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  • INCASE Team

Paper published in a special feature on the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration

Our INCASE paper on Applying Ecosystem Accounting to Develop a Risk Register for Peatlands has been published in the latest SER journal's special feature on the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration...

Journal cover with title & logos with image of black and white bird with red face sitting on a branch

First published in January 2022, the INCASE project research article entitled 'Applying ecosystem accounting to develop a risk register for peatlands and inform restoration targets at catchment scale: a case study from the European region' appears in the latest issue of the Society for Ecological Restoration's Restoration Ecology journal, Volume30, Issue8 for November 2022 in a Cross-Society Special Feature on the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.

Aligning the System of Environmental Economic Accounting–Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA -EA) framework with risk assessment tools, we developed a risk register for peatlands in two contrasting catchments in Ireland, based on available information relating to peatland stocks (extent and condition) and flows (services and benefits), as well as knowledge of pressures.

This approach allowed for identification of areas to target peatland restoration, by highlighting the potential to reduce and reverse negative trends in relation to provisioning, regulating, and cultural services, flows relating to non-use values, as well as abiotic flows.

In our research we also highlighted ways to reduce and reverse the effects of historical and ongoing pressures through restoration measures, aligning our approach with that outlined in the SER International Principles and Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration. Building on the synergies between the SEEA-EA and the SER Standards is highlighted as a means to develop transdisciplinary collaboration, to assist in setting and achieving targets set out under the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration as well as integrating regional policy targets set under the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, and the related EU Habitats and EU Water Framework Directives.

Key points to note:

  • Developing a risk register for flows of peatland services and benefits at catchment scale identifies areas where restoration presents opportunities to maximize return on investment for multiple policy-relevant benefits for climate, water, biodiversity, and people.

  • Combining the multidisciplinary tools of ecosystem accounting and risk assessment, this approach assists prioritisation of areas for restoration, supporting effective use of competing resources and time.

  • Despite limited data availability, the catchment scale approach outlined here can be extended regionally and globally across other ecosystem types.

  • Aligning the UN SEEA-EA with restoration frameworks such as the SER Standards, presents scope for synergy to set and achieve targets outlined under the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and EU restoration plans.


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