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Call for papers on Large-Scale Restoration of Ecosystems

“What it takes to get things done”


This special issue of S.AP.I.EN.S aims to collect background material and identify relevant experiences for the international Conference that Veolia Environment Institute is organizing jointly with Agence Française de Developpement, International Union for Conservation of Nature and US National Research Council Water Sciences and Technology Board on “Ecosystems, Economy and Society: how large-scale restoration can stimulate sustainable development?”. Some articles will be selected for presentation or poster session at the Conference, to be held on May 29-30, 2014, at the US National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC, USA.

The objective of the Conference is to analyze the potential of large-scale restoration for the improvement of people’s livelihoods, jobs creation and socio-economic development, together with the recovery of ecosystems functionalities, continuity and biodiversity.


S.A.P.I.EN.S is accepting review articles, case studies and perspective articles for a special issue on large-scale restoration of ecosystems:

1. Review articles covering cross-cutting themes such as: knowledge creation and management; governance for inclusive ecosystem/land and sea-scape management at large/multiscale; financing schemes; legal barriers and frameworks; metrics and monitoring; remaining constraints, gaps and challenges.

2. Case studies* presenting lessons learned from past and present initiatives, such as: watershed protection/restoration, e.g. for drinking water (city supplies); integration of large scale ecosystems in land/urban management for protection/restoration of broken continuities within the blue/green network of ecosystems; reforestation or grassland restoration and poverty alleviation; wetlands engineering; large-scale soil decontamination; sea canals; artificial reef programs; invasive species extirpation; carbon sinks restoration or efforts to strengthen ecosystem adaptation to climate change; etc.. Submitted case study must be characterized by a clear objective of operating at large-scale and/or multiscale level, and highlight unprecedented levels of scientific and technical expertise, collaboration among a plurality of actors – public, private and civil society, new forms of inclusive governance, and diversified funds and resources.

3. Perspective articles are also eligible, on topics such as: potential of restoration for socio-economic and sustainable development (better awareness and integration of population dynamics in development planning, food security, job creation, enhanced livelihoods…); map of opportunities (location and extent of the restoration opportunity worldwide or in specific countries); the role of natural infrastructure for improving cities’ and land and seascapes’ climate resilience; new potential economic avenues or innovative finance (economic model, incentives, legal constraints, business opportunities and mechanisms such as compensation); scientific and application promises from ecological engineering; new approaches such as landscape restoration which aims at integrating agriculture, forests and other land users into a sustainable development agenda; analysis of future trends on large-scale restoration and articulation with alternative management and planning practices; comparative analysis between different socio-cultural approaches to large scale ecosystem restoration.


Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. All papers are refereed through a peer review process. Please consult our Instructions for authors for detailed style and content guidelines.

Please feel free to suggest up to five potential referees. Referees should not be from the same organization or institution as the authors, nor have collaborated recently on the same project.

The deadline for initial manuscript submissions is Dec 20 2013. Prospective authors are encouraged to send proposed title, abstract and structural outline before Nov 25, 2013.

Manuscripts should be sent by e-mail to:

*Case studies

Guidelines: These articles should be brief (fewer than 3000 words) with a short “facts and figures” section featuring: location; ecosystems; size of the community (number of inhabitants); size (volume) of restored area; budget; duration; institutional, technical and scientific partners; main objectives and benefits; five keywords.

Each case study article should address:

  • presentation of the challenges;

  • description of the pool of expertise;

  • funding resources and mechanisms;

  • regulatory context: facilitating actions or constraints;

  • details of restoration plans and results;

  • methods used for monitoring;

  • governance: forms of cooperation, innovations etc;

  • analysis of the key factors for success/failure (context-based or general);

  • knowledge gaps; and

  • main challenges and innovations.

Some of the case studies could serve as practical illustrations or inspire the global movement to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020, known as the “Bonn Challenge” coordinated by IUCN. Widely acknowledged as the largest restoration initiative, it could make a significant contribution to the existing Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Target 15 (aiming for the restoration of at least 15% of the world’s degraded ecosystems by 2020), and the UNFCCC REDD-Plus.

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