Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2017, Vol. 8 ›› Issue (4): 315-324.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.04.002

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Overview of Ecological Restoration Technologies and Evaluation Systems

ZHEN Lin1, 2, *, YAN Huimin1, 2, HU Yunfeng1, XUE Zhichao1, 2, XIAO Yu1, 2, XIE Gaodi1, 2, MA Jianxia3, WANG Jijun4   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. College of Resource and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Lanzhou Center for Literature and Information of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China;
    4. Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling shaanxi 712100, China
  • Received:2017-05-02 Revised:2017-06-20 Online:2017-07-30 Published:2017-07-30
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0503700)

Abstract: Ecological degradation is a global problem, and ecological restoration technologies have played and will continue to play an important role in its mitigation. However, the lack of systematic research and evaluations of ecological technologies has thus far affected their effective application in vulnerable ecological regions. This study therefore provides an overview of the main technologies for remediating soil and water erosion, desertification, and rock desertification in China and throughout the world. It addresses key issues and recommends approaches for evaluating ecological restoration technologies. Restoration technology emerged as early as 1800. Over the years such technology has changed from single objective applications to multi-purpose, multi-objective applications employing strategies that take into account ecosystem rehabilitation and integrated ecological and socioeconomic development. Along with this technological evolution, different countries have taken pertinent actions as part of their restoration initiatives. However, key issues remain, including the lack of location-specific restoration technologies and a methodological strategy to assess and prioritize existing technologies. This study proposes a four-level analytical hierarchical framework in conjunction with an indicator system that highlights the establishment and adaptation of associative indicators, while also recommending a three-phase evaluation method (TheMert), targeting TheMert to qualitative (quick and extensive) and quantitative (detailed) evaluations in order to select the most appropriate restoration technologies available. This study can also be used as a basis for understanding the evaluation and prioritization of restoration technologies, while increasing the awareness of decision makers and the public on the role of technology in restoring degraded ecosystems.

Key words: ecological restoration technologies, evolution, indicator framework, Three-Phase evaluation method, vulnerable ecological regions