University of Oulu

Cortina-Segarra, J., García-Sánchez, I., Grace, M., Andrés, P., Baker, S., Bullock, C., Decleer, K., Dicks, L.V., Fisher, J.L., Frouz, J., Klimkowska, A., Kyriazopoulos, A.P., Moreno-Mateos, D., Rodríguez-González, P.M., Sarkki, S. and Ventocilla, J.L. (2021), Barriers to ecological restoration in Europe: expert perspectives. Restor Ecol, 29: e13346.

Barriers to ecological restoration in Europe : expert perspectives

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Author: Cortina-Segarra, Jordi1; García-Sánchez, Ismael1; Grace, Miriam2;
Organizations: 1Department of Ecology and IMEM, University of Alicante, Ap. 99, 03080, Alicante, Spain
2Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing St, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ UK
3CREAF. Edifici C, Campus UAB. 08193, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
4Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, 33 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3BA UK
5Environmental Policy, School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College, Dublin, Ireland
6Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Herman Teirlinckgebouw, Havenlaan 88 bus 73, Brussels, 1000 Belgium
7Institute of Agriculture, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
8Fisher Research Pty Ltd, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
9Institute for Environmental Studies, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Benátská 2, Praha, 128 00 Czech Republic
10Department of Eco-Recover, Aan de Rijn 12, 6701 pb, Wageningen, The Netherlands
11Department of Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources, Democritus University of Thrace, 193 Pantazidou str, Orestiada, 68200 Greece
12Basque Center for Climate Change – BC3/Fundacion IKERBASQUE, Edificio Sede 1, Leioa, 48940 Spain
13Department of Landscape Architecture. Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, 48 Quincy St., Cambridge, MA, 02138 U.S.A.
14Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Edificio Azevedo Gomes, Tapada da Ajuda 1349-017, Lisbon, Portugal
15Cultural Anthropology Programme, PO Box 1000, 90014, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
16Belgian Biodiversity Platform, KBIN-IRSNB, Rue Vautier 29, Brussels, 1000 Belgium
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-06-29


Ecological restoration is key to counteracting anthropogenic degradation of biodiversity and to reducing disaster risk. However, there is limited knowledge of barriers hindering the wider implementation of restoration practices, despite high-level political priority to halt the loss of biodiversity. In Europe, progress on ecological restoration has been slow and insufficient to meet international agreements and comply with European Union Nature Directives. We assessed European restoration experts' perceptions on barriers to restoration in Europe, and their relative importance, through a multiple expert consultation using a Delphi process. We found that experts share a common multi-dimensional concept of ecological restoration. Experts identified a large number of barriers (33) to the advancement of ecological restoration in Europe. Major barriers pertained to the socio-economic, not the environmental, domain. The three most important being insufficient funding, conflicting interests among different stakeholders, and low political priority given to restoration. Our results emphasize the need to increase political commitment at all levels, comply with existing nature laws, and optimize the use of financial resources by increasing funds for ecological restoration and eradicate environmentally harmful subsidies. The experts also call for the integration of ecological restoration into land-use planning and facilitating stakeholders' collaboration. Our study identifies key barriers, discusses ways to overcome the main barriers to ER in Europe, and contributes knowledge to support the implementation of the European Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, and the EU 2030 Restoration Plan in particular.

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Series: Restoration ecology
ISSN: 1061-2971
ISSN-E: 1526-100X
ISSN-L: 1061-2971
Volume: 29
Issue: 4
Article number: e13346
DOI: 10.1111/rec.13346
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: We appreciate the support given by BiodivERsA (project funded under the EU Horizon 2020 ERA-NET COFUND scheme), and the EKLIPSE project (European Union Horizon 2020 grant agreement 690474), and particularly by Juliette C. Young. JCS research is financially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Education and Universities and European Regional Development Funds (FEDER; project COSTERA, RTI2018-095954-B-I00). PMRG research is funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through FCT Investigator Program grant number IF/00059/2015, and Centro de Estudos Florestais is supported by FCT grants UID/AGR/00239/2019 and UIDB/00239/2020.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Restoration Ecology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. on behalf of Society for Ecological Restoration. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.