Ecological restoration is the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged or destroyed (SER 20041).
The ethic of ecological restoration is one of conservation, repair and renewal. There is global recognition that local indigenous ecosystems are of high intrinsic biological, societal and economic value but are diminishing in extent and condition.
While protecting remaining ecosystems is vital to conserving our natural heritage, protection alone is not sufficient. Human societies are increasingly recognising that we to need to achieve a net gain in the extent and function of indigenous ecosystems through supplementing conservation with environmental repair.
Ecological restoration therefore seeks the highest and best conservation outcomes for all ecosystems at increasingly larger scales. That is, ecosystem restoration seeks to not only compensate for damage and improve the condition of ecosystems but also to substantially expand the area available to nature conservation. This ethic informs and drives a process of scaling-up restoration efforts.
Mcdonald, T., Jonson, J., & Dixon, K. W. (2016). National standards for the practice of ecological restoration in Australia. Restoration Ecology, 24(June), S4–S32. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1111/rec.12359?download=true