Restoration tools and guidance
Ocean+ Habitats provides data on the state of marine and coastal habitats to inform conservation and restoration of marine ecosystems. The approach integrates access to The World Database on Protected Areas, the World Database on Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures, and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Habitat layers used for calculations in Ocean+ Habitats are available via the Ocean Data Viewer (https://data.unep-wcmc.org)
Restor is an open online platform for mapping restoration projects on land, including coastal areas. The tool is built on Google Earth Engine and is described as a “Google Maps for restoration.” Restor provides ecological data and helps connect restoration projects across the landscape and seascape, promoting transparency and accelerating ecosystem restoration. Mapping of subtidal restoration projects is possible using the tool, but with some lost functionality at this time, which may be addressed as part of future updates.
The Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) is a web-based mapping and reporting tool that provides fast, easy and integrated access to the World Database on Protected Areas; the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas; and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, as well as derived data layers, resources and reporting functionalities. IBAT is accessed by over 10,000 users across >150 subscribing companies and can support an early understanding of biodiversity risk and opportunities from the site to portfolio level.
The Species Threat Abatement and Restoration Metric (STAR) combines data on species’ distributions and threats to help with the identification of areas where actions to abate threats or restore habitats can help to reduce species extinction risk and contribute to conservation goals. STAR Reports and data downloads are available through IBAT. The metric so far covers birds, amphibians, and mammals on land but will be expanded to other taxonomic groups and biomes soon.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a tool that can generate high-resolution marine biodiversity data. eDNA techniques allow for low cost and rapid baseline data collection. A key benefit of this approach is that data can be collected by non-scientists with minimal equipment needs. eDNA allows for big-scale data to be collected and facilitates monitoring at various spatial scales, including across seascape systems to provide a context to restoration actions or for local measurement of restoration success. eDNA is therefore a tool that is fully aligned with supporting the delivery of nature positive actions under the Bluedot+ initiative. As such, NatureMetrics have been selected to offer support for the application of this technology.
InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) is an open-source spatial scenario tool developed by The Natural Capital Project for exploring how changes in ecosystems are likely to alter benefits that flow to people. InVEST has been applied worldwide to terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.
Another NatCap partnership tool includes ROOT (Restoration Opportunities Optimization Tool), which performs i optimization and trade-off analysis to help decision makers visualize where investments in restoration could be made that would optimize multiple benefits.
NatureServe Vista® software is an extension to ArcGIS that supports complex assessment and planning in any environment. The spatial scenario tool provides reports and maps to help managers and planners assess impacts and options from multiple scenarios for sites and entire landscapes and seascapes. The tool combines data, expert knowledge, and stakeholder values to support. development of well-documented and defensible solutions.
The Sea Turtle Nesting Beach Indicator Tool was developed in collaboration between Bluedot Associates and sea turtle experts within the University of Exeter. It can be used to rapidly identify habitat suitability for nesting and the level of disturbance. These factors can be used to determine the potential for restoration of sea turtle nesting beaches.
The International Principles & Standards for the Practice of Ecological Restoration sets out key good practice for ecological restoration. It provides tools such as the Ecological Recovery Wheel and the Five-Star System.
The Seagrass Restoration Handbook UK & Ireland provides guidance on the restoration and conservation of seagrass habitats. The handbook seeks to support groups looking to impement local projects that could facilitate larger seascape restoration efforts.
Guidelines on Seagrass Ecosystem Restoration for the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) Region aims to facilitate capacity building and promotion of seagrass restoration in the WIO region. The guidelines comprise practical best practice approaches and methodologies for seagrass restoration that can be followed by local groups within a specific regional context.
The Coral Restoration Database and Visualisation is hosted by the ICRI Forum. These were developed by a team at James Cook University after synthesising the available knowledge of coral restoration. The database provides information on restoration approaches across the globe, includes methods, location, species, scale, monitoring etc.
The Coral Restoration Toolkit forms part of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Research and Development Program. The toolkit provides access to a range of key Great Barrier Reef coral restoration guidance material and links to find out more about coral restoration efforts around the world.
The Reef Resilience Coral Reef Restoration Toolkit compiles guidance and tools to support the implementation of a coral reef restoration project. It provides an overview to coral restoration and information on some active and passive restoration methods and monitoring approaches. The toolkit also provides information on principles for successful restoration of connected habitats, such as mangroves and seagrass beds.
The Coral Reef Restoration Toolkit – A Field-Oriented Guide Developed in the Seychelles Islands provides a field-orientated guide using a ‘coral gardening’ approach. The guidance covers the process of restoration using low-cost and field-tested methods. The guidance covers planning, implementation, and monitoring phases.
Coral Reef Restoration as a Strategy to Improve Ecosystem Services sets out best practice approaches for coral restoration, including for the maintenance of ecosystem services, including for coastal defence and restoration of fish nursery areas. The report seeks to support decisions for the use of restoration as a coral reef management strategy.
The Guide to Ecological Engineering: The restoration of coral reefs and associated ecosystems provides an inventory of ecological engineering techniques for the restoration of coral reefs and their associated ecosystems (seagrasses and mangroves). The guidance covers protection, ecological enhancement, and restoration of damaged areas.
