A concept of a degraded ecosystem in theory and practice – a review - ETC/BD Working paper N°A/2011

01 Dec 2011

Iulian Petchesi

In 2010 the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Nagoya, Japan, adopted, a key policy document of high importance not only for the CBD – the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (UNEP 2010). Among the latters, the Target No. 15 says that “By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification.“

In line with the global decision, the EU Biodiversity strategy 2020 includes a target 2 defined as “By 2020, ecosystems and their services are maintained and enhanced by establishing green infrastructure and restoring at least 15 % of degraded ecosystems” (EC 2011).

Therefore, this review aims at presenting various current approaches trying to define “a degraded ecosystem”. It covers not only scientific literature, but science-policy interface and policy documents were also reviewed.

Prepared by: Jan Plesnik and Michael Hosek (from ETC/BD partner AOPK, CZ), Sophie Condé (from ETC/BD-MNHN, FR)