 The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the agency responsible for the management and protection of the island’s 1,022 kilometres of coastline, has begun the replanting of sea grass beds and mangrove forests in Negril as well as Montego Bay and Portland Bight. The agency said these areas have been severely impacted by the large-scale removal of coastal vegetation.

India: Barren forest land regenerated at Bhairabkunda
In a development that holds hope for long-term conservation amid the gloom of large-scale deforestation in the State, communities of six hamlets on the Indo-Bhutan border at Bhairabkunda joined hands with the Forest Department in successfully regenerating a stretch of barren forest land.

Everglades Restoration: Parties Produce Miracle
 A bipartisan effort in Washington, and cooperation between the federal government and Florida, led Congress to authorize $142 million for Everglades-related projects recently. The federal spending bill allocates about $97 million to restoration in the Glades and the balance to the Kissimmee River, which flows into Lake Okeechobee. The river and lake were parts of the original Everglades system.

 China: Fund established for marine environment
 That fund will cover projects for marine ecological environment protection as well as related scientific research, technological development and other charitable projects. Detailed projects will include those related to ecological restoration and sustainable development arising from oil and gas exploration activities and natural disasters, and restoration and protection of the marine ecosystem.

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Welcome to the GRN

The Global Restoration Network (GRN), a project of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER), offers the field of ecological restoration a new database and web-based portal to trustworthy and hard-to-find information on all aspects of restoration, from historic ecosystems and causes of degradation to in-depth case studies and proven restoration methods and techniques. The overriding mission of the GRN is to link research, projects, and practitioners in order to foster an innovative exchange of experience, vision, and expertise.

The GRN is fast becoming the central hub for ecological restoration – a vital resource for policymakers, professionals and communities, whether researching options for habitat restoration, writing a project proposal, coordinating volunteers, or looking for educational programs and funding. Perhaps the most exciting feature of the GRN is the database where you can make a specific query and find restoration case studies and annotated links to a wide variety of relevant resources including experts, organizations and literature. Here is a small sample of the links you will find in the GRN website and database.

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CASE STUDIES

Alexander River Restoration Project, Israel
The Alexander River Restoration Project is Israel’s leading river restoration and was awarded the Thiess International Riverprize in 2003. Implemented by Israeli agencies, with cooperation and support from local Palestinian officials in an unprecedented show of solidarity, the project aims to restore a river severely degraded by untreated sewage and pollution from more than 70 sources–in both Palestinian and Israeli territory.
 
Restoration of the Mata Atlantica, Brazil
Instituto Terra is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 by Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado and the renowned photographer Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado. It is located at the Bulcão Farm in Aimorés, Minas Gerais, and it covers an area of 676 hectares. 

Mangroves Restoration in Andhra Pradesh, India
This project was launched in Andhra Pradesh with the aim of inducing concerted action towards conservation and sustainable management of the mangrove wetlands on the east coast of India. The restoration employed canal techniques, instead of simple plantation of seedlings, and a fish bone pattern of canals was utilized.

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ORGANIZATIONS

The Ecosystem Services Partnership seeks to enhance this integration by coordinating collaborative efforts on ecosystem services at the global, national and local level working toward better understanding, modeling, valuation and management of ecosystem services and natural capital.

Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration is a network of governments, organizations, communities and individuals who recognize the importance of forest landscape restoration and want to be part of a coordinated global effort.

European Centre for River Restoration supports the development of river restoration as an integral part of sustainable water management throughout Europe ensuring that projects will be more cost effective, more likely to succeed, and will encompass multifunctional objectives.

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LITERATURE

Saltmarsh Restoration – Rebuilding Habitat with a Community Partnership
A recent project in the Tweed Estuary has shown that when the shared goal of committed stakeholders is the rehabilitation of a damaged saltmarsh ecosystem, then progress is definitely possible.

Sustainable River Restoration in Urban Streams
Based on a review of the literature, we identified candidate indicators of hydrologic alteration and ecosystem response that could be used to guide restoration. Using available biological and hydrologic data we tested candidate indicators to determine if flow-biology relationships could be identified and used as guidance in restoration programs.

The Restoration of Forests: Temperate Zone of China
The restoration of forests in the northeast and northern China, including the loess plateau, is of benefit to biodiversity conservation and the improvement of the natural environment.

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VIDEO

Post Tsunami Mangrove Restoration in Sri Lanka
The video is part of the Global Nature Fund’s project to restore mangrove forests and livelihoods in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami of 2004.

Regrowing the Borneo Rainforest
By piecing together a complex ecological puzzle, biologist Willie Smits has found a way to re-grow clearcut rainforest in Borneo, saving local orangutans — and creating a thrilling blueprint for restoring fragile ecosystems.

A River Reborn: The Restoration of Fossil Creek
The inspiring rebirth of a biologically critical river in Arizona is recounted in A River Reborn: The Restoration of Fossil Creek. The one-hour documentary examines the ecological effects of a dam and hydroelectric facility on the waterway and chronicles the 15-year effort that led to decommissioning.

Click on the logo below for some great videos of coastal and salt marsh restoration projects

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