A Manager’s Guide to Coral Reef Restoration Planning and Design aims to support the needs of reef managers seeking to begin restoration or to assess their current restoration program.
The Coral Reef Restoration Monitoring Guide: methods to evaluate restoration from local to ecosystem scales was developed to provide comprehensive guidance for monitoring coral restorations to evaluate progress towards meeting restoration goals. The guide includes information on metrics and associated methods to be used for monitoring.
The Training Guide for Coral Reef Restoration provides a practical complementary tool for restoration training for specialists, students, technicians, trainers, and the general audience. It relates to restoration in the Mesoamercial reef system but can be applied more broadly.
Methodology for scaling mitigation and compensatory measures in tropical marine ecosystems provides information for application of the MERCI-Cor method for scaling mitigation and compensatory measures in tropical marine ecosystems. It also provides guidance on different type of restoration techniques and for monitoring.
The Reef Rehabilitation Manual captured the learnings of worldwide research into reef rehabilitation at the time. The manual provides guidance on lessons-learnt from global projects and how to carry out coral reef rehabilitation in a responsible and cost-effective manner.
Restoration Guidelines for Shellfish Reefs provides guidance in decision-making for establishing shellfish reef restoration projects with examples of different approaches undertaken by experienced practitioners in a variety of geographic, environmental, and social settings. The restoration approach is aligned to the Society for Ecological Restoration’s International standards for the practice of ecological restoration
The European Native Oyster Habitat Restoration Handbook UK and Ireland aims to provide guidance on the restoration and conservation of native oysters and native oyster habitat. It includes information about starting a restoration project, current methods of restoration in practice, biosecurity recommendations and an outline of how to effectively communicate a restoration project.
The Guidelines on Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration for the Western Indian Ocean provides background information on the mangrove habitats and the threats they face. Using experiences in mangrove restoration projects from the region the guidelines analyses challenges facing community-based mangrove restoration projects; and provide possible solutions to the identified problems. The guidance targets communities, civil society, national agencies, and practitioners involved in mangrove conservation activities in the region.
The technical guide Mangrove Restoration: Summary of the key elements to be considered in any restoration project provides a summary of key elements that should be considered in mangrove restoration projects, based on a review of available literature and practices around the world. The covers both natural colonisation and mangrove planting; and provides advice to promote successful approaches, including prioritisation of natural restoration wherever possible.
The Ocean Agency presents a range of toolkits to inspire protection and restoration of coral reefs, mangrove habitats, and seagrass beds. It includes information on restoration projects globally.
Using ecosystem risk assessment science in ecosystem restoration promotes the application of the science of ecosystem risk assessment, which involves measuring the risk of ecosystem collapse in ecosystem restoration. It explores how the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems and ecosystem restoration can be jointly deployed to reduce risk of ecosystem collapse.
This Coastal Restoration Toolkit provides introductory educational material for community members on how to develop a coastal restoration project from concept to proposal. Divided into five topic areas (Flooding, Coastal Erosion, Water Quality, Invasive Species, and Wildlife Habitats). The Toolkit includes project examples, resources, contacts, funding sources, and permitting information.
Rapid assessment tool to help research sea turtle nesting beaches
Bluedot has collaborated with the Centre for Ecology & Conservation at the University of Exeter to develop a Sea Turtle Nesting Beach Indicator Tool that can rapidly assess and rank the value of beaches for their potential sea turtle nesting importance in areas where there is an absence of biological data. The tool is designed for use by developers, consultants, and researchers to quickly determine the spatial extent of turtle nesting and the relative habitat value of different beaches where sea turtle nesting is possible, but poorly understood.
We hope that this easy-to-use tool will support the screening for projects that may impact turtle nesting areas. In addition, the tool can be valuable for pointing to beaches with high potential for conservation and academic research, and data from the use of the tool can feed into strategic assessments for marine spatial planning at broader scales. The tool allows for data to be collected by non-scientists and local networks with little training needed.
The tool is built around an Excel spreadsheet supported by an explanatory document in pdf form and is therefore easily shared and disseminated by email. It employs a scoring and rating system to assess Beach Suitability, which is the potential for supporting a viable nesting population based on habitat features; and Human Impacts and how these are affecting nesting beaches.
The tool has been announced in the Marine Turtle Newsletter (#153, 2017) and is included in articles published in the Africa Sea Turtle Newsletter (#8, 2017), State of the Worlds Turtles (SWOT) Report (Vol. XIII, 2018), and the Indian Ocean Turtle Newsletter (#26, 2017).
Please click here to download the tool along with an explanatory pdf file.
The tool provides indicative rather than conclusive results on nesting potential, i.e., indications of poor suitability for certain beaches should not be used as evidence there is no nesting. As such, the tool is useful in lieu of, and supplementary to, seasonal surveys that record the signs of nesting activity. In most cases the indications generated by the tool should be followed-up by more rigorous surveys performed by specialists, since the tool does not collect biological or seasonal information, nor does it rely on long term data sets. Bluedot Associates Ltd accepts no responsibility for the use of this tool or for the interpretation of the results from its use. Consequently, the use of the tool is at the recipient’s own risk on the basis that any use by the recipient constitutes agreement to the terms of this disclaimer.