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ReNo Restoration of damaged ecosystems in the Nordic countries TemaNord 2012:558 The ReNo network has consolidated knowledge on ecologi-cal restoration work in the Nordic region and facilitated exchange of this knowledge within and between the Nordic countries. Scientific papers, reports on the status of resto-ration, guidebooks on restoration, and analyses of ecologi-cal restoration in the area have been published as a result of the network. Ecosystem degradation is a problem in all the Nordic countries, but varies in nature, severity and scale between the countries. In order to counteract present and past ecological degradation, all the Nordic countries emphasise ecological restoration, but to various degrees. Ecological restoration has the potential to make a critical contribution for the benefit of the global environment and human living conditions. The ReNo network recommends that this important activity should be prioritized in Nordic environmental policy.
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TemaNord 2012:558
ISBN 978-92-893-2441-0
ReNo
Restoration of damaged ecosystems in the Nordic countries
TemaNord 2012:558
The ReNo network has consolidated knowledge on ecologi-
cal restoration work in the Nordic region and facilitated
exchange of this knowledge within and between the Nordic
countries. Scientific papers, reports on the status of resto-
ration, guidebooks on restoration, and analyses of ecologi-
cal restoration in the area have been published as a result
of the network. Ecosystem degradation is a problem in
all the Nordic countries, but varies in nature, severity and
scale between the countries. In order to counteract present
and past ecological degradation, all the Nordic countries
emphasise ecological restoration, but to various degrees.
Ecological restoration has the potential to make a critical
contribution for the benefit of the global environment and
human living conditions. The ReNo network recommends
that this important activity should be prioritized in Nordic
environmental policy.
Ved Stranden 18
DK-1061 Copenhagen K
www.norden.org
ReNo
Restoration of damaged ecosystems in the Nordic countries
TN2012558 Omslag-jk.indd 1 07-11-2012 14:06:02
ReNo
Restoration of damaged ecosystems
in the Nordic countries
Guðmundur Halldórsson, Ása L. Aradóttir, Anna Maria Fosaa,
Dagmar Hagen, Christer Nilsson, Karsten Raulund-Rasmussen,
Astrid Brekke Skrindo, Kristín Svavarsdóttir and Anne Tolvanen
TemaNord 2012:558
ReNo
Restoration of damaged ecosystems in the Nordic countries
Guðmundur Halldórsson, Ása L. Aradóttir, Anna Maria Fosaa, Dagmar Hagen, Christer Nilsson,
Karsten Raulund-Rasmussen, Astrid Brekke Skrindo, Kristín Svavarsdóttir and Anne Tolvanen
ISBN 978-92-893-2441-0
http://dx.doi.org/10.6027/TN2012-558
TemaNord 2012:558
© Nordic Council of Ministers 2012
Layout: NMR
Cover photo: Andrés Arnalds; Hreinn Óskarsson; Dagmar Hagen
Print: Rosendahls-Schultz Grafisk
Copies: 130
Printed in Denmark
This publication has been published with financial support by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views, policies or rec-
ommendations of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
www.norden.org/en/publications
Nordic co-operation
Nordic co-operation is one of the world’s most extensive forms of regional collaboration, involving
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland.
Nordic co-operation has firm traditions in politics, the economy, and culture. It plays an
important role in European and international collaboration, and aims at creating a strong
Nordic community in a strong Europe.
Nordic co-operation seeks to safeguard Nordic and regional interests and principles in the
global community. Common Nordic values help the region solidify its position as one of the
world’s most innovative and competitive.
Nordic Council of Ministers
Ved Stranden 18
DK-1061 Copenhagen K
Phone (+45) 3396 0200
www.norden.org
Content
Acknowledgements ....................................................................................................................... 7
1. Summary and conclusions ................................................................................................... 9
2. Project overview .................................................................................................................. 11
2.1 Nordic forum on ecological restoration .......................................................... 11
2.2 Assessment of ecological restoration activities ........................................... 12
2.3 Dissemination .......................................................................................................... 13
3. Ecological restoration in the Nordic countries .......................................................... 15
4. Synthesis from the conference Restoring the North .................................................... 23
5. Best practice guidance ....................................................................................................... 39
6. Perspectives in ecological restoration in the Nordic countries ........................... 43
7. Enhancing ecological restoration ................................................................................... 45
References ...................................................................................................................................... 49
Sammendrag og konklusioner ................................................................................................ 59
Appendix 1. Participants in the ReNo network ................................................................ 61
Appendix 2. Publications from, or in conjunction with, the ReNo network ........... 63
Acknowledgements
The ReNo network was financed by the following three funding schemes
of the Nordic Council of Ministers: The Program for Icelandic Presidency
in NCM in 2009, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Group (TEG), and the Nordic
strategy for sustainable development. Co-funding was supplied by the
individual participating institutions.
The ReNo group wishes to express gratitude to the many people who
have contributed to the network. This includes the personnel of the partici-
pating institutions, as well as institutions, non-governmental organizations
and individuals that contributed to the national assessment reports, and
participated in workshops and other activities of the ReNo network.
1. Summary and conclusions
The present book contains the result of the Nordic network ReNo Restora-
tion of Damaged Ecosystems in the Nordic Countries, which was launched in
2009 as a theme project of the Nordic Council of Ministers, appointed by the
Icelandic Ministry for the Environment. All the Nordic countries and the
associated territory of Faroe Islands participated in the network.
Twelve Nordic institutions were directly involved in the ReNo network,
representing the scientific community, public and private organisations and
NGO’s working with ecological restoration. The primary tasks of the net-
work were to assess and evaluate ecological restoration activities in the
Nordic countries and consolidate information on ecological restoration in
the region. The network held an international conference, Restoring the
North, in 2011 on ecological restoration in northern regions.
Over 30 publications were produced by the ReNo network or in con-
junction with the network, including reports on the status of restoration
in the Nordic countries, guidebooks on restoration, and selected contribu-
tions from the Restoring the North conference. Results from the network
were also presented at workshops, seminars and short courses held by or
in conjunction with the ReNo network, at the SER conference in Mexico
2011 and in various media. In addition, members of the ReNo network
collaborated with the Ecological Restoration Task Force IUCN-WCPA on
Best Practice Guidelines for Ecological Restoration in Protected Areas.
The ReNo network has reviewed the extensive work on ecological res-
toration in the Nordic countries and recommends that this important
activity should be more firmly anchored in Nordic environmental policy.
The following subjects were identified as keys for enhancing ecological
restoration in the Nordic countries:
10 ReNo
Secure a strong Nordic commitment to the Aichi targets of restoring
15% of damaged ecosystems by 2020
Advocate a long-term ecological restoration policy, both on national
and Nordic levels, and improve the legal framework for ecological
restoration in the Nordic countries
Enhance Nordic cooperation on ecological restoration, within the
Nordic region as well as in the EU and other international contexts
Make evaluation of ecological restoration projects mandatory, improve
methods, and advocate the use of adaptive management practices for
improving project implementation and management
Advocate development of guidelines for ecological restoration in the
Nordic countries. Such guidelines are important for securing proper
planning, implementation and follow-up of restoration projects
Invest in human resources, through education and other outreach
activities related to ecological restoration, with a primary focus on
actors in ecological restoration
Advocate public participation in ecological restoration and identify
ways to increase public participation in restoration
Ecological restoration has the potential to make a critical contribution for
the benefit of the global environment, including fighting biodiversity loss;
mitigating climate change; increasing resilience to environmental hazards;
and improving general human living conditions. The ReNo network has
consolidated knowledge on ecological restoration work in the Nordic region
and facilitated exchange of this knowledge within and between the Nordic
countries. It is the hope of the ReNo network group that this and other ac-
complishments of the network will benefit ecological restoration and en-
vironmental policy in the Nordic countries and strengthen Nordic influence
on environmental policy in the EU and other international contexts.
2. Project overview
The aims of the ReNo network were to: (a) enhance knowledge and pro-
fessional skills in ecosystem restoration in the Nordic countries, (b) in-
crease awareness of the importance and the potential of ecosystem resto-
ration for environmental quality and nature conservation, (c) develop
multidisciplinary paradigms for ecosystem restoration in order to in-
crease the effectiveness of restoration projects, (d) identify potential
knowledge gaps and, if needed, design new research programmes and (e)
provide recommendations for improved policy instruments. These aims
were approached through the following steps:
Creation of a Nordic forum for ecological restoration
Assessment and evaluation of ecological restoration activities in the
Nordic countries
Consolidation of experiences from restoration of damaged ecosystems
in northern regions
Dissemination of results from the network where knowledge gaps and
inadequate policy instruments are identified and current paradigms and
guidelines for ecological restoration in the Nordic countries are reviewed
2.1 Nordic forum on ecological restoration
The creation of a Nordic forum on ecological restoration was consid-
ered to be an important step for enhancing restoration in the Nordic
countries; no such forum has previously existed. This has enhanced the
flow of information about valuable experiences and findings between
and within countries. Information gathered by the ReNo network
showed that different countries specialize to some extent in different
types of restoration activities (Hagen et al. in review). This has co n-
tributed to the establishment of several centres of excellence in ecolo g-
12 ReNo
ical restoration in the region. Facilitation of information exchange be-
tween these centres within the Nordic region may be expected to ben e-
fit restoration work in the region and strengthen the Nordic influence
in ecological restoration and environmental policy in the EU and other
international contexts.
Twelve Nordic institutions were directly involved in the ReNo net-
work. In addition several institutions participated in national networks,
which have gathered information on ecological restoration in different
countries. The participating institutions represented the scientific com-
munity, public organisations working with ecological restoration, public
organisations working with protection of the environment, energy com-
panies, road administrations and NGOs. The ReNo network consisted of
24 individuals from each country representing: (1) science, (2) policy
and administration and (3) practitioners. A list of participating institu-
tions and network participants is given in Appendix 1.
