Ecological restoration is among the most discussed topics in the natural science and environment community. Even the United Nations is concerned about ecological restoration. They have declared that the decade 2021 – 2030 will be marked as the “UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration”. The question that might be going on in your mind, is that, what is ecological restoration? Let’s address that first.
Understanding Ecological Restoration
Ecological restoration can be simply defined as the scientific process of restoring the ecosystems that have been damaged or destroyed due to non-sustainable developmental models. Human beings have long exploited the ecosystem for their benefit without considering any sustainable development process. And thus, this has led to the damage and even destruction of various ecosystems across the globe. The resulting ecological imbalance is gradually taking its toll. Due to which, ecological restoration aims at reversing the damages caused and restoring the ecosystems to their former state, to the best of scientific ability.
Ecological Restoration And The Three Questions
Whenever environmental scientists start working on any ecosystem and consider ecological restoration, there come the basic three questions which pave the path ahead. Why do we need to restore that ecological system? What will have to be restored to restore the ecosystem? How to make the restoration possible? These basic questions need answers.
Why Do We Restore The Ecological System?
What is the necessity to restore the damaged system? Yes, human beings have destroyed numerous ecosystems. That is undeniably true. However, is it necessary to restore all of them? Is it even practically possible? Practically speaking, it is impossible to repair every damage we have caused to the ecosystem. And so, this makes it imperative that we identify the high value and the high-risk points and prioritize. We don’t have abundant means to ensure restoration of every damaged system across the world. Which is the reason, we need to ask ourselves, is it absolutely necessary to restore the particular damaged system?
What Do We Restore In The Ecosystem?
The nest question is that of setting the goal. What do we restore in the damaged system? We need to evaluate the damage caused and then decide the goals. The objectives are to be set. For that, we need to know what to restore in the first place. However, without a proper plan, the entire process will fail. Thus, the “what” is an extremely important part of the entire process of ecological restoration. Once we know what we need to restore, we can get to the next part.
How Do We Restore The Ecosystem?
It is time to chalk out the action plan. Make a plan about how the restoration process is to be carried out. It is important to stick to the plan outline as best as possible. Without an action plan, it is impossible to ensure that the entire process will go on as desired and decided. This step also involves creating a timeline and timeframe. The “how” is the strategic planning step and ensures the success of the entire process.
When you are a part of an ecosystem, there is no way you can ever ignore the importance of ecological restoration. Because, when the system fails, you perish as well.