Restoring Hope: Building capacity for ecological restoration of protected areas

This workshop focuses on sharing knowledge and developing recommendations for building global capacity for ecological restoration in and around protected areas. Ecological restoration is an important management approach that offers hope that action can be taken, not only to repair ecological damage, but to renew economic opportunities, rejuvenate traditional cultural practices, and enhance ecological and social resilience to global and local changes. It is an increasingly important aspect of protected areas management. At the same time, ecological restoration for protected areas is a challenging and complex process that involves decisions and resources to manipulate features of some of our most valued ecosystems intentionally.

The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Parks Canada, the Society for Ecological Restoration, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and numerous other partners have recently produced best practice guidance to help protected area managers and their partners and stakeholders plan and implement ecological restoration projects in and around protected areas such that they achieve positive ecological, social, cultural, and economic outcomes.

This workshop will provide an overview of the new best practice guidance. Its focus, however, will be on identifying 1) capacity needs for enabling implementation of actions to restore natural and associated values of protected areas; and 2) tools, strategies, and approaches for filling those needs. Short presentations on topics such as innovative training and financing opportunities will be followed by an interactive session that will engage participants in sharing their experiences, ideas, and recommendations about capacity needs and capacity development opportunities across all IUCN regions. Participants will also be invited to consider a related motion to the IUCN World Conservation Congress and to make real commitments to collaborative action going forward.

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