2.2 Assessment of ecological restoration activities
The primary task of the ReNo network was to assess and evaluate ecological
restoration activities in the Nordic countries. Within the partaking countries,
national networks were established for gathering information on restoration
projects and research on ecological restoration. These networks have con-
ducted several workshops attended by governmental and scientific institu-
tions, energy companies, public road administration and NGO´s. Three of the
countries, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, have compiled and
published national assessments of restoration activities in their countries
(Hagen & Skrindo 2010a, Aradóttir and Halldórsson 2011, Fosaa & Simonsen
2011), while in Denmark, Finland and Sweden information about most resto-
ration projects has already been published as part of final reports to the EU-
LIFE Nature programme and other funding agencies as well as in other publi-
cations (Nilsson 2007, Degerman 2008). Therefore, analysis of these projects
was deemed to be of additional value for the network. Analyses of EU-LIFE
Nature ecological restoration projects have been conducted in Denmark
(Morsing et al. submitted) and Sweden (Johansson 2011) and Finland has
produced guidebooks of forest restoration (Similä and Junninen 2011, Similä
ReNo 13
and Junninen 2012), and peatland restoration (Aapala 2012) in conjunction
with the ReNo network.
2.3 Dissemination
Over 30 publications have been produced either by the ReNo network or
in conjunction with it. A list of these publications is in Appendix 2. This
includes the above-mentioned reports on the status of restoration in the
Nordic countries; guidebooks of restoration; MS theses; book of abstracts
from the conference Restoring the North; and a special feature of the
journal Ecology & Society with selected contributions from the conference
is underway and the first papers will be published in 2012. The reports on
the status of restoration in the Nordic countries contain descriptions of
more than 100 individual ecological restoration projects, including resto-
ration of specific animal populations, restoration of freshwater ecosys-
tems, wetlands, heathlands, forest ecosystems, etc. This information, to-
gether with other information gathered by the network, was used to ana-
lyse ecological restoration work across the Nordic countries (Hagen et al.
in review). Furthermore, drivers in ecological restoration projects were
analysed, using Iceland as a case study (Aradóttir et al. to be submitted).
Members of the ReNo network arranged and contributed to various ac-
tivities, disseminating results from the network. These included:
Collaboration with Ecological Restoration Task Force IUCN-WCPA on Best
Practice Guidelines for Ecological Restoration in Protected Areas. This
work was confirmed as a key deliverable under the CBD’s Programme of
Work on Protected Areas at the 2010 Nagoya, Japan Conference of Parties.
The IUCN has committed to publish guidelines in 2012
A workshop on the status of ecological restoration in the Nordic
countries, held at Hotel Glymur in West Iceland, August 1719, 2010
A seminar on restoration ecology held at NINA on the 23rd of
September 2010. The aim of the seminar was to establish a network
and contacts between scientists and students working with restoration
ecology in alpine/arctic environments
14 ReNo
A poster presentation of the ReNo network at the 4th SER International
World Conference on Ecological Restoration held in Mérida, Yucatán,
México, August 2125, 2011
The PhD course “Perspectives on Ecological Restoration” which was
held during 2728 January and 1718 February 2011 at the
Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University
A restoration ecology course at the University of Oulu, MarchMay 2011
Survey of peatland restoration sites in Finland conducted during the
summer of 2011
Initiation of a multidisciplinary peatland strategy project of Northern
Ostrobothnia in Finland in 2011
International conference: Restoring the North, on restoration of
damaged ecosystems in northern regions, held in Selfoss, Iceland, 20
22 October, 2011
A poster presentation of results from the ReNo network at the 8th
European Conference on Ecological Restoration, September 914,
2012, České Budĕjovice, Czech Republic
Presentations at national conferences and other forums within
participating countries
Other media were also used to disseminate results from the network and
enhance general interest in ecological restoration, including the home
page of the network (http://www.reno.is), home pages of participating
institutes, interviews in newspapers and radio and presentations at vari-
ous forums.
3. Ecological restoration in the
Nordic countries
Extensive human induced ecosystem degradation, primarily over the past
50 years, has resulted in degradation of important ecosystem services and a
substantial loss in the diversity of life on Earth (MEA 2005). This has serious
sociological and economic consequences, including augmentation of global
climate change and a negative impact on food security and important eco-
system services, such as hydrology, fertility, and resilience against natural
disasters (MEA 2005). Global conservation efforts have not managed to stop
this development and biodiversity continues to decline at an accelerating
rate (Butchart et al. 2010).
Figure 1
Ecosystem degradation severely reduces ecosystem resilienc e to natural hazards. Here, degraded
areas in South Iceland covered with volcanic ash from the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull in 2010.
Photo: Hreinn Óskarsson.
16 ReNo
Ecosystem degradation is a pronounced problem in all the Nordic coun-
tries, but varies in nature, severity and scale between the countries and
geo-regions. In many cases native ecosystems have been overexploited,
disturbed and even destroyed, disrupting the cycles of energy, nutrients
and water, and damaging biodiversity and ecosystem services. This in-
cludes decimation of natural forest ecosystems, drainage of wetlands,
channelization of streams and rivers for timber floating, fragmentation of
alpine areas and damage to heathland ecosystems by heavy grazing
(Eggertsson et al. 2008, http://dnweb12.dirnat.no/inon/, Halldórsson et
al. 2011, Hagen et al. in review). Efforts to reverse this development have
often involved use of exotic species, which has further reduced the natural
habitats of many species of flora and fauna (Elmarsdottir & Magnusson
2007, Fjellberg et al. 2007, Elmarsdottir et al. 2008).
Forestry and agriculture have for a long time, exerted the major land-
use pressure on ecosystems in the Nordic region. The natural forests of
Fennoscandia have been influenced by human impact during the last
5,000 years, primarily by cutting for timber, fuel and other wood prod-
ucts, grazing, and forest clearing for agricultural purposes such as crea-
tion of fields and pastures for grazing. This led to large scale clearing of
natural forests, primarily in Denmark, South Sweden and West Norway
(Eggertsson et al. 2008).
ReNo 17
Figure 2
Example of a concrete wall in the Vindel River, built to concentrate river flow and floating timber
into a single channel. Walls like this have left large areas of river channels dry and reduced riparian
primary production as well as fish migration and spawning. Photo: Christer Nilsson.
Following and concurrent to forest clearance, ecosystem degradation and
soil erosion started. In Denmark the first signs of soil erosion date back to
500 BC (Rasmussen & Bradshaw 2005). Similar processes occurred fol-
lowing human settlement in the Faroe Islands and Iceland, which initiated
a dramatic ecosystem degradation and soil erosion, especially in Iceland
(Johansen 1989, Arnalds et al. 2001, Simpson et al. 2001, Crofts 2011).
In order to counteract present and past ecological degradation, all the
Nordic countries emphasize ecological restoration to some degree (Hagen
et al. in review). Ecological restoration is also recognised to be of high sig-
nificance in combating degradation of ecosystems and biological diversity
on a global scale (MEA 2005, CBD 2011). The aim of ecological restoration is
to initiate and accelerate natural processes and restore functions and
services of damaged ecosystems (SER 2004). This concerns biophysical
systems, as well as inter-linkages between ecosystems and human societies
(Mansourian et al. 2005, Falk et al. 2006, Raven 2007, Petursdottir &
Aradottir 2008).
In this context it is important to realise that changes in land use, including
increased urbanization, call for new approaches and solutions for restoring
18 ReNo
and conserving natural capital for human welfare, water protection, and other
ecosystem services. Research shows the importance of public access to
natural systems for human welfare and health (Sveinsdottir et al. 2008). Eco-
logical restoration needs to be considered in context, with public access and
human welfare included together with a range of ecosystem services.
The scale of restoration activities and prioritization of such activities is
quite different between the Nordic countries. Restoration activities in the
region are summarized in Hagen et al. (in review) and divided into five major
classes by habitat, i.e., restoration of natural forests, wetlands/peatlands,
freshwater systems, heathlands/natural grasslands and cultural landscapes.
Figure 3
Reopened piped river in Oslo. Urban projects often take place in small areas and in close relation
to other types of land use and a number of stakeholder groups. Photo: Dagmar Hagen.
Restoration in Denmark concerns mostly conversion to a more “nature
friendly” management practice rather than strict ecological restoration
(Larsen & Raulund-Rasmussen, in manuscript). Restoration activities are
mainly related to abandoned agricultural land and restoration of wetlands
(Hagen et al. in review). The currently largest restoration project is the
restoration of the Skjern River (Pedersen et al. 2007). Restoration is most-
ly on public land, with costs paid by the state, EU funds and private funds.
ReNo 19
Ecological restoration in the Faroe Islands is on a small scale and is re-
stricted to some minor wetland projects. However, in connection with land
use projects such as hydropower exploitation, environmental impact as-
sessment is required, and these assessments provide information on areas
that can be useful in future restoration projects. The current largest restora-
tion project is the restoration of the wetland Holmin a Eidi (Fosaa & Simon-
sen 2011). Restoration costs are mostly paid by public institutions.
In Finland the highest priorities are on restoration of natural forests and
peatlands. More than 150 km2 of forests and 180 km2 of peatlands have been
restored so far (Virnes 2011). The largest restoration project is currently
Boreal Peatland Life, which aims at restoring nearly 43 km2 of various kinds
of peatlands. Most activities are on state owned land. The costs are paid by a
mixture of national and EU funds (Hagen et al. in review).
Revegetation of eroded land is prioritized in Iceland, along with restora-
tion of natural woodlands and wetlands. More than 1,500 km2 of heath-
land/grassland and 200 km2 of native birch woodlands have been restored
so far. The largest ecological restoration project is currently the Heklus-
kogar project, which aims at restoring native woodland on ca. 900 km2 of
eroded land near the volcano Mt Hekla. Costs are mostly paid by the state,
but energy companies, road authorities and landowners are responsible for
an increasing number of projects (Halldórsson et al. 2011).
20 ReNo
Figure 4
Storm simulation in a Finnish forest by pulling down trees with a caterpillar to increase coarse
woody debris and open microhabitats for seedling germination. Photo: Anne Tolvanen.
In Norway the highest priority is on restoration of the cultural landscape,
freshwater systems and heathland/natural grassland, but the Norwegian
Directorate for Nature Management recently presented a national plan for
restoration of wetlands. The currently largest ecological restoration pro-
ject in Norway is HjerkinnPRO, the restoration of a former military train-
ing area (165 km2) in the alpine zone. Costs are mostly paid by the state
(Hagen et al. in review).
In Sweden the highest priority is on restoration of freshwater systems
and wetlands. The currently largest restoration project is GRACE Graz-
ing and restoration of archipelago and coastal environments. Costs are
covered by a mixture of EU, national and private funding (http://
www.lansstyrelsen.se).
