What is ecosystem recovery? How do we measure it?

This ecosystem recovery project aims to develop a standardised framework at assess conservation success and recovery potential for ecosystems globally. We are developing draft assessment methods for a proposed IUCN Green Status of Ecosystems. The goal is to provide a tool that assists decision-makers in tracking progress of past conservation actions and plan for effective recovery of threatened ecosystems. This will complement the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems and the IUCN Green Status of Species.

This work links with the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and will contribute to the post-2020 targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It also aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 Life Below Water and Goal 15 Life on Land.

This project is driven by the IUCN Green Status of Ecosystems Task Force, lead by Jessica Walsh (Chair) and Jess Rowland (Co-chair). This work is funded by a ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellowship (DECRA), for my project Road to Recovery: Evidence-based Conservation of Threatened Ecosystems.

Other projects related to the ecosystem recovery theme


Rowland JA, Bracey C, Moore JL, Cook CN, Bragge P, Walsh JC. 2021. Effectiveness of conservation interventions globally for degraded peatlands in cool-climate regions. Biological Conservation 263:109327. For a more concise, user-friendly factsheet, see the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub summary.

Gray-Viggiano S. 2020. How SMART are Australian recovery plan objectives? A review of threatened ecological communities’ recovery plans across management scales. Monash University. [email Jessica for a copy]

Australian alpine peatlands: annotated bibliography of conservation management interventions, Atlas of Living Australia, 2022.

Note: The information presented on this website does not represent IUCN’s or the Commission of Ecosystem Management’s position on the matters presented.