Ecological Restoration – a means of conserving biodiversity and sustaining livelihoods

Many of the world’s ecosystems have undergone significant degradation with negative impacts on biological diversity and peoples’ livelihoods. There is now a growing realisation that we will not be able to conserve the earth’s biological diversity through the protection of critical areas alone. This paper explains what is meant by the term "ecological restoration" and outlines how it can provide enhanced biodiversity outcomes as well as improve human well-being in degraded landscapes. In this way ecological restoration becomes a fundamental element of ecosystem management, although until recently, its potential has not always been fully recognised.