[For more detail see the long form of the document AABR’s Statement on ecological restoration and rehabilitation]
1. Address threats and the causes of degradation
To ensure your investments in restoration have a lasting effect, take all possible steps to remove or at least manage the problems that caused the problems in the first place.
2. Clearly identify project goals.
Identify the structure and composition of the endpoint community you are aiming for, referring to a locally existing ecosystem and taking into account ecosystem flux and change. This is not only essential to achieve the desired outcomes but to measure and communicate the degree of success.
3. Soundly assess sites prior to deciding which restoration approaches to use
Skill and experience are require to ‘read’ what parts of the site will regenerate with appropriate ‘assisted regeneration’ treatments and which will require reintroductions or other treatments.
4. Consider all components of an ecological community
Consider all biotic (i.e. plants, macro and micro fauna) and abiotic components (soils, hydrology, topography) – and its configuration and links to the surrounding landscape.
5. Skillfully apply treatments, ensuring follow up and maintenance.
Practitioners require ecological knowledge and skill in a suite of effective and efficient treatments, applied in a systematic and consistent manner. The ‘primary’ treatment of a site is only stage one of a recovery phase. Multiple ‘secondary’ treatments will be required (at diminishing intensity) over a number of years as the community responds and reveals its hidden strengths and weaknesses.
6. Monitor to see if the treatments are achieving their goals.
Using photography and quantitative data, if possible, record the condition of your site prior to and at intervals after treatment to Identify whether desired outcomes are being achieved. Return to your site regularly to assess need for further treatments.
7. Develop sustaining partnerships.
Personnel come and go during the long time frames involved in restoration. For long term backing of a project, it is important to invest time in creating relationships with government and community organisations, renewing these on an ongoing basis.