Tuesday, 23 July 2013

When creation is simply not enough

As the social and policy pendulums swing, our environment is being subjected to an increasing number of performance targets. But are we equipped to truly help our environments meet these targets?

The desire to reverse impacts on our habitats and ecosystems has resulted in legislation across many parts of the world. For example, in the European Union (EU) there is the Water Framework Directive, requiring ‘Good Ecological Status’ of rivers by 2015. Targets of this nature, inevitably lead to: 1) current status baselines; 2) remediation and restoration works; and 3) evaluation of efforts.

In the area of rivers, the EU IMPACT project1 is hoping to inform effective habitat restoration. From this project comes a free and open source fish dispersal model (FIDIMO2), allowing the likelihood of fish to (re-)colonise restored or remediated habitats to be calculated. This kind of tool and information should help deliver more effective river remediation and restoration efforts, at least for fish.

But, do we have enough knowledge to deliver effective remediation and restoration work in the first place? If not, what other tools and models are available to help? What more can and should be done?


Peter aka anemoneprojectors Flickr Account - Creative Commons