In general, forestry and agriculture are regarded as the most important
land-use pressures on ecosystems in the Nordic region. Other major land-
use pressures are: human induced grazing, tourism/outdoor activities,
construction of infrastructure/urbanization, pollution and use of non-
native species. However, land-use pressures are different among the coun-
tries. Overgrazing is considered to be the most important factor in Iceland
ReNo 21
and the Faroe Islands; forestry in Finland and Sweden; forestry, agricul-
ture and non-native species in Denmark, and in Norway forestry, lack of
human induced grazing pressure on cultural habitats and construction of
infrastructure/urbanisation (Hagen et al. in review).
Figure 5
Restoration in lichen woodland, Norway. Organic mats used for erosion control and to support
early establishment following severe disturbance. The site is used for military training with heavy
vehicles. Photo: Dagmar Hagen.
4. Synthesis from the
conference Restoring the
North
There is a common need in all the Nordic countries for building and utiliz-
ing knowledge in restoration ecology to face current land-use challenges
and threats to biodiversity. An essential part of this work was to assemble
a review of ecological restoration in this region (Hagen et al. 2011). For
that purpose the ReNo network held an international conference on resto-
ration of damaged ecosystems in northern regions at Selfoss, Iceland, 20
22 October 2011. A total of 79 participants from eight countries attended
the conference; scientists, students and representatives from institutions
responsible for ecosystem restoration and nature protections. At the con-
ference, 25 oral and 25 poster contributions were presented in the follow-
ing six sessions:
Restoration in the north challenges and opportunities
Setting objectives and evaluating success in restoration
Legislation, policy and implementation of restoration
The role of theory in restoring ecosystem structure and function
Poster session, addressing the same issues as the oral sessions
Achievements and future of ReNo
The first session was opened by a historical overview of restoration re-
search in arctic and sub-arctic regions from the 1960s to the present
(Forbes 2011). In general, restoration in the area is faced with increasing
human impacts; lack of controlled long-term studies; diminishing sources
of local/regional plant material; invasive plants and climate change. How-
ever, climate change may facilitate ecosystem restoration, and advanced
mitigation efforts and more stringent environmental regulations in the
24 ReNo
Russian Arctic give hope for new opportunities in ecological restoration in
the region. The opening presentation was followed by presentations
showing the range of challenges and opportunities in restoration in the
Nordic regions.
Peatlands in Finland have been extensively drained and forests are af-
fected by silvicultural practices. To counteract this, more than 150 km2 of
forests and 180 km2 of drained peatlands have been restored (Virnes
2011). Planning, implementation and monitoring of such restoration ac-
tivities is conducted through a specific framework which secures constant
feedback between the different stages and continuous improvement of the
restoration methods (Virnes 2011). Monitoring of peatland restoration is
carried out on all restored sites to detect the need for corrective actions
and to solve possible problems as early as possible (Similä et al. 2011a).
Monitoring of forest restoration is conducted through a network which
includes 24 nature conservation areas with a total of 150 permanent plots
(Similä et al. 2011b).
Wetlands in Iceland have also been extensively drained and wetland
protection and restoration is one of the policy priorities of the Icelandic
Ministry for the Environment. In spite of this, wetland restoration in the
country is at an early stage. Some small lakes have been restored includ-
ing Kolviðarnesvatn in West Iceland, where the success of the restoration
has been studied (Magnúsdóttir et al. 2011). Part of the wetlands to the
east of the river Ölfusá in South Iceland have been restored, the area is
one of Iceland’s most important wetland areas for birdlife and hosts sev-
eral rare plant species (Sigurðardóttir 2011).
ReNo 25
Figure 6
Restored wetland in Mývatnssveit, North Iceland. Photo: Ása L. Aradóttir.
Drainage of wetlands has caused a significant increase in Iceland´s GHG
emission. That could be counteracted by restoration of wetlands and
therefore it is important to develop methods for verifying the success of
restoration in reducing GHG emission from drained wetlands (Óskarsson
& Ólafsdóttir 2011). Restoration of wetlands is the only significant resto-
ration activity conducted in the Faroe Islands (Hansen & Fosaa 2011).
Ecological restoration of stream water is important in the Nordic
countries. Rivers and small streams have been dammed, channelized for
floating timber, harnessed for hydropower production and disturbed by
other activities. This can affect the resilience of riparian ecosystems to a
changing environment. Global warming can be expected to affect freezing
and thawing processes in streams in cold regions, which may be harmful
for species diversity in the riparian zone. In North Sweden the
relationship between channel topography and destructive ice formation
has been studied and recommendations prepared for proactive
restoration methods to sustain the biodiversity that is typical for boreal
streams (Lind & Nilsson 2011). The possibility of using restoration to
increase the resilience of riparian zones to climate change has also been
studied (Kuglerová & Jansson 2011).
26 ReNo
Figure 7
Skjern River in Jutland, Denmark, after restoration. Restoration of the river is hitherto the largest
ecological restoration project in Denmark. Photo: Karsten Raulund-Rasmussen.
Furthermore, a Swedish study showed that riparian vegetation generally
benefitted from dam removal whereas benthic invertebrates seemed to be
negatively affected (Renöfält 2011). An Icelandic study showed that
salmon populations can be restored by securing minimum flow in a
dammed river system and stocking the river with salmon juveniles
(Antonson & Árnason 2011).
Native forests and woodlands throughout the Nordic region have been
heavily affected by human activities. Icelandic birch woodlands have been
decimated through the history of human settlement that has seriously re-
duced the resilience of Icelandic ecosystems to natural disasters, such as
fallout of volcanic ash. A large scale restoration project of native birch
woodlands Hekluskogar has been initiated with the aim of restoring 900
km2 of woodlands on eroded areas in the vicinity of the volcano Mt Hekla
(Óskarsson et al. 2011). Degradation of soil biota has been shown to have a
negative effect on the survival of tree seedlings and is one of the obstacles to
restoration of woodland on eroded land (Oddsdóttir et al. 2011). An in-
crease in volcanism in Iceland calls for strategic efforts to restore ecosys-
tems in the active volcanic zone of the country (Ágústsdóttir et al. 2011a).
Restoration projects that affect the inhabitants in large areas benefit from
ReNo 27
participatory approaches which include landowners and other stakeholders
in the process of planning and implementation (Berglund et al. 2011).
Several studies on restoration of heathland and alpine environment
were presented at the conference. In Norway a study on short term vege-
tation recovery after transplantation in an alpine environment showed
that grasses were more tolerant to transplantation than woody plants
(Rosef & Pedersen 2011). Similarly, an Icelandic study on turf transplanta-
tion showed that dwarf shrubs are more susceptible to the size of trans-
planted turfs than grasses (Aradóttir 2011).
Figure 8
Transplanted turf used to restore natural vegetation after construction work in Hellisheiði, Ice-
land. Photo: Ása L. Aradóttir.
28 ReNo
Figure 9
Willow communities on sand dunes south of Mt Hekla, Iceland. The area was revegetated with Lyme
grass, which is still visible, but now willows have colonized the dunes. Photo: Ása L. Aradóttir.
ReNo 29
Treatment with commercial grass seed is a common method in revegeta-
tion. This may impede the establishment of local vegetation, however, as
shown by a study in Norway where revegetation with commercial grass
seed mixtures did not lead to a vegetation cover of native species after 21
years (Hansen 2011). Another Norwegian study showed that seven years
after revegetation, plant cover was highest in the most intensive treat-
ment, which included seeding with Festuca rubra whereas species rich-
ness was highest in the least intensive treatment, (Hagen & Evju 2011). In
Norwegian mountain areas plant cover was found to develop faster in
plots seeded with a mixture of imported seeds than plots seeded with a
mixture composed of Norwegian ecotypes, but the latter had higher diver-
sity of species (Aamlid et al. 2011).
Using seed-containing hay transfer was shown to be feasible to restore
native vegetation on a degraded area in Iceland, but success depended on
time of transfer (Grétarsdóttir 2011). Another study showed that the build-
up of soil organic matter in areas revegetated by Leymus arenarius a
species widely used to stabilize sandy areas in Iceland differed from that
of other revegetation methods due to the constant burial of organic matter
in the Leymus dunes by incoming sand (Stefánsdóttir 2011).
30 ReNo
Figure 1011
The removing of roads and restoration of a military training area in Dovrefjell, Norway. Above,
before removal of the road. Below, after removal of the road. Photos: Dagmar Hagen.
ReNo 31
Alpine and subarctic environments are highly vulnerable to disturbances
and often difficult to restore. Moss heaths dominated by Racomitrium
lanuginosum are prominent in alpine areas in Iceland, but methods for their
restoration have been lacking. Recent greenhouse and field experiments
indicate that distribution of moss fragments of R. lanuginosum can be used
to accelerate colonization of the species on disturbed areas (Magnúsdóttir &
Aradóttir 2011). The process of restoring an alpine environment may take
several decades as shown by studies on the restoration of alpine spoil heaps
in Norway, where the use of local plant material or promotion of natural
regeneration is recommended (Rydgren et al. 2011). The Norwegian
Defense Estates Agency manages large areas of rich and varied biodiversity,
where maintenance of functional training areas is needed, while at the same
time ensuring that important areas for biodiversity are preserved. There-
fore, a manual for ecological restoration has been developed which provides
guidelines for identification of preventive and remedial measures in order
to minimize negative effects and offers descriptions of procedures and costs
related to implementing appropriate measures (Drageset & Selvaag 2011).
32 ReNo
Figure 1213
Þórsmörk, South Iceland. Above, spreading of birch seed for restoring the native woodland. To
the right, birch seedlings in an area under restoration. Photos: Ása L. Aradóttir.
ReNo 33
The need for setting objectives and evaluating restoration was the focal
point of the second session of the conference. Experience suggests that
restorationists need to (a) set clear objectives; (b) use multiple indicators
and specific standards to assess outcomes; (c) introduce assemblages of
species that use resources differentially and test for complementarities;
(d) seek and employ “superplants” that perform multiple ecosystem ser-
vices at high levels; and (e) conduct restoration within an adaptive resto-
ration framework (Zedler 2011). A case study on driving forces behind
EU-LIFE nature ecological restoration projects in Denmark showed three
categories of project objectives: conservation of specific species, main-
tenance of certain desired nature types in natural areas, and abandoning
farming or traditional farming in former reclaimed sites (Thomasen et al.
2011). All the reviewed projects focused on the improvement of living
conditions for certain species (Thomasen et al. 2011).
