The focus for Earth Day 2021 is on “Restoring Our Earth,” and most recently, Carbon Positive Australia became a member of the ‘Society for Ecological Restoration: Australasia” (SERA).
The Society for Ecological Restoration are a non-for-profit connecting restoration industries through conferences, committees, groups and online resources.
SERA define ecological restoration as:
“The process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged or destroyed”.
Our work in carbon sequestration has highlighted the importance of restoring native habitats.
Since the 1920s, land clearing has been an issue throughout Australia. Over 44% of Australia’s forest and woodlands have been cleared and areas, such as the South West’s biodiversity hotspot, having had a dramatic loss of species biodiversity and abundance.
Land clearing doesn’t just result in the devastating loss of vegetation; it also significantly affects surrounding communities, such as erosion, increased salinity, habitat loss, fragmentation, biodiversity loss, species loss, and ecosystem services disruption.
It is crucial for our communities, conservation efforts and agricultural economy to restore Australian native plant communities.
But with our changing climate, it is not as simple as popping a seed in the ground and taking a step back.
Restoration practices are constantly being explored and adapted due to the disruption in environmental processes. We face some major environmental challenges with our restoration projects due to changes in rainfall, temperate, soil stability, and biodiversity loss. This includes access to viable seed. Collecting seed and having the resources to cultivate seedling stock is key to successful restoration, but unfortunately has taken a hit due to the aforementioned environmental impacts. Working with partners and experts in the field is vital to our restoration efforts.
At Carbon Positive Australia, we work closely with local landholders, forestry experts, communities and NRM groups and now with our involvement with SERA, we will have combined knowledge and resources on how best to restore and conserve our landscape. One aspect of our introduction to the SERA community we are most excited about is implementing an evaluation system for our projects as developed for the International Standards for Ecological Restoration (2019). The ‘tool’ is called the Recovery Wheel and takes an extensive look at restoration sites in comparison to their reference sites (which includes absence of threats, physical conditions, species composition, structural diversity, ecosystem function and external exchanges) and providing each assessment with a score in the form of a 5-star rating system.
With the strong restoration movement behind Earth Day 2021 and being a part of the SERA community, we hope to continue to play a big role in the restoration conversation. More and more of our sites are taking a main focus on biodiversity and restoration practices. As discussed in our previous post, our work with carbon and restoration go hand in hand.
Help restore our Earth and support our restoration projects by donating here.