Restoring Natural Capital: Science, Business, and Practice

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How can environmental degradation be stopped? How can it be reversed? And how can the damage already done be repaired? The authors of this volume argue that a two-pronged approach is needed: reducing demand for ecosystem goods and services and better management of them, coupled with an increase in supply through environmental restoration. Restoring Natural Capital brings together economists and ecologists, theoreticians, practitioners, policy makers, and scientists from the developed and developing worlds to consider the costs and benefits of repairing ecosystem goods and services in natural and socioecological systems. It examines the business and practice of restoring natural capital, and seeks to establish common ground between economists and ecologists with respect to the restoration of degraded ecosystems and landscapes and the still broader task of restoring natural capital. The book focuses on developing strategies that can achieve the best outcomes in the shortest amount of time as it: • considers conceptual and theoretical issues from both an economic
and ecological perspective
• examines specific strategies to foster the restoration of natural
capital and offers a synthesis and a vision of the way forward Nineteen case studies from around the world illustrate challenges and achievements in setting targets, refining approaches to finding and implementing restoration projects, and using restoration of natural capital as an economic opportunity. Throughout, contributors make the case that the restoration of natural capital requires close collaboration among scientists from across disciplines as well as local people, and when successfully executed represents a practical, realistic, and essential tool for achieving lasting sustainable development.
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About the author

James Aronson is a full-time researcher, and for over 20 years has been involved with research and development programs aimed at restoring and rehabilitating degraded ecosystems in the Mediterranean region, South America, Africa, and elsewhere. Since 1992, he has been a researcher with the Center for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CNRS) in Montpellier, France, where he serves as Head of the Restoration Ecology Group. He is also Curator of Restoration Ecology at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri. Suzanne J. Milton is a part-time professor of conservation ecology at the University of Stellenbosch–South Africa and a part-time ecological consultantspecializing in assessment and restoration of arid rangelands. James N. Blignaut is professor in economics at the University of Pretoria and director of Beatus and Jabenzi, two private companies considering the economy/ecology interface with development.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Island Press
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Published on
Sep 26, 2012
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781597267793
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Ecology
Nature / General
Political Science / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Over the past century, humans have molded the Colorado River to serve their own needs, resulting in significant impacts to the river and its ecosystems. Today, many scientists, public officials, and citizens hope to restore some of the lost resources in portions of the river and its surrounding lands. Environmental restoration on the scale of the Colorado River basin is immensely challenging; in addition to an almost overwhelming array of technical difficulties, it is fraught with perplexing questions about the appropriate goals of restoration and the extent to which environmental restoration must be balanced against environmental changes designed to promote and sustain human economic development. Restoring Colorado River Ecosystems explores the many questions and challenges surrounding the issue of large-scale restoration of the Colorado River basin, and of large-scale restoration in general. Robert W. Adler evaluates the relationships among the laws, policies, and institutions governing use and management of the Colorado River for human benefit and those designed to protect and restore the river and its environment. He examines and critiques the often challenging interactions among law, science, economics, and politics within which restoration efforts must operate. Ultimately, he suggests that a broad concept of “restoration” is needed to navigate those uncertain waters, and to strike an appropriate balance between human and environmental needs. While the book is primarily about restoration of Colorado River ecosystems, it is also about uncertainty, conflict, competing values, and the nature, pace, and implications of environmental change. It is about our place in the natural environment, and whether there are limits to that presence we ought to respect. And it is about our responsibility to the ecosystems we live in and use.
The field of ecological restoration is a rapidly growing discipline that encompasses a wide range of activities and brings together practitioners and theoreticians from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, ranging from volunteer backyard restorationists to highly trained academic scientists and professional consultants.

Ecological Restoration offers for the first time a unified vision of ecological restoration as a field of study, one that clearly states the discipline’s precepts and emphasizes issues of importance to those involved at all levels. In a lively, personal fashion, the authors discuss scientific and practical aspects of the field as well as the human needs and values that motivate practitioners. The book:

-identifies fundamental concepts upon which restoration is based
-considers the principles of restoration practice
-explores the diverse values that are fulfilled with the restoration of ecosystems
-reviews the structure of restoration practice, including the various contexts for restoration work, the professional development of its practitioners, and the relationships of restoration with allied fields and activities

A unique feature of the book is the inclusion of eight “virtual field trips,” short photo essays of project sites around the world that illustrate various points made in the book and are “led” by those who were intimately involved with the project described.

