NABU/Christoph Kasulke

SER Europe Conference 2018: Restoration in the Era of Climate Change

The European chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration is a network of restoration practitioners  and experts for the promotion of ecological restoration. SER Europe has been organizer or co-organizer of  ten biennial conferences on different themes of Ecological Restoration. It’s 11th European Conference: Restoration in the Era of Climate Change, will be held in Reykjavík, Iceland in September 2018. The conference will create a forum where scientists; representants from governmental organisations; NGO´s and practitioners address key questions concerning the role of ecological restoration for mitigation of climate change and how this can be linked to other environmental goals such as reversal of land degradation and biodiversity conservation.

Climate change puts ecological restoration into a new perspective. One one hand ecological restoration can assist with curbing climate change and on the other hand climate change poses new challenges in ecological restoration. Iceland is a showcase of climate change processes and land degradation. Almost 50% of Icelandic wetlands are impacted by drainage, over 95% of the natural woodlands have been destroyed and ecosystems on 60% of the total land area are highly degraded, with 45% of the contry with limited vegetation cover. The result is that greenhouse gas emissions from degraded ecosystems in Iceland dwarf the combined emissions of all other sources.

Ecosystem restoration in Iceland spans more than a century; including many success stories but also failures and controversial actions, such as extensive use of exotic species in land reclamation and forestry. Climate change has made significant effect on Icelandic nature, including rapid glacial retreat. All this will set the background for the conference and be featured in conference tours. The Organising Committee for SER Europe 2018 will open for submission of abstracts on February 6.