Project Context and Opportunity
Ambitious targets and goals are being set on a national, regional and global scale to restore our degraded landscapes and seascapes over the next decade. To meet the scale, scope and pace of these ambitions, there must be a significant increase in the funding available to plan and implement large scale restoration projects. In parallel, greater coordination of existing funding is required in order to ensure efficient coverage of the relevant species, habitats and regions.
Various reviews have been undertaken and strategies proposed regarding funding allocations, yet the value, focus and priorities of funding for marine and terrestrial ecosystem restoration projects remain largely unknown. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration begins in 2021 and is likely to bring an increase in attention and funding for restoration activities. We are therefore at a pivotal moment to evaluate current and projected gaps, opportunities and priorities for restoration funding to inform strategic allocation of resources in the future.
This collaborative project between UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and Fauna and Flora International (FFI) will explore the funding landscape of marine and terrestrial restoration projects across Europe, enabling more coordinated and efficient actions, planning and decision-making in time for the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
With ELP funding, this project will bring together information from marine and terrestrial restoration projects across Europe to explore the who, what, where, when, why and how of funding allocations for restoration activities. The project will investigate the patterns, biases and trends in funded projects to better inform policy makers, practitioners and funders via three main outputs:
- An online platform where users can search, filter and download project information for hundreds of restoration projects across Europe
- A summary for practitioners to guide effective implementation of restoration actions and highlight future opportunities
- A summary for policy makers to guide decision-making across Europe, linking to national, regional and international policy and priorities
By understanding the current and projected funding allocation for ecosystem restoration, the outputs of this project can guide the effective development and implementation of evidence-based decision-making for restoration action and policies across Europe. Improved understanding of the restoration funding landscape can:
- Inform decision makers so that new allocations of funding for restoration in Europe are optimally coordinated and focus on gaps in priority ecosystems and areas
- Enable restoration practitioners to identify opportunities within their priority landscape(s), and to collaborate, engage with and influence decision makers on restoration-related funding and policy
- Generate a baseline against which future investment in restoration can be assessed and help to put forward a sustainable business case for ecosystem restoration across Europe at the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
As part of this project, UNEP-WCMC and Fauna & Flora International developed a tool to demystify the funding landscape for ecosystem restoration in Europe. Their ELP Restoration Funding Brochure is coupled with a freely available database of over 400 ecosystem restoration projects.