Fragmentation and loss of habitat have been identified as key factors hampering biodiversity conservation in Europe. Experts are currently gathering at a two-day workshop hosted at the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge to focus on identifying key knowledge gaps for restoration that creates connected landscapes, rich in biodiversity and resilient to climate change.
Biodiversity targets in Europe will not be achieved only by protecting what is already there. We also need to restore degraded areas. However, gaps in our current knowledge and understanding of many aspects of large scale habitat restoration make this difficult to achieve.
The workshop currently taking place (21-22 November 2017), hosted jointly by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and the Society for Ecological Restoration-Europe Chapter, aims to support this agenda by identifying the key areas in which improved knowledge or understanding would make a significant difference to landscape restoration.
In preparation for the workshop, a consultation exercise has asked over 900 experts across Europe to identify the questions, which, if answered, they consider will make the biggest contribution to addressing the restoration of landscapes and ecosystems.
Nearly 700 questions were received in response to the consultation exercise – covering social and economic issues, policy, habitat connectivity, the scale of intervention, impacts of climate change as well as questions relating to practical management. Now, thirty-seven experts, comprising a collaboration of NGOs, academia, government and research institutions, are gathering for two days to discuss and reach agreement on which are the 100 highest priorities.
The 100 questions which emerge from the workshop will help to define a targeted research and policy agenda for ecological restoration in Europe and focus coordinated effort to address knowledge gaps.
The consultation exercise and the resulting workshop has been organised by the Endangered Landscapes Programme, which aims to restore natural ecological processes, populations and habitats across Europe, for a better and more sustainable future. It forms part of a programme of enabling activities that will support the implementation of a portfolio of landscape-scale restoration initiatives due to be announced in 2018.
Managed by CCI, the Endangered Landscaped Programme is supported by Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.