Background & Challenge

Ecologial restoration, definition & programme issues

The Society for Ecological Restoration defines ecological restoration as “the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed.” 

The main goal of the ecological restoration is to sustain biodiversity in places which were particularly degraded by human activities. It allows fixing the concerned ecosystems and restoring a balanced relationship between nature and culture. 

However, even if these actions are done with goodwill, we have to be aware of certain risks and problems. Restoring continuities is very actual (http://www.reseau-rever.org). For example, rivers continuity is most of the time shown as a benefit because it allows better conditions for migratory fish species. But, what about threats to native species by invasive exotic species like the protected White-clawed Crayfish that could be threatened by Louisiana crayfish in Brittany or Normandy rivers?

Moreover, we can ask if ecological restoration is really considered as a conservation of the ecosystems as they were before degradations or mainly as an opportunity to change the ecosystems to something we have decided to have...

In regards with the last session of the Intensive Program in Rennes - dam of Vezins, it is finally interesting to think about dam removals: can we really estimate all the possible effects of a dam removal on the ecosystem? Are they all beneficial in terms of biodiversity? Can they create unexpected environmental problems, other than anthropogenic problems?...

Face up to all these different aspects of the ecological restoration by joining the program!