In order to further the aim of our TWG in developing practical applications of the ecosystem services concept in restoration, we would propose a collaborative effort among individuals, teams and networks to conceptualize, promote, initiate, and maintain an international, cross-ecosystem-type network of Long-Term Ecological Restoration and Ecosystem Services (LTER-ES) study sites. Some initial points of discussion would include:
Vision: To establish a network of long-term ecological restoration study sites capable of initiating and maintaining research and development, capacity-building, communications outreach and demonstration programs relevant to the ecological restoration – ecosystem services nexus. This LTER-ES would be open access by and for scientists, researchers, engineers, technicians, practitioners, land owners, natural resource managers, NGOs, communities, corporations, governments and the general public. Collaboration among these sites would result in a number of regional demonstration projects and Centers of Excellence.
Goals: Recognizing that many of the developing countries experiencing acute ecosystem degradation lack the capacity (e.g. expertise and tools) and financing to design and implement cost-effective ecological restoration projects and programmes on the ground, the LTER-ES, in collaboration with relevant experts and organizations, will endeavor to:
Develop an online toolkit of practical guidance, tools and technologies, including case studies and lessons learned, for restoring ecosystems and their services.
Organize and convene expert panels, capacity-building workshops and technical training courses for leaders in the public, private, CSO/NGO, and community sectors; and
Establish an expert network or community of practice on restoring ecosystems and their services that provides both virtual (web-based) and on-the-ground capabilities.
In addition to a long-term research agenda, this working group will focus on the nexus of restoration and ecosystem services where utility emerges and practical applications serve to inform science, policy and practice. Conceptually, both disciplines fit well, offer support and provide justification. In fact, there are a number of ecosystem services assessments/frameworks at various scales that have contributed to financing, decision-making and prioritization, and the design and implementation of restoration activities. This group will examine practical and promising models and frameworks by which the ecosystem services concept can be more effectively utilized when making restoration decisions at all levels.
ESP Conference Bali 2013
We will organize a special session and workshop at the upcoming ESP 2013 Conference in Bali, Indonesia on August 26-30, 2013. Individuals, research teams and networks will be invited to submit original research and review papers for publication in special conference issues of Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Services. We will post more information shortly.
We will also hold an open meeting on the margins of the conference to continue the discussion on the feasibility, mechanics and vision of establishing an LTER-ES network, as briefly sketched in the Research Agenda.