In Iceland several factors have been found to be major drivers of resto-
ration (Aradóttir et al. 2011). The primary driver during most of the twen-
tieth century was the need of reclaiming barren land to use for grazing or
hay production. New and more complex drivers have emerged in recent
decades, including carbon sequestration, restoration as a mitigation of
vegetated land damaged by construction work and restoration of biodi-
versity (Aradóttir et al. 2011). A case study using a chronosequence of
stream restoration sites to assess the development of ecosystem process-
es in northern Sweden was presented as a part of a project examining the
links between the success of ecological restoration and societal actors’
interests and institutional structures (Hasselquist et al. 2011).
The third session was opened by a presentation on legislation, policy
and implementation of restoration (Baker 2011). The fact that the value of
ecological restoration rests not just on ecological performance, but must
also be considered in historical, social, cultural, political, aesthetic and moral
contexts, is often overlooked. Therefore, it is important to identify the role
of social science in ecological restoration and secure mutual exchange be-
tween the natural and social sciences in this field (Baker 2011).
A proposal for a National Strategy for Mires and Peatlands has been
submitted to the Finnish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. However,
sustainable strategies are compromises, which may imply the risk of scien-
tific information being overrun by local politics and employment needs
34 ReNo
(Tolvanen 2011). In Iceland, a study has been initiated with the aim of de-
signing instruments for evaluating the impacts of agri-environmental poli-
cies on rangeland restoration amongst sheep farmers and the sustainability
of the related social-ecological system (Pétursdóttir 2011). In those Nordic
countries, belonging to the EU, funding from EU is among the major drivers
of restoration. If Iceland becomes an EU member this could also apply there,
primarily in relation to improvements in legislation and sustainable land
use policy. EU solutions, however, may not always be relevant due to Ice-
land´s uniqueness with respect to nature, extensive land degradation and
land use (Ágústsdóttir et al. 2011).
In Sweden the Vindel River LIFE project initiated in 2010 aims at re-
storing a major river system that was altered to facilitate timber floating
(Gardeström et al. 2011). The restoration work was preceded by a legal
consultation procedure with major stakeholders and local inhabitants in
the region. The ecological success of the restoration actions will be evalu-
ated by monitoring the riparian and stream habitats (Gardeström et al.
2011). In Denmark, the national forest programme specifies so-called “close
to nature silviculture” as a guiding principal for managing the public forests,
which aims at mimicking natural disturbance regimes and increasing the
use of indigenous species (Larsen & Raulund-Rasmussen 2011). Natural
regeneration and selection supported by group or target diameter cuttings
is also favoured (Larsen & Raulund-Rasmussen 2011).
ReNo 35
Figure 14
Stretch of a tributary to the Vindel River in northern Sweden, restored by addition of large boul-
ders and trees. To make this stream available for timber floating, all of its former large structures
were removed or destroyed. Photo: Christer Nilsson.
Ecological theory has an important, but sometimes underestimated, role
in the restoration of ecosystem structure and function. Peatland restora-
tion is based on the theory that ecological processes in peatlands are
largely based on the water level. Studies in Finland have shown that 30
years drainage of relatively mature pine fens had little impact on the
understorey vegetation, whereas young fens have a capacity to quickly
react to a changing environment (Laine & Tolvanen 2011). Traditionally,
practical ecological restoration is based on knowledge about existing and
past environments rather than possibly very different future conditions,
e.g., due to climate change (Nilsson 2011). To counteract this, it is im-
portant to choose among well thought out methods and to carry out long-
term follow-up studies to increase the potential for making adjustments if
a restored site develops in an unwanted or unexpected direction (Nilsson
2011). A large scale experiment on restoration of eroded land in South
Iceland demonstrates that the initial inputs in restoration can determine
subsequent successional trajectories and simple revegetation treatments
can trigger natural succession and development of ecosystem services
(Svavarsdóttir et al. 2011).
36 ReNo
Invasive species are considered a major threat to Nordic natural en-
vironments. The Nootka lupine Lupinus nootkaensis and Cow parsley An-
thriscus sylvestris are considered invasive in Iceland and likely to increase
in spread in the future. A committee, initiated in 2009 by the Ministry for
the Environment, developed a policy plan with the main focus of keeping
the two species from the highlands, nature preserves and other protected
sites (Elmarsdóttir et al. 2011b). Attempts have been made to control Cow
parsley in a few communities in Iceland, mainly by cutting and herbicide
application, but the success of these methods has not been measured
(Elmarsdóttir et al. 2011a). The Nootka lupine has been extensively dis-
tributed in Iceland. Studies have shown that spraying the lupine with
herbicides can effectively eradicate it and reduce its seed bank without
severely affecting other vegetation (Jóhannsson et al. 2011). The effect of
lupine on the development of native plant communities can vary depend-
ing on the conditions and lupine density (Gisladóttir et al. 2011). Long-
term experiments have shown that the establishment of native birch
plants was inhibited in dense lupine stands but facilitated in more open
stands compared to eroded land (Gísladóttir et al. 2011).
Figure 15
Nootka lupine invading heathland in northern Iceland. Photo: Borgþór Magnússon.
ReNo 37
Human activities can endanger threatened species and populations, which
often are the focal point of restoration. The Icelandic Sea Eagle population
was protected by law in 1914 and has been growing since the 1970s, al-
though the population is still threatened, primarily by shooting and dis-
turbance at nesting sites (Skarphéðinsson 2011). Development of meth-
ods for preservation of threatened species and plant communities after
road construction in Gudbrandsdalen, Norway, was presented at the con-
ference (Enzenberger & Daugstad 2011). In cases where total eradication
of a species from its natural habitat happens, reintroduction has been
tried. However, in the media this is often presented in the context of nos-
talgic news, as was the case with the reintroduction of the European bea-
ver to Scotland (Jørgensen 2011).
The growth of ecological restoration depends, among other things, on
well-educated professionals in this field. A growing number of universities
in the Nordic countries are providing courses and programmes in ecologi-
cal restoration. One programme, the United Nations University Land
Restoration Training Programme, which started in Iceland in 2010, was
presented at the conference (Ægisdóttir & Orradóttir 2011, Orradóttir &
Ægisdóttir 2011). The mission of UNU-LRT is to train professionals from
developing countries to combat land degradation and restore degraded
land and promote sustainable land management in developing countries.
The programme is built on the knowledge and expertise gained within
Iceland through 100 years of experience in fighting land degradation.
The conference showed that ecological restoration in the Nordic coun-
tries covers a wide field of practical restoration and restoration research.
The conference also showed that although much has been achieved in
ecological restoration in the Nordic countries, there are still many threats
to ecosystems in the region which need to be addressed. Furthermore,
evaluation of restoration projects in the region was deemed to be incom-
plete. This was seen as a major obstacle to adaptive management and
improvement of restoration methods in the north.
5. Best practice guidance
Hilderbrand et al. (2005) warned of an overly simplified view of restoration
which does not recognize and accept the complexity of natural systems and
restoration processes. Ecological restoration has been claimed to be flawed
by such simplifications (Zedler & Callaway 1999, Hilderbrand et al. 2005).
More elaborate planning, implementation and follow-up work is needed for
restoration projects to accommodate this natural complexity and the inter-
weaving of the multiple factors involved. Furthermore, ecological restora-
tion interventions should be supported with active communication and
outreach programmes (Clewell & Aronson 2007, Hesselink et al. 2007)
focused on the initial causes and pressures leading to the degradation, the
effects of degradation, and the benefits of restoration (Nellemann &
Corcoran, 2010). This approach should target local communities and stake-
holders, visitors and employees (Nationalparkverwaltung Bayerischer Wald
2010) and involve developing strategies for appropriate stakeholder
engagement (Hesselink et al. 2007).
To improve the results of ecological restoration, Hilderbrand et al.
(2005) propose that “restorations should not be one-time events, but are
likely to require periodic attention and adaptive management to increase
the chances of responsive, adaptive, and successful projects.” Proper resto-
ration guidelines are needed to accomplish this. Textbooks in ecological
restoration often contain some guidelines that are useful in planning and
implementing restoration projects (see e.g. Whisenant 1999, Bainbridge
2007, Clewell & Aronson 2007, Raven et al. 2007, Howell 2011). More elab-
orate guidelines for developing and managing ecological restoration pro-
jects have been published by the Society for Ecological Restoration Interna-
tional (SER)(Clewell et al. 2005) and members of the ReNo group have con-
tributed to further development of these guidelines. The SER guidelines
have, in turn, been the basis for elaboration of guidelines for restoration of
specific habitats or regions. In Canada, extensive guidelines, based on the
SER guidelines, have recently been published for ecological restoration in
40 ReNo
Canada´s protected natural areas (Parks Canada & the Canadian Parks
Council 2008). For restoration of rivers and streams guidelines published
by the European Centre for River Restoration are available (ECRR).
Several guidelines for ecological restoration have been published in
the Nordic countries. In Finland, where the major restoration activity
concerns restoration of forests and peatland, guidebooks for forest resto-
ration have been published (Similä & Junninen 2011, 2012) and a guide-
book for peatland restoration is presently in press (Aapala 2012). In Fin-
land, Sweden and Denmark, many ecological restoration projects are con-
ducted under the EU-LIFE Nature programme. These projects use to some
extent guidelines published by the EU, but there are also many national
collections of guidelines (e.g. Nilsson, 2007, Degerman 2008). The Norwe-
gian Defense Estates Agency has published a manual for ecological resto-
ration on land managed by the institute (Hagen & Skrindo 2010b). In Ice-
land, a manual for restoration of mines (Umhverfisráðuneytið 2002) is
now under review and the Soil Conservation Service has produced several
booklets and online instructions on specific restoration issues (see e.g.
http://www.land.is).
In spite of considerable efforts to produce guidelines of ecological res-
toration in the Nordic countries in some cases elaborate guidelines for
ecological restoration do not exist, as is the case for ecological restoration
of major habitats in Iceland, such as heathland/natural grassland, birch
woodland and wetland. The shortage of solid guidelines partly mirrors the
fact that in many cases it is difficult to define proper targets for restora-
tion. Landscapes are changing, especially at present in the face of climate
change, implying that it becomes a great challenge to create ecosystems
that are able to function today as well as being able to adapt to future
conditions (Nilsson et al. submitted).
However, it is important to realize that a guideline alone can never
give the answer to all the detailed steps required in a restoration process.
