The importance of human-centered ecological restoration
BY JESSICA WALLACH
The launch of the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) will direct a lot of attention to the biophysical sciences. A new special issue of the journal Ecological Restoration highlights the need for more focus on human considerations: Equity, inclusion, and justice. The issue— guest-edited by Ruth Meinzen-Dick of IFPRI, Marlène Elias of the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, and Deepa Joshi of the International Water Management Institute—poses the question: Ecological restoration, by whom and for whom?
The Earth’s ecological resilience is inextricably linked to the well-being of its people. Thus, social inclusion must be at the heart of the ecological restoration agenda, not on the periphery or as an add-on. For researchers, policymakers, and non-governmental organizations, this means striving for balance between the biophysical and social sciences, breaking down siloes between fields of science, and pursuing interdisciplinary research.
Photo credit: Georgina Smith/CIAT