Report on Dialogue Steering Statement
Papers and Dialogue Outcomes

Dialogue steering was developed from background information based on the ThinkNature portfolio of 67 case studies, which included 10 examples of nature-based solutions (NBS) through restoration of degraded ecosystems. Further information was compiled from literature and the outcome of previous and current EC projects on NBS, and from stakeholder input of the regional think and do tanks.

Dialogue steering activies took place through the regional think and do tanks during the first 18 months of the project and were designed and carried out during the first Stakeholder Brainstorming Forum in A Coruna, Spain 16-18 May 2018. Three topics were elaborated during stakeholder workshops at the Brainstorming Forum:

  • Innovative techniques for restoration of degraded ecosystems
  • Benefits of restoration of degraded ecosystems and
  • The role of restoration in increasing resilience and human wellbeing.

In addition to a wide range of detailed conclusions, the workshop outcomes include the
following key messages for each topic.

Innovative techniques for restoration of degraded ecosystems

  1. Techniques for restoration of degraded ecosystems and to reclaim rural land offer
    high impact potential across a wide range of techniques, but technology readiness is
    not high. There remains a lack of performance information to guide implementation
    decisions – across the range of techniques discussed
  2. Techniques for social innovation in restoration of degraded ecosystems are important
    and are an important research and innovation (R&I) frontier and also essential for
    engaging communities, decision makers, funders and technology stakeholders.
  3. The priorities for R&I are greater for innovation than for additional research. The main
    innovation priorities for accelerated implementation and mainstreaming of NBS are
    methods to manage communications and relationships across the complex mix of
    stakeholder groups required to cooperate for implementation.
  4. Stakeholder leadership and effective stakeholder engagement is an essential
    component to successful restoration techniques.

Benefits of restoration of degraded ecosystems

  1. There is still limited experience in large scale ecosystem restoration practices.
    However, innovative NBS at ecosystem scale are emerging and provide promising
    messages regarding their multi-functionality, efficiency and sustainability.
  2. Ecosystem restoration is related to risk management and resilience, providing also
    multiple other benefits (i.e. environmental, social, financial). The identification,
    quantification and appropriate capitalization on these benefits is important for NBS
  3. Multiple barriers still exist in ecosystem scale NBS applications (e.g. technical,
    financial, policy, communication, conflicting land use activities). Possible drivers are
    demonstration NBS projects, effective communication and coordination tools and
    business case development.

The role of restoration in increasing resilience and human wellbeing.

  1. We can promote NBS using:
    – Mainly bottom up approaches,
    – Leadership at different levels and
    – Transfer of knowledge through demonstration.
  2. We have been advocating solutions with multiple approaches without providing clear
    evaluation which to use.
  3. We should combine skills – knowledge – motivation in successful governance and
    coordination frameworks, to support resilience by balancing biodiversity and human

The outcomes of the dialogue steering on restoration of degraded ecosystems provide the foundation to further develop stakeholder engagement. Future dialogue steering will occur through a series of webinars held by the regional think and do tanks, which will be connected to dialogue on the ThinkNature Platform.

The outcomes so far, and the future dialogue steering, will contribute to Work Package 5 on barrier analysis and design of decision hierarchy for restoration of degraded ecosystems for NBS, and to Work Package 7 on development of international dialogue and collaboration.