Take-home messages

The Conference provided an opportunity to put forward solutions designed to mitigate damage to the environment and measure the costs of implementation. Featuring presentations of projects from all over the world, the forum contributed to public debate by detailing leading-edge scientific knowledge, private sector practices, unresolved issues to be included in the debate, successful achievements and work in progress.

“By involving a diversity of stakeholders, the Conference contributed to a better understanding of those issues and a commitment to all those working on sustainability”

  • Restoration offers solutions for repairing the functions of damaged ecosystems, and the technology required to do so is already available. It is no substitute, however, for avoiding degradation in the first place and promoting the sustainable management of ecosystems and natural resources.
  • On a global scale, the needs for restoration are vast, but restoration cannot be cost-effective in all situations. Priorities and targets need to be established. So yes to restoration, but for what purpose?
  • The engineering and technology, as well as nature-based solutions already exist. Their large-scale implementation and deployment involves costs that reflect the scarcity of resources.
  • Restoration is costly in the short term but the return on investment comes in many forms, whether in terms of economic opportunities, income and job creation, adaptation to climate change, the resilience of food systems, or improvements to living standards and quality of life.
  • Two levels are key: local, involving communities and individuals, and government level, to guarantee the conditions for implementation and the framework for action.
  • Restoration is a relatively new discipline and large-scale restoration even more so. Lessons will need to be learned from past errors and successes in order to fill in the gaps that remain and meet the challenges that lie ahead (governance, metrics, long-term financing, knowledge, engineering, etc.).
  • Improving on capitalisation is a key factor. The sheer complexity of the interdependencies involved calls for further research, multi-player collaboration and a firm alliance between all the stakeholders.
  • Restoration is just one illustration of the convergence of environment and development priorities, confirming the fact that the major challenges facing humanity cannot be dealt with piecemeal.