Restoration ecology is far too complex for a simple cookery book ap-
proach. In the Nordic countries, there is still need for elaboration of guide-
lines for several ecosystems, but this should be accompanied by courses
and workshops which highlight both successful and less successful resto-
ration projects. The ReNo network has arranged and participated in vari-
ous educational activities, but we do see the need to increase this effort in
ReNo 41
all the countries involved, both inside and outside the university systems
but also targeting public authorities who often initiate and fund restora-
tion, the consultant firms that often plan the restoration tasks and the
contractors that often see to the practical aspects of carrying out the job.
6. Perspectives in ecological
restoration in the Nordic
countries
Ecological restoration is a relatively young field of science, whereas the
history of reclamation or rehabilitation of degraded areas in the Nordic
countries can, in some instances, be traced back more than one hundred
years (Aradóttir & Halldórsson 2011). Such activities, which predate the
concept “ecological restoration, were obviously not planned to serve the
purpose of ecological restoration and mostly had a minor focus on ecologi-
cal processes. Examples of such projects include seeding/fertilization of
degraded heathland; planting/seeding of native forest tree species; seeding
spoil heaps, mines and roadsides; and restocking fish populations in regu-
lated rivers (Aradóttir & Halldórsson 2011). These older activities were
often related to relatively narrow targets, such as improving pasture land
for agriculture; production of firewood; rehabilitation of areas after con-
struction work; and recreational fishing. However, many of these projects
have later turned out to fulfill many of the criteria for ecological restoration,
although this was not the original purpose (Aradóttir & Halldórsson 2011).
Ecological restoration in the region is still to some extent marked by this
history, but concurrent with the development of the concept ecological resto-
ration there has been a growing understanding and support for a different
and broader approach to restoration in the Nordic countries. The focus has
thus changed from narrow restoration targets to new and often multifunc-
tional targets. This includes emphasis on: restoration to enhance native biodi-
versity and environmental quality; restoration in urban areas for the benefit
of outdoor activities and public health; restoration to mitigate increased GHG
concentrations in the atmosphere; and restoration to increase ecosystem
resilience to environmental hazards. More attention is also being given to the
social and economic relations/benefits of restoration. Simultaneously, new
44 ReNo
actors have been emerging in Nordic restoration. Hitherto, public institutions
have been the major players in Nordic ecological restoration (Hagen et al. in
review), but recently there has been a growing awareness and interest among
different stakeholders, such as private companies and NGOs, to carry out
ecological restoration in a large range of habitats (Hagen & Skrindo 2010a,
Aradóttir & Halldórsson 2011). In general there is also increasing activity in
research, development projects, and education and other outreach activities
(Hagen & Skrindo 2010a, Aradóttir & Halldórsson 2011). This development is
positive and must be encouraged in the future.
However, different environmental conditions, different land use history
and different needs in different countries must be expected to affect ecologi-
cal restoration work in the Nordic countries in the future, as in the past
(Hagen et al. in review). Regions with favourable natural conditions are
often densely populated and marked by ages of intensive agriculture, such
as Denmark and South Sweden (Hagen et al. in review). Possibilities for
ecological restoration, in the strict sense, are limited in such areas due to
high land use pressure (Hagen et al. in review). However, rehabilitation and
ecological engineering of degraded areas to improve environmental quality
can be highly relevant and beneficial. Regions with less favourable natural
conditions, on the other hand, are often marked by livestock grazing, lead-
ing to serious land degradation and erosion. In such areas possibilities for
restoration are limited by harsh environmental conditions and high costs.
Other factors leading to differences between countries in respect to ecologi-
cal restoration are many, as stated earlier. The future perspectives for
ecological restoration in different countries must reflect the existence of
multiple factors to a significant extent.
In the future the multiple beneficial effects of ecological restoration must
be expected to become of increasing importance in common Nordic policy.
This relates primarily to the environment, but also to sociological and eco-
nomic aspects. Ecological restoration already makes a significant contribu-
tion to many of the environmental goals stated in the Nordic Environmental
Action Plan 20092012 (Nordic Council of Ministers 2008). This contribu-
tion must be expected to increase in the future. This would be in harmony
with increased international emphasis on ecological restoration.
7. Enhancing ecological
restoration
The ReNo network has shown that extensive work is being carried out on
ecological restoration and related activities in the Nordic countries. The
Nordic countries offer many different challenges and opportunities in rela-
tion to ecological restoration, and recognizing and handling these are im-
portant for initiating, improving and implementing ecological restoration in
the region. The ReNo network group has identified the following subjects as
keys for enhancing ecological restoration in the Nordic countries.
Evaluation. One of the results from the ReNo network is that the
ecological and social outcomes of restoration projects in the region are,
in many cases, not subjected to standardised evaluations. In some
cases, project outcomes are not evaluated at all. Monitoring and
evaluation are integral parts of adaptive management practices,
important for improving project implementation and management.
Outcomes of such project evaluation should also be included in the
reports from institutions/organisations that do ecological restoration.
A significant fraction of restoration work is contracted to
entrepreneurs and standardised evaluation of ecological outcomes
could reduce the risk of project failure and of discrimination between
contractors. In order to remedy this, the ReNo group recommends the
development of standardised user-friendly and cost-effective
evaluation frameworks in ecological restoration projects
Guidelines for restoration. In the Nordic countries there have been
significant efforts to elaborate and publish guidelines of ecological
restoration. This work needs to be continued and encouraged.
Although it must be kept in mind that ecological restoration is site and
context specific and therefore general cookery book designs are
generally inappropriate, a lack of guidelines may in some cases hamper
46 ReNo
ecological restoration in the region. Such guidelines should address
both the biophysical design of locally-based restoration works and
stakeholder involvement in order to secure proper planning,
implementation and follow-up of restoration projects
Human resources. Education and outreach activities related to
ecological restoration in the Nordic countries are increasing. These
involve education at the university level, training programmes and
practical guidance. Continued growth of these activities is needed in
order to provide a strong conceptual framework for the envisioned
increase in restoration activities
Public participation. Ecological restoration in the Nordic countries is
predominantly initiated and funded by public authorities. However, it
is generally accepted that such projects benefit from active public
participation. Therefore, increased public participation must be seen
as one of the keys to enhancing ecological restoration in the Nordic
countries. There is a need to identify ways to increase public
participation in restoration, for instance through studies of public
participation and influence in restoration projects
Legislation and policy. Growing international emphasis on ecological
restoration has started to influence law and policy within individual
countries and groups of countries, such as the EU. In some cases,
however, current legislation may work against restoration
opportunities. Thus, there is a need to improve the legal framework of
member countries on ecological restoration. Furthermore, a long term
ecological restoration policy should be advocated, both on national and
Nordic levels. Such a policy should determine specific steps in
restoration of key ecosystems, such as wetlands and forests. Such a
policy should be firmly anchored in the Nordic Environmental Action
Plan and linked to international environmental conventions
Nordic cooperation. The experience from the ReNo network has shown
that Nordic cooperation enhances the flow of information on ecological
restoration within the region, within individual countries and between
different stakeholder groups. This is highly beneficial for ecological
restoration activities in the region and for human resources in this
field. Therefore, it is important that this work continues in relation to
increasing national and global importance of ecological restoration
ReNo 47
International activities. The platform created by the ReNo network
should be used to strengthen the Nordic influence in ecological
restoration in the EU and other international contexts. Furthermore,
ecological restoration is one of the key actions for improving the
supply of food and water security in the developing countries. Nordic
initiatives in ecological restoration in developing countries can be an
important contribution in this context
As mentioned before, emphasis on ecological restoration is increasing in a
Nordic as well as a global context. The CBD-Aichi targets encourage resto-
ration; the EU has regulations for when restoration is needed; in Norway,
the new biodiversity act promotes restoration. In both Sweden and Nor-
way the discussion about ecological compensation is increasing. For most
of these compensation projects, ecological restoration would be the best
answer. Furthermore, there is an increasing understanding of the benefi-
cial effect of restoration in urban and near urban areas for outdoor activi-
ties and public health and there is an increasing interest in using ecologi-
cal restoration to enhance the resilience of ecosystems to environmental
hazards. All this will probably lead to more restoration projects in years to
come. These activities offer new challenges and opportunities in Nordic
and international contexts. In order to meet these challenges it is im-
portant to work constantly on improving and enhancing Nordic restora-
tion work.
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Sammendrag og konklusioner
Denne rapport indeholder resultaterne af arbejdet i det nordiske netværk
„RENO“ (Restoration of Damaged Ecosystems in the Nordic Countries).
Netværket blev igangsat i 2009 som et tema-projekt finansieret af Nordisk
Ministerråd. Netværket omfatter alle de nordiske lande og territorier med
undtagelse af Grønland og Ålandsøerne.
Tolv institutioner har været involveret i netværket. Disse repræsenterer
den videnskabelige verden, private og andre offentlige institutioner, som
arbejder med økologisk restaurering, samt NGO-organisationer.
Netværkets primære opgave har været at skabe et overblik over og
evaluere aktiviteter i de nordiske lande, som falder inden for økologisk
restaurering med henblik på at forankre og sprede information. Der har
været afholdt en international konference Restoring the North i Island i
2011. Der er produceret mere end 30 publikationer af netværket og i for-
bindelse med konferencen, herunder statusrapporter fra de enkelte lande,
en guide til økologisk restaurering og egentlige videnskabelige arbejder fra
konferencen. Netværkets resultater har også været præsenteret på work-
shops, seminarer, korte kurser og i medierne samt på en verdensomfatten-
de konference afholdt af den internationale sammenslutning for økologisk
restaurering (SER, Society of Ecological Restoration). Medlemmer af net-
værket har endvidere deltaget i en arbejdsgruppe (Task-force IUCN-WCPA,
International Union for Conservation of Nature-World Commission on
Protected Areas) med henblik at udarbejde en best practice guide for
økologisk restaurering i beskyttede områder.
Netværkets centrale opgave har været at skabe et overblik over de om-
fattende restaureringsprojekter som gennemføres eller har været gennem-
ført i de nordiske lande med henblik på at forankre disse i miljøpolitikken.
