UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration – nature-based solutions the way forward
Climate change is affecting the ecosystems that support life and everything we depend on. The United Nations declared 2021 to 2030 the ‘Decade of Ecosystem Restoration’, and there is a global effort to restore ecosystems and the many benefits they provide, from enhancing food security and safe water to biodiversity.
Environmental engineering expert Associate Professor William Glamore, recently took part in the ‘Engineering with Nature’ (EWN) podcast, focussing for the first time on issues outside the USA; exploring innovative ecosystem restoration, conservation, disaster management efforts and infrastructure development.
He was joined by Todd Bridges, Senior Research Scientist for Environmental Science with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Lead for EWN and Anita van Breda, Senior Director, Environment and Disaster Management, World Wildlife Fund.
Will’s early work as a PhD student faced the challenge of acidic floodplains and he discovered nature-based solutions to solve the problem at scale. While his initial research helped solve the acid problem, he also quickly realised that it provided co-benefits of improved water quality, reduced flood risk, increased aquaculture and blue carbon habitat.
In this podcast, Will describes how the Eco-Engineering team at WRL has grown this research from small test sites to huge scale nature-based projects. Based on these successes he also talks about a new push to create a future blue economy.
The ‘Engineering with Nature’ Podcasts are produced by the US Army Corp of Engineers to advance nature-based solutions. The podcast is supported by the release of the “Engineering with Nature, An Atlas”, which showcases EWN principles and practices in action, including two sites in Australia where Will has recently been leading research.
EWN is a US initiative concerning water resources infrastructure and management. It involves the intentional alignment of natural and engineering processes to sustainably deliver economic, environmental and social benefits through collaborative processes. It is closely aligned with other “Working with Nature” engineering paradigms, which consider engineering project objectives from the perspective of the natural system rather than from the perspective of technical design. It focuses on identifying win-win solutions rather than simply minimising ecological harm.
- To listen to the podcast, visit: https://ewn.el.erdc.dren.mil/podcast-S2-008-1.html
- To read more about WRL's Big Swamp restoration project, visit: https://www.wrl.unsw.edu.au/research/big-swamp-restoration-project
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