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Monitoring the social benefits of ecological restoration
Martin, D. AND J. Lyons. Monitoring the social benefits of ecological restoration. RESTORATION ECOLOGY. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, 26(6):1045-1050, (2018). https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.12888
Monitoring guidelines for the practice of ecological restoration should provide metrics and methods to evaluate who benefits from restoration. An important reason why social benefits have not been an emphasis for monitoring purposes is because monitoring focuses on “recovery” in terms of ecosystem conditions, whereas benefit focuses on “use” in terms of consumptive and non-consumptive human interactions with recovered ecosystem conditions. Monitoring these interactions often require site observations after restoration has been implemented. We suggest the use of social benefit indicators and multi-criteria site evaluations to track progress over time and allow for decision making to improve social conditions at a restoration site or landscape scale.
Ecological restoration has traditionally been evaluated by monitoring the recovery of ecological conditions, such as species abundance and diversity, physical form, and water quality; monitoring the social benefits of restoration is uncommon. Current monitoring frameworks do not track who benefits from restoration or by how much. We investigate how ecological restoration could be monitored to provide indications of improvement in terms of social conditions. We provide suggestions for measuring several categories of social indicators, including access, beneficiaries, and quality of benefit, using information compiled from natural and social science literature. We demonstrate how to evaluate ecological and social indicators over time at a site or landscape scale using multicriteria analysis. We use flood protection and recreation as example benefits to monitor.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION
MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT BRANCH