A little R&R for ecosystems

It seems we missed, back in August, a huge report on CGIAR’s work on ecosystem restoration. After a thorough stocktaking, the report suggests the following are critical for successful restoration:

  1. secure tenure and use rights
  2. access to markets (for inputs and outputs) and services
  3. access to information, knowledge and know-how associated with sustainable and locally adapted land use and land management practices
  4. awareness of the status of local ecosystem services, often used as a baseline to assess the level of degradation
  5. high potential for restoration to contribute to global ecosystem services and attract international donors

Which seems sensible. At least if “practices” in 3 and “services” in 4 and 5 include some consideration of genetic diversity. And on that note, it’s also about time we linked to the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney’s page on Restore & Renew (R&R).

It only covers New South Wales and Victoria, but the R&R Webtool could be something for CGIAR to run with globally. You pick a spot you want to restore, and, for a selection of trees, it tells you where best to source germplasm from. That’s based on current climate, future climate and, crucially, genetic similarity1 (if data are available).

Of course, this is just the start. Scaling up the supply of tree seeds for landscape restoration remains a major challenge. A recent review, also involving CGIAR scientists, makes quite a few useful recommendations. But in the end, I suspect, it will come down to this:

  • put in place incentives and enabling policies to support smallholders in producing, trading and using high-quality genetically diverse reproductive materials
  1. But see this for a different view. []

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