Der er identificeret en række forhold, som vil kunne sikre yderligere ud-
bredelse af økologisk restaurering:
60 ReNo
En stærk tilslutning til de såkaldte Aichi målsætninger om bevarelse af
den biologiske diversitet, herunder målet om at restaurere mindst
15 % af skadede økosystemer
Argumenter for en langsigtet politik og lovgivningsmæssig forankring
af økologisk restaurering
Øget nordisk samarbejde om økologisk restaurering såvel i den
Nordiske region som i EU og andre internationale sammenhænge
Forbedret opfølgning og monitering af økologiske restaurerings
projekter, herunder indførelse af tilpasset drift for at forbedre
projekternes implementering
Udarbejdelse af bedre guide-materiale om økologisk restaurering med
henblikforbedret planlægning, integration og opfølgning af projekterne
Forbedret uddannelsesniveau og målrettede opsøgende aktiviteter
blandt aktørende inden for økologisk restaurering
Sikring af en bred forankring og accept af økologiske
restaureringsprojekter i befolkningen og blandt institutioner
Økologisk restaurering har potentialet til afgørende at bidrage til et forbed-
ret globalt miljø, herunder stoppe tilbagegangen i biodiversiteten, modvirke
igangværende klima ændringer, øge økosystemers evne til at imødegå
miljøtrusler, og generelet forbedre livsbetingelserne for mennesker. RENO-
netværket har afgørende forankret vores viden om økologisk restaurering i
de nordiske lande og fremmet spredningen ny og eksisterende viden. Net-
værket håber på også fremover at kunne fremme økologisk restaurering og
miljøpolitikken i EU og internationale institutioner.
Appendix 1. Participants in the
ReNo network
Agricultural University of Iceland
Ása L. Aradóttir, PhD, Professor
Ólafur Arnalds, PhD, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Environmental
Science
Artic Centre, University of Lapland
Bruce C. Forbes, PhD, Research Professor
Environmental Agency of Iceland
Hildur Vésteinsdóttir, MS, Advisor
Faroese Museum of Natural History
Anna Maria Fosaa, PhD, Director
William Simonsen, Scientific Researcher
Janus Hansen, MS, Head of Zoology Department
Hekla Forest
Hreinn Óskarsson, PhD, Director
METLA Finnish Forest Research Institute
Anne Tolvanen, PhD, Professor
Metsähallitus
Jussi Päivinen, PhD, Senior Planning Officer
NINA Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
Dagmar Hagen, PhD, Senior Scientific Researcher
62 ReNo
Norwegian Public Road Administration
Astrid Brekke Skrindo, PhD, Senior Consultant
Soil Conservation Service of Iceland
Guðmundur Halldórsson, PhD, Network Leader
Kristín Svavarsdóttir, PhD, Senior Scientific Researcher
Þórunn Pétursdóttir, PhD student
Umeå University
Christer Nilsson, PhD, Professor
University of Copenhagen
Karsten Raulund-Rasmussen, PhD, Professor
Appendix 2. Publications from,
or in conjunction with, the
ReNo network
Gunnarsdóttir, H. 2009. Vistheimt Landsvirkjunar [Ecological restoration of
Landsvirkjun]. Landsvirkjun, LV-2009/109. (In Icelandic)
Halldórsson, G., Aradóttir, ÁL., Svavarsdóttir, K. & Arnalds, Ó. 2009. Vistheimt
endurheimt skemmdra vistkerfa á Norðurlöndum [RENO-Restoration of Damaged
Ecosystems in the Nordic countries]. Fræðaþing landbúnaðarins 2009 [The Annual
Agricultural Forum], 532533. (In Icelandic)
Lind, L. 2009. The strategies of river restoration: a review of 25 restoration projects.
Degree thesis in biology. Department of Ecology and Environmental Science,
Umeå University, Umeå.
Hagen, D. & Skrindo, AB. (eds.) 2010. Restaurering av natur i Norge et innblikk i
fagfeltet, fagmiljøer og pågående aktivitet [Restoration of nature in Norway a
glimpse into the tematic field, professional institutions and ongoing activity]. NINA
Temahefte 42. (In Norwegian with extended English summary).
Aradóttir ÁL. & Halldórsson G. 2011. Lessons from a century of restoration in
Iceland. Abstract presented on the 4th SER International World Conference on
Ecological Restoration held in Mérida, Yucatán, México, August 2125, 2011.
Aradóttir, ÁL & Halldórsson. G. (eds.) 2011. Vistheimt á Íslandi [Restoration of
Damaged Ecosystems in Iceland]. Landbúnaðarháskóli Íslands & Landgræðsla
ríkisins. (In Icelandic with extended English summary).
Fosaa, AM. & Simonsen, W. (eds.) 2011. Lendisnýtsla í Føroyum [Land use activities
in the Faroe Islands]. Føroya Náttúrugripasavn. (In Faroese with extended
English summary).
Halldorsson, G. (ed.) 2011. Restoring the North Challenges and opportunities.
International Restoration Conference, Iceland, October 2022, 2011. Book of abstracts.
Soil Conservation Service of Iceland and Agricultural University of Iceland.
Johansson, E. 2011. Do restoration projects reach their goals? A study of Swedish
LIFE restoration projects. Master’s thesis. Department of Ecology and
Environmental Science, Umeå University.
64 ReNo
Laine, AM., Leppälä, M., Tarvainen, O., Päätalo, M-L., Seppänen, R. & Tolvanen, A.
2011. Restoration of managed pine fens: effect on hydrology and vegetation.
Applied Vegetation Science 14: 340349.
Rosenfeld, J., Hogan, D., Palm, D., Lundqvist, H. Nilsson, C. & Beechie, TJ. 2011.
Contrasting landscape influences on sediment supply and stream restoration
priorities in northern Fennoscandia (Sweden and Finland) and coastal British
Columbia. Environmental Management 47:2839.
Similä, M. & Junninen, K. 2011. Guide for forest habitat restoration and
management. Nature Protection Publications of Metsähallitus. Series B 157.
Aapala, K. (ed.) 2012. Guide book of peatland restoration in Finland. Metsähallitus,
Natural Heritage Services, Series A. in press.
Aradottir, AL., Petursdottir, T., Halldorsson, G., Svavarsdottir, K. & Arnalds O. 2012.
Drivers of restoration lessons from a century of restoration in Iceland. The 8th
European Conference on Ecological Restoration, September 914, 2012 České
Budĕjovice, Czech Republic: Near-Natural Restoration. Programme and Abstract
Book, 0009, p. 26.
Similä, M. & Junninen, K. 2012. Ecological restoration and management in boreal
forests best practices from Finland. Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services.
Svavarsdottir, K., Hagen, D., Nilsson, C., Tolvanen, A., Aradottir, AL., Raulund-
Rasmussen, K. & Halldorsson G. 2012. A regional assessment of ecosystem
restoration: A case study on the Nordic countries. The 8th European Conference on
Ecological Restoration, September 9–14, 2012 České Budĕjovice, Czech Republic:
Near-Natural Restoration. Programme and Abstract Book, P81, p. 114.
Tolvanen, A., & Juutinen, A. 2012. Sustainability of land-use of peatlands. The 8th
European Conference on Ecological Restoration, September 914, 2012 České
Budĕjovice, Czech Republic: Near-Natural Restoration. Programme and Abstract
Book, 0159, p. 79.
Aradóttir, Á.L., Pétursdóttir, T., Halldórsson, G., Svavarsdóttir, K. & Arnalds, O.
Drivers of Restoration: Lessons from a Century of Restoration in Iceland. Ecology &
Society, to be submitted.
Baker, S. & Eckerberg, K. A policy analysis perspective on ecological restoration.
Ecology & Society, in review.
Berglund, B., Hallgren. L. & Aradóttir, Á.L. Cultivating communication: participatory
approaches in land restoration in Iceland. Ecology & Society, in review.
Gardeström, J., Holmqvist, D. & Nilsson, C. Upgrading restoration methods in
tributaries of the Vindel River catchment. Ecology & Society, in review.
Hagen, D., Svavarsdóttir, K., Nilsson, C., Tolvanen, A., Raulund-Rasmussen, K.,
Aradóttir, Á.L, Fosaa, A.M. & Halldórsson, G. Comparing the strategies for
ecological restoration in the Nordic countries. Ecology & Society, in rewiew.
Hagen, D. & Evju, M. Adaptive restoration: linking the overall goal and ecological
attributes in alpine ecological restoration. Ecology & Society, submitted.
ReNo 65
Hekkala, A-M., Päätalo, M-L., Tarvainen, O. & Tolvanen, A. Restorative burning of
young forests in eastern Finland: benefits for saproxylic beetles (Coleoptera) and
implications for practice. Submitted manuscript.
Jørgensen, D. & Renöfält, BM. Damned if you do, dammed if you don’t: debates on
dam removal in the Swedish media. Ecology and Society, in review.
Juutinen, A., Tolvanen, A. & Svento, R. Preferences of local people for the use of peatlands:
The case of peatland-richest region in Finland. Ecology and Society, in review.
Morsing, J., Frandsen, IS., Vejre, H. & Raulund-Rasmussen, K. Do the principles of
ecological restoration cover EU LIFE Nature co-funded projects in Denmark?
Ecology and Society, submitted.
Petursdóttir, T., Arnalds, O., Baker, S., Montanarella, L. & Aradóttir ÁL. A social-
ecological system approach to analyze stakeholders interactions within a large-
scale rangeland restoration programme. Ecology & Society, in review.
Rosef, L., Pedersen, PA. & Aarbakk, J. Restoration of landscape and vegetation after
dam rehabilitation in a sub-alpine area in Southern Norway a case study. Ecology
& Society, in review.
Tarvainen, O., Laine, A., Peltonen, M. & Tolvanen, A. 2012. Mineralization and de-
composition rates in restored pine fens. Restoration Ecology, in press.
Zedler, J., Doherty, J. & Miller, N. Shifting restoration policy toward landscape-
change adaptation. Ecology & Society, in press.
Larsen, JB. & Raulund-Rasmussen, K. Forest Restoration in Denmark: Does Close-to-
nature Forest Management Realize the Principles of Ecological Restoration? In
manuscript.
TemaNord 2012:558
ISBN 978-92-893-2441-0
ReNo
Restoration of damaged ecosystems in the Nordic countries
TemaNord 2012:558
The ReNo network has consolidated knowledge on ecologi-
cal restoration work in the Nordic region and facilitated
exchange of this knowledge within and between the Nordic
countries. Scientific papers, reports on the status of resto-
ration, guidebooks on restoration, and analyses of ecologi-
cal restoration in the area have been published as a result
of the network. Ecosystem degradation is a problem in
all the Nordic countries, but varies in nature, severity and
scale between the countries. In order to counteract present
and past ecological degradation, all the Nordic countries
emphasise ecological restoration, but to various degrees.
