31 August–4 September 2020, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain
SER2020: 12th European Conference on Ecological Restoration

Dear colleague.

The organizing committee and the University of Alicante welcome you to the 12th European Conference on Ecological Restoration SERE2020!

Between August 31 and September 4 2020, we will discuss challenges facing ecological restoration in post-2020 Europe, and particularly, how can ecological restoration promote the recovery of damaged, degraded and destroyed socio-ecological systems in these critical times.

Ecological restoration is increasingly present in our lives. UN Declaration of 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ecological Restoration clearly responds to social concerns and illustrates commitment towards using ecological restoration to fight major environmental problems. Yet, international high-level initiatives should scale down and translate into concrete actions. The advance of ecological restoration in Europe has been slow for reasons that are political and socio-economical, rather than ecological, as shown by a recently published analysis where many SER Europe members participated. Because of the imminent onset of the UN Decade, and ongoing reviews of the EU Strategy on Biodiversity (2021-2030), the Common Agricultural Policy (2021-2027), and the Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), 2020 should be the turning point to develop an ambitious transversal European strategy for ecological restoration that will help member states meeting the ambitious targets agreed in Aichi.

In parallel, our societies are undergoing profound changes. The diversity of policies concerning nature and environmental protection in EU Member States clearly illustrates the search for new ways to understand growth and re-define human role in the Biosphere, and the tensions behind them. Europeans look astonished at the magnitude of the global damage and hesitate on how to establish a healthier relation between culture and nature.

In ERE we know about this, and the way ecological restoration can sustain the new deal. For almost 30 years, our Society has helped to bridge the gap between humans and nature, and we know firsthand that ecological restoration can contribute to adapt and mitigate climate change, halt species extinction and combat desertification, while contributing to reduce poverty and inequality.

For some late-summer days, academics and practitioners from Europe and beyond will meet in the Mediterranean town of Alicante, Spain, to discuss these topics, and advance the theory and practice of socio-ecological restoration in Europe. Won’t you be part of it?

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