For anyone who is interested in sustainability at a landscape level it has been hard to miss that land is degrading fast on a worldwide scale. The decreasing availability of arable land and water resources are the silent crises that are happening somewhat on the background while we are learning almost on a daily basis that the climate is changing faster than the IPCC-reports have predicted.
These are interlinking dynamics that are taking place just beyond the public awareness, but in Wageningen many people that are studying disciplines with a landscape focus will have taken notice. There is a shared understanding that the preconditions for the general wellbeing of humans, animals and plants are at stake here. Can processes of land degradation be reversed? Some people say it can!
We want to focus on an intervention exactly there where a difference could be made. Ecosystem restoration is an enterprise that can address a multitude of challenges that we are facing. With the successful restoration of landscapes soils can be made fertile, forest cover can be restored, water retention at a landscape level can be improved and agriculture can return to locations deemed unsuitable for it.
These are some of the lessons to be learned from the proponents of largescale ecosystem restoration such as John D. Liu, who has become an ambassador of the ecosystem restoration movement with his documentary ‘Green Gold’. In his words, ecosystem restoration is the great work of our time.
As a result of his work many people have become inspired to restore ecosystems and landscapes, but few have the possibilities to make a difference. Even in Wageningen where many people might have a lot of theoretical knowledge a large knowledge gap exists at the level of the practical application of this knowledge. This is exactly where we want to make a difference.
To do just that we want help you to get the practical skills necessary to address processes of land degradation. For this we are in touch with several projects in the the surroundings of Wageningen and in the south of Europe.
We want to facilitate people who are interested in ecosystem restoration meet each other and to become a community of learners on ecosystem restoration. For this we want to organize a number of workshops on soil measurement, erosion control, water management, soil building and reforestation. Doing so, we want to play our part in bringing people together that have a shared passion for ecosystem restoration and we want to bring this community closer to real possibilities for ecosystem restoration.
You will have the opportunity to visit different sites and to learn about different forms of degradation and practical skills to counter it.