Ecological restoration has the potential to make a critical
contribution for the benefit of the global environment and
human living conditions. The ReNo network recommends
that this important activity should be prioritized in Nordic
environmental policy.
Ved Stranden 18
DK-1061 Copenhagen K
www.norden.org
ReNo
Restoration of damaged ecosystems in the Nordic countries
TN2012558 Omslag.indd 1 20-11-2012 11:05:46
... Ecological restoration has also been used in conservation, as in the hydrological restoration of wetlands, liming of acidified lakes and rivers, prescribed burning of forests and a number of single projects in other habitats (see e.g. Hagen et al. 2012, Similä et al. 2014. However, in spite of the relatively low degradation levels compared to more populated areas, major parts of the Nordic landscapes are heavily negatively influenced by human activities due to forestry, agriculture, long-term overgrazing (in some regions), infrastructure development, and invasive species (Halldorsson et al. 2012. ...
... National public authorities generally have a large influence on land-use and management issues in the Nordic countries (Hagen et al. 2012, and they generally are strong actors in restoration. A large majority of restoration projects in the region have some public presence (op. ...
Full-text available
Technical Report
Restoration is a tool to achieve several of the strategic targets of The Convention on Biological Diversity from 2010. Currently, there is no standard for how to set priorities for restoration. The ...
... Data can be derived from national censuses and statistics and from individual projects. Individual projects are diverse (Hagen et al., 2013), and even in the rare cases when databases are available (Halldórsson et al., 2012), several constraints may arise, worth investigating to help further restoration planning. ...
Article
Aichi Target 15 aims to enhance the resilience of ecosystems through the restoration of 15% of degraded land by 2020. Compliance with the target is still insufficient, partly due to the lack of appropriate baselines and knowledge of restoration efforts. The four-level model of ecosystem condition was suggested to set the baseline and support the estimation of progress. This study is the first to assess the condition of MAES ecosystem types at a country scale, using the suggested approach. Altogether 613,000 ha of land is in close to natural condition (Level 1), 893,000 ha in a slightly degraded state (Level 2), 1,907,000 ha in moderately degraded condition (Level 3), and 5,890,000 ha of land is in highly modified category (Level 4). An inventory of ecological restoration interventions was created based on the reports of the national park directorates and EU LIFE projects. The findings of the restoration database of 634 interventions were compared to the need for restoration of nine habitat types. Restoration efforts were focused at habitat types with the most extended degraded area, except for dry forest restoration and the fight against invasive species in all three forest types. This study provides a more reliable estimate of habitats in natural state than Habitat Directive reporting can achieve, and is therefore better suited for estimating compliance with the 15% target. Only 1% of degraded land was the target for restoration in the period of 2002–2016. The details of the survey regarding habitat and degradation types can support further restoration planning.
... The five Nordic countries are located on the northern European mainland and in the North Atlantic between 54°N and 71°N and 24°W and 30°E, ranging from the temperate to the Arctic zones. They cover a range of ecological and hydrological conditions, and catchments in all countries have undergone various degrees of ecosystem degradation, including deforestation, wetland drainage, stream and river channelization, overgrazing, urbanization, flow regulation, and construction works (Halldórsson et al. 2012). ...
Full-text available
Article
Many streams and rivers experience major floods. Historically, human societies have responded to such floods by moving away from them or by abating them, the latter with large negative impacts on stream and river ecology. Societies are currently implementing a strategy of "living with floods," which may involve ecological restoration. It further involves flood mapping, forecasting, and warning systems. We evaluate 14 different stream- A nd river-restoration measures, which differ in their capacity to modify water retention and runoff. We discuss these restoration measures in the light of predicted changes in climate and flooding and discuss future restoration needs. We focus on the Nordic countries, where substantial changes in the water cycle are foreseen. We conclude that sustainable solutions require researchers to monitor the effect of flood management and study the relative importance of individual restoration measures, as well as the side effects of flood attenuation.
... Although ecological restoration activities in the region have increased in recent decades, some efforts date back more than a century (Magnússon 1997, Crofts 2011 but have, over time, been described using various terms. Until recently, there has been very limited cooperation on ecological restoration issues in the region (Halldorsson et al. 2012). ...
... A recent review of restoration in the Nordic countries indicates that ecological restoration projects in the region often completely lack formal evaluation (Halldórsson et al. 2012. Other studies also show this to be the case in other parts of the world (e.g., Bernhardt et al. 2005, Suding 2011), although the number of empirical evaluations has increased during recent years (Wortley et al. 2013). ...
Full-text available
Article
We developed a conceptual framework for evaluating the process of ecological restoration and applied it to 10 examples of restoration projects in the northern hemisphere. We identified three major phases, planning, implementation, and monitoring, in the restoration process. We found that evaluation occurred both within and between the three phases, that it included both formal and informal components, and that it often had an impact on the performance of the projects. Most evaluations were short-term and only some parts of them were properly documented. Poor or short-term evaluation of the restoration process creates a risk that inefficient methods will continue to be used, which reduces the efficiency and effectiveness of restoration. To improve the restoration process and to transfer the knowledge to future projects, we argue for more formal, sustained evaluation procedures, involving all relevant stakeholders, and increased and improved documentation and dissemination of the results.
... Although ecological restoration activities in the region have increased in recent decades, some efforts date back more than a century (Magnússon 1997, Crofts 2011 but have, over time, been described using various terms. Until recently, there has been very limited cooperation on ecological restoration issues in the region (Halldorsson et al. 2012). ...
Full-text available
Article
An international overview of the extent and type of ecological restoration can offer new perspectives for understanding, planning, and implementation. The Nordic countries, with a great range of natural conditions but historically similar social and political structures, provide an opportunity to compare restoration approaches and efforts across borders. The aim of this study was to explore variation in ecological restoration using the Nordic countries as an example. We used recent national assessments and expert evaluations of ecological restoration. Restoration efforts differed among countries: forest and peatland restoration was most common in Finland, freshwater restoration was most common in Sweden, restoration of natural heathlands and grasslands was most common in Iceland, restoration of natural and semi-cultural heathlands was most common in Norway, and restoration of cultural ecosystems, mainly abandoned agricultural land, was most common in Denmark. Ecological restoration currently does not occur on the Faroe Islands. Economic incentives influence ecological restoration and depend on laws and policies in each country. Our analyses suggest that habitat types determine the methods of ecological restoration, whereas socio-economic drivers are more important for the decisions concerning the timing and location of restoration. To improve the understanding, planning, and implementation of ecological restoration, we advocate increased cooperation and knowledge sharing across disciplines and among countries, both in the Nordic countries and internationally. An obvious advantage of such cooperation is that a wider range of experiences from different habitats and different socio-economic conditions becomes available and thus provides a more solid basis for developing practical solutions for restoration methods and policies.
... Northern regions, which have experienced heavily intensified land use and extraction of natural resources during the last century, are no exception. Examples include oil extraction, energy and transport infrastructure, grazing, overharvest, tourism, and recreation (Forbes and McKendrick 2002, Halldórsson et al. 2012, CAFF 2013, Hagen et al. 2013). ...
Full-text available
Article
Interest in ecological restoration has recently intensified as scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders use restoration in management strategies to address and mitigate global climate change and biodiversity loss. Northern ecosystems offer special challenges to restoration managers because of their short growing seasons and long recovery periods. This special feature of Ecology and Society on ecological restoration in northern regions draws together 11 papers based on presentations from the conference "Restoring the North", convened in October 2011 in Selfoss, Iceland. We summarize two themes of this conference: ( 1) setting objectives and evaluating success in restoration, and ( 2) legislation, policy, and implementation of restoration. We conclude that northern countries altogether comprise a significant knowledge base and suggest five actions to enhance restoration practices within them: ( 1) improved documentation of restoration actions, including objectives, measures and results, ( 2) regular evaluation of restoration progress and outcome, ( 3) coordination of conservation actions among northern countries, including location of restoration actions to sites where they are most useful in a global context, ( 4) formation of a common platform to strengthen development of research about ecological, political, social, and technical aspects of ecological restoration, and ( 5) education of new generations of restoration actors who can work in diverse biogeographic settings and cultures.
... Although ecological restoration activities in the region have increased in recent decades, some efforts date back more than a century (Magnússon 1997, Crofts 2011 but have, over time, been described using various terms. Until recently, there has been very limited cooperation on ecological restoration issues in the region (Halldorsson et al. 2012). ...
Full-text available
Article
An international overview of the extent and type of ecological restoration can offer new perspectives for understanding, planning, and implementation. The Nordic countries, with a great range of natural conditions but historically similar social and political structures, provide an opportunity to compare restoration approaches and efforts across borders. The aim of this study was to explore variation in ecological restoration using the Nordic countries as an example. We used recent national assessments and expert evaluations of ecological restoration. Restoration efforts differed among countries: forest and peatland restoration was most common in Finland, freshwater restoration was most common in Sweden, restoration of natural heathlands and grasslands was most common in Iceland, restoration of natural and semi-cultural heathlands was most common in Norway, and restoration of cultural ecosystems, mainly abandoned agricultural land, was most common in Denmark. Ecological restoration currently does not occur on the Faroe Islands. Economic incentives influence ecological restoration and depend on laws and policies in each country. Our analyses suggest that habitat types determine the methods of ecological restoration, whereas socioeconomic drivers are more important for the decisions concerning the timing and location of restoration. To improve the understanding, planning, and implementation of ecological restoration, we advocate increased cooperation and knowledge sharing across disciplines and among countries, both in the Nordic countries and internationally. An obvious advantage of such cooperation is that a wider range of experiences from different habitats and different socioeconomic conditions becomes available and thus provides a more solid basis for developing practical solutions for restoration methods and policies.
