Challenges during the execution, results, and monitoring phases of ecological restoration: Learning from a country-wide assessment.

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 4)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 9,433 words
Lexile Measure: 1450L

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Abstract :

Outcomes from restoration projects are often difficult for policymakers and stakeholders to assess, but this information is fundamental for scaling up ecological restoration actions. We evaluated technical aspects of the interventions, results (ecological and socio-economic) and monitoring practices in 75 restoration projects in Mexico using a digital survey composed of 137 questions. We found that restoration projects in terrestrial ecosystems generally relied on actions included in minimal (97%) and maximal (86%) intervention, while in wetlands, the preferred restoration strategies were intermediate (75%) and minimal intervention (63%). Only a third of the projects (38%) relied on collective learning as a source of knowledge to generate techniques (traditional management). In most of the projects (73%), multiple criteria ( 2) were considered when selecting plant species for plantings; the most frequently used criterion was that plant species were found within the restoration area, native or naturalized (i.e., a circa situm criterion; 88%). In 48% of the projects, the biological material required for restoration (e.g., seeds and seedlings) were gathered or propagated by project implementers rather than purchased commercially. Only a few projects (between 33 and 34%) reached a high level of biodiversity recovery ( 75%). Most of the projects (between 69 to71%) recovered less than 50% of the ecological services. Most of the projects (82%) led to improved individual relationships. The analysis revealed a need to implement strategies that are cost-effective, the application of traditional ecological knowledge and the inclusion of indigenous people and local communities in restoration programs at all stages-from planning to implementation, through monitoring. We also identified the need to expand research to develop effective tools to assess ecosystems' regeneration potential and develop theoretical frameworks to move beyond short-term markers to set and achieve medium- and long-term goals. Cautious and comprehensive planning of national strategies must consider the abovementioned identified gaps.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A657568929