An even stronger global restoration movement
The climate crisis creates a sense of urgency, which can be scary. But if you look for it, you can find inspiration in the actions of people from every nation, and of course from nature itself.
Inspiration is critical – there’s nothing ‘nice to have’ about it. Have you ever felt fearful and inspired at the same time? I didn’t think so, inspiration trumps fear every time. And when there are so many reasons to be fearful, inspiration becomes a matter of survival. This article is about one of many such inspiring initiative.
“The magic of the infinite network”
This month TED launched the Global Climate Countdown. The key message is that we have ten years to make the changes we need to see in the world. At this event, every contributor offered inspiring examples of how to live sustainably. Here’s one.
Remember when everyone was talking about trees? It seemed that if only we planted one trillion trees, the climate crisis would go away and we could carry on as before. Don’t blame them, but it was the team at Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich led by Prof. Thomas Crowther who did the research and built the models upon which the media leapt, and many policy makers and business people followed.
The problem, as Prof Crowther points out, is that trees alone cannot deliver global restoration. And certainly not new trees. To believe so is a dangerously misleading delusion. We need to cut emissions, reduce atmospheric carbon, conserve existing ecosystems, as well as restoring natural habitats of all kinds.
To understand how to restore ecosystems across the world, we need vast quantities of data and sophisticated machine learning tools. But this isn’t enough. We also needs insight and knowledge from the people on the ground around the planet who are restoring ecosystems today. And form communities who rely upon the forests for their livelihoods, such as the communities who work with ITF.
The challenge then, is to bring this wealth of knowledge together. To understand how the multitude of organisms and systems relate to one another in this beautiful infinite network we call home. So, the Crowther Lab teamed up with Google to develop a ‘digital ecosystem for restoration’. Bringing modelling, mapping, and digital infrastructure together, to create Restor. ITF is one of many organisations supporting Restor, by sharing data to strengthen the insight it can offer the restoration movement.
I find this inspiring. Restor’s potential is transformative. And though the technology and research behind it is amazing, what really makes a difference is that the tool is available to everyone who chooses to be part of the global restoration movement. Gardeners, governments, businesses, researchers, and NGOs like ITF are all welcome. In fact, the more of us who share insight and data, the more Restor can help global restoration overall. Helping us all to learn from one another, whether you’re funding large scale projects, restoring local forest landscape, or thinking about your garden.
We need to believe we can change the world, in order to change it. And we need people who can show us how and tell us stories of futures we can dream of. We need inspiration. Restor, is one such inspiring example.
Please tell your friends and colleagues about Restor – share this article.