“Restoration” : the act or process of returning something to its original condition by

                                          repairing it, cleaning it, etc.; the act of bringing back something that existed before ;

                                          the act of returning something that was stolen or taken.

                                          Ecological restoration englobes all of those.

                                          SER (Society for Ecological Restoration, international):

                                          “Ecological restoration - the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been

                                          degraded, damaged, or destroyed”;

“Ecological restoration is an intentional activity that initiates or accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity and sustainability. Restoration attempts to return an ecosystem to its historic trajectory. Restoration represents an indefinitely long-term commitment of land and resources, and a proposal to restore an ecosystem requires thoughtful deliberation”.

                                                                                                       Photos

Objectives of restoration in the present case :

  1. Nature regeneration, restitution to nature;

  2. Change of the use of land from exploitation to decent life;

  3. Restoration of the self-regulating and auto-recovery capacities of the ecosystem;

  4. Help in achieving and restore capacity of maintaining a dynamic equilibrium, resilience building;

  5. Restoration of adaptation capacity = survival;

  6. A novel ecosystem has been created - giving it chances of survival to the nature part of it;

  7. Give a chance to the seedlings;

  8. Use the chance provided by the critical condition of the ecosystem to help it restore itself;

  9. Wildlife habitat restoration;

  10. Creation of a habitat bank - refuges for anthropologically stressed species, before they disappear completely;

  11. Testing ground for reforestation after clearing fires.


Strategies:

  1. the first and most important: change of land use, from agricultural to nature restoration, “growing nature”;

  2. reforestation with native trees;

  3. protect vulnerable areas e.g. wetlands and slopes, initially by removing all livestock and horses;

  4. reestablish native trees, bushes and ground covers - a priority, especially on vulnerable slopes;

  5. stabilize, and then restore, eroded areas;

  6. wetland restoration;

  7. dry prairies restoration;

  8. control the spread of, and eliminate where practical, invasive species, e.g. rosehip (rosa mosqueta);

  9. allow and protect natural restoration, e.g. on the valley floor, areas where there is good tree cover at present;

  10. manage the pines as a resource;

  11. manage limited pasture areas for horses:

  12. remove artificial barriers (i.e. old fences);

  13. limit to the minimum the use of technical means in restoration;


Protect restoration efforts by:

  1. de-farming: removing livestock, transforming old orchards into habitat and feeding grounds for wildlife

     (foxes, bats, rodents);

  1. limitation by facilitation of obligatory tourists passage to the strict minimum;

  2. control and limit other harmful external impact (e.g. cows in from the neighbouring San Rafael national park);

  3. fire control and prevention measures;

  4. arrange for long-term protection by available legal means;

  5. develop measures aimed at gaining independence in restoration: own means of monitoring of experience;

      development of a own seed collection and small seed bank facility;


On personal level:

  1. acquiring personally max. knowledge on ecological restoration; 

  2. embed flexibility in all measures;

  3. ignoring mass restoration goal-setting campaigns - it is obvious now that Bonn challenge will not be met.

Restoration

Ownership of land is a responsibility for the land you are trusted with

Pichimahuida:


  1. Objectives

  2. Location

  3. Access Leones

  4. Collaboration

  5. Friends



Restoration:


  1. Reforestation

  2. Natural

  3. Other

  4. Monitoring

  5. Precedents

Strategies we will not use:

  1. Potentially damaging for the ecosystem, e.g. using beekeeping for pollination;

  2. Participation in large tree-planting (≠ reforestation) programmes, using volunteers;

  3. Use of machinery for planting, machines cannot replace people, trees must be planted with care.


Principles:

  1. Rights of nature shall always prevail;

  2. Holistic (ecosystem) approach, what affects one affects all;

  3. Treat the ecosystem as an organism;

  4. Focus on increasing the mass of species-specific life within the ecosystem;

  5. Focus on vision, not goal;

  6. Restore not only the essence but also the composition;


  1. Principle of reparation: assume our responsibility for the anthropogenic destruction;

  2. Principle of responsibility in ecological restoration, we are dealing with living beings;

  3. Long-term accountability in restoration is a key factor;

  4. You need to live with the land you restore, its hard to do it from an office or by occasional visits;


  1. “Nature knows best” (third principle of ecology) - observing and copying nature, restoring the teaching role of nature;

  2. Adapting to nature, not trying to adapt nature to us.

  3. Help to auto-restoration (natural regeneration) of the ecosystem is privileged;

  4. Experience-based restoration;

  5. Restoring to the future: there is no alternative for that approach, as there is no information on the pre-exiting ecosystem from original peoples (no original peoples left in the area), no information on local animal or insect species that might have disappeared. Only recent drastic destructions can orient in what can be recreated (with the exception of soil);


  1. No individual species oriented conservation;

  2. No use of some common to the institutional approach

    concepts like “ecosystem services”, “function”, “baseline”,

      “introduced”, “biodiversity” (as an objective), etc.

Challenges:

  1. Linkages of the area with surrounding areas (e.g. damage from cows in the neighbouring national park San Rafael; invasive species);

  2. Restoring to the future: how to ensure the future of private land?

  3. Shall we work with change or against it, in order to give max. chances to nature for future ?;

  4. Reforestation: importance of careful planting with hands and no machine planting involves additional cost, difficulty to find professional planters;

  5. Reforestation: how to create a forest that can cope with rapid human-induced changes ?;

  6. Reforestation: finding adequate planting material in the region;

  7. Reforestation: finding locally adapted seeding material;

  8. Reforestation: selecting trees that can cope with changed conditions;

  9. Reintroduction of species: what do not really know what species of wildlife lived here before the clearing fires and the spread of agriculture.

  1. Local institutional climate: absence of local and regional institutional and other support; absence of acknowledgement by local communities of the value of soil and other nature restoration for the region; development of uncontrolled and harmful tourism; local bonuses for counter-restoration practices like support of uncontrolled cattle grazing (including in national parks), draining of wetlands, local institutional subsidies for clearing of the forests for livestock, etc.