Throughout, ecological restoration is conceived as a holistic endeavor, one that addresses issues of ecological degradation, biodiversity loss, and sustainability science simultaneously, and draws upon cultural resources and local skills and knowledge in restoration work.
Dryland degradation and desertification now affect almost a billion people around the world. Tragically, the biological resources and productivity of millions of acres of land are lost to desertification each year because people remain unaware of strategies and techniques that could improve yields, reduce risk, and begin healing the world's deserts. A Guide for Desert and Dryland Restoration is the first book to offer practical, field-tested solutions to this critical problem.

Author David Bainbridge has spent more than 25 years actively involved in restoring lands across the American Southwest. A Guide for Desert and Dryland Restoration presents the results of his years of fieldwork, as well as research and experience from scientists and practitioners around the globe.

The book discusses the ecology of desert plants, explores the causes of desertification and land abuse, and outlines the processes and procedures needed to evaluate, plan, implement, and monitor desert restoration projects. It sets forth economical and practical field-tested solutions for understanding site characteristics, selecting and growing plants, and ensuring that they survive with a minimal amount of water and care. Each chapter represents a guide to a critical topic for environmental restoration; extensive photographs, diagrams and drawings give detailed information for immediate application, and additional resources are included in appendixes.

A Guide for Desert and Dryland Restoration is the first comprehensive book focused on restoring arid regions, and clearly demonstrates that arid lands can be successfully rehabilitated. In addition to restorationists, the book will be an invaluable resource for anyone working in arid lands, including farmers, ranchers, gardeners, landscapers, outdoor recreation professionals, and activists.

The practice of ecological restoration, firmly grounded in the science of restoration ecology, provides governments, organizations, and landowners a means to halt degradation and restore function and resilience to ecosystems stressed by climate change and other pressures on the natural world. Foundational theory is a critical componof the underlying science, providing valuable insights into restoring ecological systems effectively and understanding why some efforts to restore systems can fail. In turn, on-the-ground restoration projects can help to guide and refine theory, advancing the field and providing new ideas and innovations for practical application.

This new edition of Foundations of Restoration Ecology provides the latest emerging theories and ideas in the science of restoration ecology. Fully one-third longer than the first edition and comprehensive in scope, it has been dramatically updated to reflect new research. Included are new sections devoted to concepts critical to all restoration projects as well as restoration of specific ecosystem processes, including hydrology, nutridynamics, and carbon. Also new to this edition are case studies that describe real-life restoration scenarios in North and South America, Europe, and Australia. They highlight supporting theory for restoration application and other details important for assessing the degree of success of restoration projects in a variety of contexts. Lists at the end of each chapter summarize new theory introduced in that chapter and its practical application.

Written by acclaimed researchers in the field, this book provides practitioners as well as graduate and undergraduate students with a solid grounding in the newest advances in ecological science and theory.
Enlarged, enhanced and internationalized edition of the first restoration ecology textbook to be published, with foreword by Dr. Steven Whisnant of Texas A&M University and Chair of the Society of Ecological Restoration.

Since 2006, when the first edition of this book appeared, major advances have taken place in restoration science and in the practice of ecological restoration. Both are now accepted as key components of the increasingly urgent search for sustainability at global, national, and community levels – hence the phrase 'New Frontier' in the title. While the first edition focused on ecosystems and landscapes in Europe, this new edition covers biomes and contexts all over the world. Several new chapters deal with broad issues such as biological invasions, climate change, and agricultural land abandonment as they relate to restoration science and ecological restoration. Case studies are included from Australia, North America, and the tropics.

This is an accessible textbook for senior undergraduate and graduate level students, and early career scientists. The book also provides a solid scientific background for managers, volunteers, and mid-career professionals involved in the practice of ecological restoration.

Review of the first edition:

"I suspect that this volume will find its way onto the shelves of many restoration researchers and practitioners and will be used as a key text in graduate courses, where it will help fill a large void. My own copy is already heavily bookmarked, and will be a constant source of research ideas and lecture material." (Environmental Conservation)

Companion Website:

A companion website with downloadable figures is available at www.wiley.com/go/vanandel/restorationecology

ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

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