Wednesday 26 July 2017

100 priority questions for landscape restoration in Europe

How can biodiversity and ecosystem processes be restored to degraded landscapes across Europe at a time when there are profound changes of many kinds, from climate change to social and economic upheavals? Please send your questions by 10 August 2017 - read guidance below first. Thanks!

Academics, practioners and policy analyists are repeating a research-agenda-setting exercise to identify the 100 priority research questions, that will help shape research to inform policy and action over the next decade.

Restoring biodiversity and ecosystem processes to degraded areas is recognised as an important part of conservation strategies. The Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan aims to restore 15% of degraded land by 2020 (Aichi Target 15), a goal reflected in the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy (Target 2). Recent reviews have identified habitat fragmentation as a major cause of biodiversity loss in Europe, and recommended landscape-level approaches, based on creation of ecological networks, to help halt and reverse biodiversity decline.

Through this exercise the aim is to identify the questions which, if answered, would make the most difference to the restoration of European landscapes. Questions should be relevant to European landscape restoration, and may relate to areas including, but not limited to: policy, culture, economics, equity, sustainable development, governance, planning, connectivity, reintroductions, climate change and resilience, ecosystem services, or habitat management.

Links to the output of the previous exercises carried out in 2006 are here and in 2008 here 

Framing your questions - guidance
Please send your questions to me at with "Landscape Questions" in the subject header. Please provide your full name, any affiliation and phone number.

In order to be a contender for the final list, it is important that questions satisfy a number of criteria. Please ensure that questions:

·         Are answerable through a realistic research design.
·         Have a factual answer that does not depend on value judgments.
·         Address important gaps in knowledge.
·         Are at an appropriate spatial and temporal scale and scope
o   Not too general: i.e. a research programme could make progress towards answering each question. Questions such as ‘How could we improve forest restoration in Europe?’ are too general.
o   Not too limited in scope: i.e. answering a question should have a significant impact on the effectiveness of landscape restoration. For example, questions about the specific ecology of a single species in a particular place might not have enough wider significance.
·         Fall within the scope of the exercise
·         If related to impacts and interventions, contain a subject, an intervention, and a measurable outcome.

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