The European Green Deal explicitly commits to protecting and restoring nature to achieve the EU climate and biodiversity objectives for 2030 and for 2050, and to ensure the resilience of food systems. As a major tool, Ecological Restoration (ER) can reverse ecosystem degradation, create functioning green infrastructure, and support climate change mitigation and adaptation. Worldwide, ER has been increasingly considered in strategies and policies such as the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. The European Commission recently proposed a European Nature Restoration Law as part of the European Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. The latter includes developing National Restoration Plans in the EU Member States. To translate future national plans on ER into local action, educational programs require further and more thorough consideration of ER in curricula to have expertise in implementing ER across Europe.
Humanity recognises the planet’s native ecosystems as having irreplaceable ecological, societal, and economic values. In addition to their intrinsic value, such as biodiversity and spiritual or aesthetic importance, healthy native ecosystems assure the flow of ecosystem services. These services include: provision of clean water and air, healthy soils, culturally important artifacts, and the food, fiber, fuel, and medicines essential for human health, wellbeing, and livelihoods (1).
(1)SER International Standards
TEAM#UP underpins with educational programs liaising with practitioners via green vocational education and training (VET) that includes a wide range of learnings, to name a few: Digital tools (e.g., visualization of demonstration sites with augmented/virtual reality); Standards, protocols and priority of actions; Restoration technologies and approaches; Monitoring techniques and approaches; Financial mechanisms; Stakeholder engagement and Science-policy-industry interface.
Our main goal is to mobilize extensive knowledge and skills in the field of ecological restoration to fill gaps in green VET. We want to counteract the ongoing biodiversity loss and habitat degradation in order to strengthen ecosystem functions and services in the face of climate change.