Building a Restoration Partnership Development Toolkit

Context & Opportunity

Restoration partnerships are complex and can be contentious. There is a need for tools that can help diverse restoration partnership stakeholders to develop mutual understanding and deliberate key issues. Our project builds on our previous research on conservation values and uplands management to build a restoration partnership development toolkit.

Partnerships convened for landscape restoration can involve diverse stakeholders with different interests and perspectives. Contestation may happen if stakeholders have different perspectives on the aims of restoration or how it should be approached. Deeper divergences may also transpire in political dimensions such as identities and values related to landscapes, livelihoods and lifestyles. Such contestation can form a barrier to restoring landscapes in a way that is socially just and environmentally effective.

To ameliorate contention and promote mutual understanding, it can help to make perspectives visible and deliberate them openly. Expecting to achieve consensus may be unrealistic, but the settlement of difference can ameliorate contention. However, such conflicts are often addressed reactively and as yet no land use partnership development tools or tools for resolving contention exist.

Our restoration partnership development project responds to these challenges, and builds on our existing work, to develop an evidence-informed toolkit for strengthening restoration partnerships. The toolkit will make visible and compare values in a way that has the potential to allow differences to be understood, deliberated and addressed.

This project is a priority because of the current rapid growth in landscape-scale conservation initiatives and partnerships, which must succeed to address biodiversity, climate change and social goals. Ensuring that restoration partnerships are built on a foundation of mutual understanding will increase their resilience and likelihood of success.

Project Aim

This project will develop, refine and promote a toolkit for stakeholders to map and deliberate values relating to planned and ongoing ecological restoration in defined landscapes.

We will develop a user-friendly toolkit (comprised of freely available videos, and a website hosting an analytical tool and written material) for undertaking values mapping and deliberation of issues arising within landscapes in which restoration is planned. Those seeking to initiate or support restoration approaches at any scale can use the toolkit to ameliorate contention and strengthen partnerships.

Project Impact

This project hopes to achieve the following impacts:

  • Case study partnerships are stronger and more effective as a result of improved understanding of perspectives among project partners and subsequent deliberative processes.
  • Restoration partnerships around Europe will use the online toolkit to become stronger and more effective.

Project Partners

University of Cambridge
University of Edinburgh

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