International principles and standards for the practice of ecological restoration: Second edition

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The Standards establish eight principles that underpin ecological restoration. Principles 1 and 2 articulate important foundations that guide ecological restoration: effectively engaging a wide range of stakeholders, and fully utilizing available scientific, traditional, and local knowledge, respectively. Principles 3 and 4 summarize the central approach to ecological restoration, by highlighting ecologically appropriate reference ecosystems as the target of restoration and clarifying the imperative for restoration activities to support ecosystem recovery processes. Principle 5 underscores the use of measurable indicators to assess progress toward restoration objectives. Principle 6 lays out the mandate for ecological restoration to seek the highest attainable recovery. Tools are provided to identify the levels of recovery aspired to and to track progress. Principle 7 highlights the importance of restoration at large spatial scales for cumulative gains. Finally, ecological restoration is one of several approaches that address damage to ecosystems and Principle 8 clarifies its relationships to allied approaches on a “Restorative Continuum.”

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