Why is evidence important in restoration?
Consulting the scientific evidence before undertaking restoration actions can increase effectiveness and ultimately result in better outcomes for ecosystems and biodiversity. Such evidence-based decision making can lead to more effective restoration and improve value for money, by ensuring failures are not repeated and lessons are learned.
However, it can be difficult and time consuming to access and synthesise the available evidence for the wide range of restoration actions that exist. Therefore, the Endangered Landscapes Programme has partnered with Conservation Evidence to improve the availability and accessibility of evidence for the effectiveness of restoration interventions.
Conservation Evidence is a free online resource that allows practitioners, managers and policy makers to access the latest and most relevant ecological knowledge. The website provides accessible summaries of the evidence of the effectiveness of over 3,100 different conservation and restoration actions, categorised by their target habitat or species.
How to find evidence for restoration?
In order to search for the evidence for the outcomes of a wide range of restoration actions, please visit the Conservation Evidence website.
There, either use the search box or browse by the habitat or species of interest (as shown below). This will retrieve a list of possible actions for the conservation and restoration of the target species or habitat, along with a summary of the available evidence for whether each one is effective.
You can use search terms or refine the results of your search to find information on specific restoration actions. For example, a search for rewetting peatland reveals that 36 studies have been synthesized and provides a summary of the effects on plant communities and cover.
Free pdf synopses of the evidence for all actions to restore or conserve a particular habitat or species are also available to download from the Conservation Evidence website, including:
Information about the aims, methods and sources of evidence is also provided.
Consulting the Conservation Evidence database can act as a starting point to identify potential restoration actions and assess their effectiveness. This evidence can then be applied to a specific context, by assessing its relevance to the geography, the species and/or the habitat being restored. To reach a final decision on how to proceed, evidence should then be combined with personal experience, as well as information on costs, practical considerations of what is feasible, and other factors such as acceptability.
Through the Restoration Evidence project we aim to improve the availability and accessibility of the evidence that is directly relevant to restoration. We are actively looking for ways to facilitate evidence-based restoration, including through the incorporation of evidence into practical guidance and the publication of summaries.
If you have suggestions or would like to get involved please contact the Endangered Landscapes Science Manager on N.Ockendon@jbs.cam.ac.uk