Full-text available
Research
Nature-based solutions and their application in Iceland to date
Full-text available
Book
Full-text available
Article
From introduction: "Based on our experiences as researchers and practitioners in conservation and restoration ecology, we propose five central myths (Table 1) under which many ecological restoration and management projects seem to be conceived and implemented. Myths have value because they help us to organize and understand complex systems and phenomena. Identifying myths can help make the tacit explicit by revealing assumptions that are otherwise hidden. However, they remain simplified and potentially misguided models for understanding and application. The first Myth, the Carbon Copy, addresses the goal-setting process, and as such, it forms the basis of how restorations are evaluated. The Carbon Copy is closely tied to the remaining four myths, which involve the process of restoration and management: the Field of Dreams; Fast Forwarding; the Cookbook; and Command and Control: the Sisyphus Complex. We believe that describing these myths will be useful in understanding how some management or restoration strategies are conceived, designed, and implemented. For example, adherence to different myths may direct actions in divergent directions, as could be the case when choosing between a focus on ecosystem structure (Carbon Copy) or on key processes (Field of Dreams). Examining these myths may also help us better understand why some restoration projects do not meet our expectations. In the pages below, we briefly describe each myth and its assumptions, and give examples where the myth exists. "Our objective is not to abandon what we propose to be prevalent myths in ecological restoration--there are elements of truth in each--but to recognize that there are tacit assumptions associated with each myth. Failure to recognize these assumptions can lead to conflict and disappointing results despite large expenditures of time and effort. Our challenge is to recognize the limitations and not accept sometimes dogmatic beliefs without critical examination. We do not claim that every project is rooted in myth, but suggest that many perceived failures may be traced to over-reliance on one or more of the myths. We do not condemn restoration ecology, but rather provide a means of self-examination so readers can identify from their own experiences what worked and possible reasons for perceived failures."
Full-text available
Article
Ecological restoration is becoming a main component in nature management; hence, its definitions and interpretations of the underlying principles are widely discussed. In Denmark, restoration has been implemented for decades, and the LIFE Nature program has contributed to several large-scale projects. Our aim was to indicate tendencies in Danish nature policy by analyzing a representative sample of nature management projects. Using qualitative document analyses of official reports, we investigated how well 13 LIFE Nature cofinanced projects undertaken in Denmark fit with the principles of ecological restoration, as formulated in the nine attributes of the Society for Ecological Restoration's Primer on Ecological Restoration, and based on the five myths of ecological restoration. Objectives of the analyzed projects were divided into three categories: conservation of a single or a group of species; restoration of set-aside areas, mainly on abandoned agricultural land; and habitat management of Natura 2000 areas. Despite this grouping, improvement in living conditions for certain species associated with specific nature types was in focus in all projects. No projects considered or fulfilled all nine attributes. It seems that attributes associated with fundamental requirements for the existence of target species or habitats were more often fulfilled than attributes associated with continuity of the ecosystem as a whole, which indicated a focus on ecosystem structures rather than on processes. We found that the two assumptions of a predictable single endpoint (the myth of the Carbon Copy) and that nature is controllable (the myth of Command and Control) were notably frequent in the Danish projects. Often, the target ecosystem was associated with a semicultural landscape, and management focused on keeping the vegetation low and preventing overgrowth of colonizing trees. The results indicated that nature policy in Denmark and the LIFE Nature program are based on a control paradigm, with the focus on structures rather than on processes. Further, the results revealed that the definition and interpretation of ecological restoration is ambiguous, and according to land use history, there is a need for concepts and approaches to be clearly defined.
Full-text available
Article
Some ecological restoration projects include elements of trial and error where new measures are repeatedly tried, evaluated, and modified until satisfactory results are achieved. Thereafter, the resulting methods may be applied on larger scales. A difficult step is judging whether developed "best-practice" methods have become reasonably ecologically functional or whether further experimentation "demonstration" methods can lead to yet better results. Here, we use a stream restoration project as a case study for evaluating methods and abiotic effects and outlining stakeholder support for demonstration restoration measures, rather than only using best-practice methods. Our work was located in the Vindel River system, a free-flowing river that is part of the Natura 2000 network. The river was exploited for timber floating from 1850-1976, and rapids in the main channel and tributaries below timberline were channelized to increase timber transport capacity. Several side channels in multi-channeled rapids were blocked and the flow was concentrated to a single channel from which boulders and large wood were removed. Hence, previously heterogeneous environments were replaced by more homogeneous systems with limited habitat for riverine species. The restoration project strives to alleviate the effects of fragmentation and channelization in affected rapids by returning coarse sediment from channel margins to the main channel. However, only smaller, angular sediment is available given blasting of large boulders, and large (old-growth) wood is largely absent; therefore, original levels of large boulders and large wood in channels cannot be achieved with standard restoration practices. In 10 demonstration sites, we compensated for this by adding large boulders and large wood (i.e., entire trees) from adjacent upland areas to previously best-practice restored reaches and compared their hydraulic characteristics with 10 other best-practice sites. The demonstration sites exhibited significantly reduced and more variable current velocities, and wider channels, but with less variation than pre-restoration. The ecological response to this restoration has not yet been studied, but potential outcomes are discussed.
Full-text available
Book
The importance of restoration continues to grow, and this book integrates the restoration of forest functions into landscape conservation plans. The global conservation organization WWF has made forest landscape restoration a key topic and priority for its environmental work. Due to the WWF's extensive global reach, and together with is many partners and counter-parts, it has acquired a significant level of experience on the topic of forest restoration at large scales. This book represents the collective body of knowledge and experience of WWF and its many partners—which is collected here for the first time and which will be invaluable to all of those working in the field. This guide will serve as a first stop for practitioners and researchers in any organization or region and as a key reference on the subject. Along with concise, practical information for a variety of specific systems and issues, it gives many suggestions for further research. From the Foreword by Chief Anyaoku, President, WWF International: "Is it a sign of the times that the Nobel committee chose to award the Nobel Peace prize to Wangari Maathai for having planted 30 million trees? We believe so. . . .The 21st Century will be a time of forest restoration."
Full-text available
Article
We analyze the potential for socioeconomically sustainable peatland use by investigating conflicting interests, revealing trade-offs that people are willing to accept, and studying whether opinions are dependent on socioeconomic and demographic factors. Opinions toward five forms of peatland use and seven peatland ecosystem services were surveyed in Northern Ostrobothnia in northern Finland in 2011. Choice experiment (CE) was used to reveal trade-offs in land use preferences, and groups of respondents were identified using the latent class model (LCM). We identified three classes of respondents in which environmentalists showed a high preference toward the cessation of peat production and increase of peatland restoration, the production-oriented class preferred an increase in timber and peat production areas, and the current use supporters agreed on the present land use policy. However, all respondent classes agreed on the increase of nature protection and the present level of timber production and disagreed on the cessation of restoration. The CE revealed that environmentally minded people who are likely to consider the indirect use values and existence values important are less willing to make trade-offs between ecosystem services than those who emphasize direct use values. Because peatland restoration occurs in commercially unproductive peatlands, it improves both the direct use and existence values without reducing provisioning services of peatlands. Therefore, restoration is commonly accepted by the public, in contrast to management options that involve clear trade-offs between ecosystem services. We conclude that the understanding of preferences and trade-offs can enhance sustainable land use planning. It may be unrealistic, however, to expect a solution that all interest groups would completely accept.
Full-text available
Article
We analyzed the main drivers for ecological restoration in Iceland from 1907 to 2010 and assessed whether the drivers have changed over time and what factors might explain the changes, if any. Our study was based on a catalogue of 100 restoration projects, programs, and areas, representing 75% to 85% of all restoration activities in Iceland. Catastrophic erosion was an early driver for soil conservation and restoration efforts that still ranked high in the 2000s, reflecting the immense scale of soil erosion and desertification in Iceland. Socioeconomic drivers such as farming and the provision of wood products were strong motivators of ecological restoration over most of the 20th century, although their relative importance decreased with time as the number and diversity of drivers increased. In the 1960s and 1970s, the construction of hard infrastructure, and moral values such as improving the aesthetics of the countryside and "repaying the debt to the land" emerged as motivations for restoration actions. In the late 1990s, the United Nations Climate Change Convention became a driver for restoration, and the importance of nature conservation and recreation increased. Technological development and financial incentives did not show up as drivers of ecological restoration in our study, although there are some indications of their influence. Furthermore, policy was a minor driver, which might reflect weak policy instruments for ecological restoration and some counteractive policies.
Book
The interesting approach to ecological restoration described in this book will appeal to anyone interested in improving the ecological conditions, biological diversity, or productivity of damaged wildlands. Using sound ecological principles, the author describes how these ecosystems are stabilised and directed toward realistic management objectives using natural recovery processes rather than expensive subsidies. An initial emphasis on repairing water and nutrient cycles, and increasing energy capture, will initiate and direct positive feedback repair systems that drive continuing autogenic recovery. This strategy is most appropriate where landuse goals call for low-input, sustainable vegetation managed for biological diversity, livestock production, timber production, wildlife habitat, watershed management, or ecosystem services. Providing a comprehensive strategy for the ecological restoration of any wildland ecosystem, this is an invaluable resource for professionals working in the fields of ecological restoration, conservation biology and rangeland management.
Article
Stakeholder participation in environmental management is increasing. Staff of environmental agencies, however, often lack training in communication and in conducting participatory processes. Their interpretation of "participation" is of interest because interpretation affects how participation is practiced. We explored how participation was interpreted within the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland and how the interpretation affected how participation was carried out in two land restoration projects. Our methods included semi-structured interviews with agency staff and involved stakeholders, participant observations, and document review. The findings showed that participation was seen as a method to accomplish the agency's tasks, and the focus was primarily on the outputs, or products, of the participatory processes. This interpretation worked well and created positive outcomes as long as process factors, such as interaction with other stakeholders and shared influence, were adequately attended to and joint gains were assured, but other stakeholders expressed dissatisfaction when they were not. We conclude that, although tangible outcomes are necessary for environmental agencies, maintaining a balance between product and process focus in participatory projects is important for optimal results. To increase their ability to deal with process factors, environmental agencies, and ultimately environmental management, would benefit from enhancing their personnel's understanding of participation, and capacity to conduct participatory processes. To facilitate participation, this understanding should also be integrated in the institutional framework the agencies work within.
Article
Using a simple stages model of the policy process, we explore the politics of ecological restoration using an array of examples drawn across sector, different size and scale, and from different countries. A policy analysis perspective reveals how, at both the program and project levels, ecological restoration operates within a complex and dynamic interplay between technical decision making, ideologies, and interest politics. Viewed through the stages model, restoration policy involves negotiating nature across stages in the policy making process, including agenda setting, policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. The stages model is a useful heuristic devise; however, this linear model assumes that policy makers approach the issue rationally. In practice, ecological restoration policy takes place in the context of different distributions of power between the various public and private actors involved at the different stages of restoration policy making. This allows us to reiterate the point that ecological restoration is best seen not only as a technical task but as a social and political project.