Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
357N: Monitoring integrated restoration activities: enabling track-changes in complex land systems
Wednesday, 24/Apr/2019:
4:15pm - 5:45pm

Session Chair: Louise Willemen
Session Chair: Nichole Barger
Location: UniS A201
UniS building, room A201, turn left before lounge and go to second floor
Session Topics:
How do we support transformation?

Session Abstract

Worldwide people and nature are suffering from degrading landscapes. To turn the tide, governments, companies, and NGOs have shown interest in investing in integrated restoration to support sustainable land system transformations. Integrated restoration efforts are targeted actions to enhance human well-being by improving the natural environment. However, decision-makers remain hesitant to commit resources due to the lack of robust evidence on the impact of these actions in complex and dynamic land systems. This lack of information hampers the smart allocation of resources and represents a lost opportunity for improved decision-making based on lessons learnt.

Therefore, governments, practitioners, and scientists are calling for consistent and effective systems to monitor these targeted land transformations. This call was reflected in the key messages of the 2018 Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) assessment report on Land Degradation and Restoration, and subscribed by 130 governments, highlighting the need for “Effective monitoring strategies, verification systems and adequate baseline data—on both socioeconomic and biophysical variables—provide critical information on how to accelerate efforts to avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation and conserve biodiversity”.

To be able to translate this urgent call into action, this session will explore the requirements, current scientific advances and user-experiences of monitoring systems to capture restoration effects for people and nature over time. For this World Café we have invited speakers who will provide food-for-thought on the topic, and we ask session participants to come inspired to share their views on:

- What to monitor? Selection of cost-effective relevant indicators, including ecosystem services, for integrated land monitoring;

- How, when and where to monitor? Opportunities for monitoring at relevant spatial and temporal levels, including innovative use of remote sensing, Big-Data, crowd-sourcing, and spatial statistics;

- How to support sustainable land transformation? Implementation of monitoring systems and use of monitoring results for improved land governance.

Session Organizers: Louise Willeman and Nichole Barger

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ID: 386 / 357N: 1
357N Monitoring integrated restoration activities: enabling track-changes in complex land systems
Keywords: satellite data, machine learning, computational social science, mixed methods

Harnessing technology to evaluate restoration projects

Michael Obersteiner

IIASA, Austria

Restoration projects might become an important asset class in a greening economy striving for sustainable development outcomes. Not only that there are substantial data and knowledge gaps to support restoration projects there are still substantial transaction costs a restoration project proponent needs to carry, which deteriorates the financial viability of projects already from the very start. Harnessing existing and emerging technology to evaluate the envirionmental, economic and social impacts and viability of restoration projects carry the potential to substantially lower transaction costs of complex investment projects such as restoration projects. In particular, we will discuss the potential of a total system's approach to restoration project evaluation supported by information streams from satellite data, machine learning, computational social science, and other mixed methods to be integrated into investement project formulations.

Key issues to be discussed are standardization of complex systems analysis, risk evaluation and management in line with established financial practices as well as aggregation of multiple projects into larger financial instruments such as green bonds.

Finally, the role of technology in the evaluation of stacking multiple revenue streams from a single restoration project will be discussed.

We will conclude with a scetch of a roadmap to competitively formulated restoration projects supported by wide portfolios of technology ranging from remotely sensed information, blockchains to financial multi-risk modelling.

ID: 482 / 357N: 2
357N Monitoring integrated restoration activities: enabling track-changes in complex land systems
Keywords: restoration, business, 4 returns, monitoring & evaluation, impact

Monitoring & Verification requirements from a restoration business perspective

Simon Willem Moolenaar, Willemijn de Iongh

Commonland, Netherlands, The

Monitoring & Verification requirements from a restoration business perspective

Simon W. Moolenaar and Willemijn de Iongh (Commonland)

“The planetary boundaries represent thresholds beyond which the stability of planetary scale systems cannot longer be relied upon. Management professor Gail Whiteman has called these planetary boundaries the key performance indicators or KPI’s of our planet. The next phase of market transformation requires changing the market rules to incorporate the planet’s KPI’s by recognizing and strengthening forms of production that explicitly enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services and build the natural capital that underpins production systems.”

Commonland contributes to large-scale and business-driven landscape restoration, that generates 4 returns: return of Natural Capital, Social Capital and return of Inspiration in addition to Financial Capital.

To measure progress and impact over time, we have developed and are now implementing a 4 returns monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) framework with measurable outcomes and indicators. Given the differences in landscapes, it is hard to apply the same indicators across landscapes. Therefore, we work with global 4 returns outcomes that apply acrossthe landscapes, while indices and indicators are contextualized per landscape. An index is a set of related indicators which provide a means for systematic comparisons of performance across the varied landscapes. Each index has underlying indicators that differ per landscape (see Figure).


In our presentation we will discuss the 4 returns MEL framework and will provide examples of, and requirements for, our monitoring efforts and how these support sustainable landscape transformation towards 4 returns impacts.

ID: 643 / 357N: 3
357N Monitoring integrated restoration activities: enabling track-changes in complex land systems
Keywords: restoration, monitoring, governance, change, complexities

Using monitoring information to improve restoration decision making and governance

Judith Lorraine Fisher

Fisher Research Pty Ltd / University of Western Australia, Australia

If we don’t understand what we are doing how can we know if we are achieving the desired outcomes? Incorporating comprehensive baseline monitoring programmes into all aspects of restoration provides opportunities against which to measure outcomes. Baseline monitoring programmes linked to desired outcomes, whether they be biological, economic, social, livelihood, governance, institutional or any number of features, enables understandings not only of the complexities of restoration undertaken but also the complexities of the landscape within which it exists. As restoration progresses understanding change is critical to understanding where, how and what decisions to make. It is the monitoring data which explains outcomes clearly and precisely and so provides evidence with which to make informed decisions. Effective governance is critical to the early decisions and ongoing implementation of restoration programmes. Monitoring programmes which measure the progress of governance structures enable decisions at all levels to be understood, and if required, to adapt not only governing structures but also restoration actions to ensure all aspects including biological, economic and social are operating to achieve the very best outcomes for the funds invested. Examples of good monitoring programmes, approaches and outcomes will be provided.

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