Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (10): 22519.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022519

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A review of ecosystem restoration: Progress and prospects of domestic and abroad

Feng Li1,2, Chaonan Cheng1,2, Rui Yang1,3,*()   

  1. 1. Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084
    2. Ecological Restoration Research Center, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084
    3. Institute for National Parks, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084
  • Received:2022-09-08 Accepted:2022-10-31 Online:2022-10-20 Published:2022-11-08
  • Contact: Rui Yang


Background: Climate change and increased human activity lead to ecosystem degradation, loss of biodiversity and reduced capacity to sustain the biosphere, as well as significantly constrain sustainable socio-economic development. Ecosystem degradation continues to be a global concern, and extensive conservation and restoration efforts have been implemented worldwide to address this problem.
Progresses: In this paper, we first explore the concepts and theories of ecosystem restoration and how they developed. Secondly, we summarize key elements associated with ecosystem restoration, e.g. ecosystem services and values, biodiversity conservation, climate change and carbon storage, nature reserves, monitoring systems and adaptive management, and equity and multi-participation. Then, we review the problem of ecosystem degradation and the extent of restoration efforts in China’s forests, grasslands, rivers and wetlands, and marine and coastal zones. We explore the progress and shortcomings of three measures, in particular, China’s ecological conservation red line scheme, ecosystem restoration in protected areas and ecological protection and restoration in national space planning.
Prospect: We conclude this paper by exploring integrated conservation and systematic land management approaches to address ecosystem degradation. We discuss the policies and channels of diversified financing of ecosystem restoration, exploratory practices in wilderness ecological conservation and restoration, applied research in urban ecosystem restoration, and ecosystem restoration for the conservation and maintenance of biodiversity to inform further research and practical application of ecosystem restoration efforts in China.

Key words: ecosystem degradation, ecosystem restoration, ecological restoration, national space planning, conservation and restoration of national spaces