BioRestNet - A Network of Biocultural Restoration

Restoration for people and nature through sharing and integrating knowledge

By Felipe Melo in project

October 1, 2023


This proposal is a joint initiative led by Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and our local partner Centre for Ecosystem Restoration Kenya (CERK) to develop and promote biocultural models of ecosystem restoration. The aim of this project is to develop a network of practitioners and researchers around an innovative concept of ecological restoration that merges both traditional ecological knowledge and science-based evidence. To achieve this goal we use two complementary strategies. First, we plan to promote a cross-site training program of local communities on the assessment of useful plants. This will feedback a nation-wide web platform reuniting information on useful plants for restoration and its benefits to local people. Additionally, we plan to establish a long-term participatory research program aiming to test the biocultural models of restoration developed locally. Both academics and practitioners as well as local communities will contribute to this research program, generating jobs and opportunities for capacity building for Kenyan stakeholders, at different levels. Inclusive restoration must include local communities beyond labor manpower and thus attend to local views and objectives that emerge from traditional knowledge and can be merged with quality empirical science. A long-term research program that documents and tests the effectiveness of biocultural restoration is key for the multiplication of efforts and influencing national policies.

Managing and restoring working landscapes are critical challenges for conserving biodiversity outside nature reserves. The biocultural restoration approach merges both multidimensional poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation. It addresses drivers of biodiversity loss such as biological invasion, land use changes and direct exploitation of the biota. Information gaps and social inequalities can also be minimized through restoration programs centered on traditional ecological knowledge. Our proposal merges a solid research program, political articulation and capacity building of local communities that enhance the capability of national stakeholders to influence the co-design of public policies able to address social and environmental inequalities of large-scale restoration programs.

Contacts: - Dr. Felipe Melo

Posted on:
October 1, 2023
2 minute read, 319 words
See Also:
cDEEP - Caatina Dry Ecosystem Ecological Program